Summer is a great time to get things done around the house. The days are long, the weather is nice, and it feels good to just be outdoors doing sometime. Many times, working in the yard or garden involves renting or borrowing equipment to get the job done. And when you do, you expect it to be in good working order.
Sometimes, that equipment has hidden dangers, however. If you have rented equipment that has injured you, the place that you rented it from might be liable for damages.
In general, the standard for who might be responsible for equipment rental is very similar to “premises liability.” That’s the expectation that any shop or restaurant open to the public is a safe space with no dangers that can cause injury. A store is liable for damages caused by an injury that they should have taken precautions against.
The same basic standards apply to equipment rental. They are:
- The rental company has a responsibility to provide a safe piece of equipment.
- They did not provide that in some way, which is that it was hazardous in normal operation.
- The hazard caused you to be injured or suffered other damages.
- It was “foreseeable” that you could have been injured by this.
What is foreseeable?
For general liability, the sticking point is often the last point on the chain of issues that lead to a claim. It has a very precise legal definition.
In practical terms, it means that anyone who knows about equipment like that should know that it is possible to be injured. For example, a roto-tiller with a blade so badly bent that it is about to break off could reasonably see that someone could be hurt by that even in normal operation. That’s why most stores will go through a quick visual inspection before renting you equipment, and make you go with them.
Is the rental place responsible?
If all of the conditions above are met, you may have a case. It is not going to be easy, so you first should decide if it is worth your while. With any serious injury or damages caused by rental equipment, it’s important to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney to see if you have a case.
It can be hard to prove that a rental company is liable, but when an injury is serious compensation can make all the difference for a quick recovery. We hope that it doesn’t happen to you and that your summer is safe. Enjoyable, and as productive as you need it to be.