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Delivery driver damaged neighbours manhole cover.


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we are having an extension built and a fork lift truck driver had no choice but to access our property by first going on our neighbours driveway. whilst doing this his back wheel caught their manhole cover (which was loose/slightly damaged to begin with) and it lifted slightly. when the neighbour reversed out of the driveway a few hours later, the manhole cover fell down the manhole and left a big hole at the top of the drive with about a 20ft drop. our neighbour and ourselves are now blaming the fork lift truck driver but they are not accepting responsibility as they said the cover was loose before they went on it and can see by google earth images that it wasn't in perfect condtion. who is liable for this?

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Hello and welcome to CAG.


I'm going to move your thread to the general legal forum, where I think there will be people who can answer your questions. I'll leave a short term link to follow from here to the new forum.


My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum




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Probably not the truck driver. It may well be your neighbours responsibility if the manhole cover was already in a state of disrepair. At best, it might be a case of joint liability.


I should start being very careful here. You want your neighbours goodwill while building an extension and also you want friendly neighbours anyway. I would start looking at house insurance and frankly if it's not too expensive I would suggest that you simply offer to stump up the money. However, it's up to you.


Anyway, I don't think it's the truck driver and I think that if you're not careful you will be looking at some tension between you and your neighbour for some time to come

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Are you sure.


Google shows it in a state of disrepair.

Truck driver says it was loose anyway.

On the balance of probabilities the truck driver would of seen it was already in a state of disrepair

Does the truck driver not at least have to do a mental risk assessment of the job (Including method of access)


Therefore if he/she saw it was in a state of disrepair before going over it, then surly they had a responsibility to limit damage by avoiding it or putting something over it before access was made.


IF so then it would be down to house insurance to chase the driver








The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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so th owner a previously damaged manhole cover who drove over it causing it to collapse want to blame you for his own failures. I dont see any mileage in that even if someone you employed did make things worse. Your real problem is getting the neighbour to accept that it isnt your problem.

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Just buy another manhole cover (£50 max) and ask one of your builders working at your property to fit it (£20/15 minutes).

These are issues forever happening while having work done and frankly I don't think it's worth falling out with your neighbour over something so minimal.

Once new manhole cover is in place make sure the delivery drivers put a couple of planks on it before driving over.

Don't forget that the neighbour could legally erect a temporary or even permanent fence with chicken wire/fence/bricks and prevent access to delivery trucks, this will complicate things and make loading /unloading a costly expense.

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