Is a sign company responsible damage done by the equipment they rent out?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is a sign company responsible damage done by the equipment they rent out?

Is the company who supplies construction pylons responsible for the equipment they may rent out? I was driving down the interstate and I pulled into the passing lane and slammed into a stray construction pylon that was in that lane. There was no construction going on anywhere near that stretch of highway, so there was no reason for the pylon to be on the road. It did about $1500 worth of damage to my vehicle. I contacted the company. They were initially very understanding of the whole thing. However, once I submitted the repair estimate to them, they called me and said they would not pay it, their insurance would not pay it, and they were not responsible for that piece of equipment that very clearly had their name written on it. I’m frustrated and need my vehicle fixed. Are they not responsible for their equipment, whether that pylon fell off of one of their trucks or was one that they rented out to some other company. It’s still their equipment, right?

Asked on April 24, 2017 under Accident Law, North Dakota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, they are not responsible just because it is their equipment, any more than you would be responsible if, while you were raking leaves, a neighbor grabbed your rake and hit another person with it: owning something does not, by itself, make you liable for damage or injuries caused by that thing. They would be responsible only if *they* were at fault: e.g. they placed it in that lane in a dangerous location; it fell off their truck and landed there while they were transporting it because they had not secured it properly; etc. But if somone else was at fault (e.g. the company they leased/rented it to misplaced it), then that person or company is whom you'd have to sue; and if no one was at fault (e.g. it shifted over due to weather or ground/pavement subsidience) then no one is liable. You have to show fault to hold someone liable, so you can only successfully sue (which is what you have to do if no one will voluntarily pay) and recover money if you can identify an at-fault party and show how they were at fault.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption