Milton, DE asked in Civil Litigation for Delaware

Q: Driveway damaged by dumpster.

I hired a contractor to repair my home after a house fire. The contractor had a dumpster placed on my driveway. When the dumpster was removed the truck cracked my driveway.

The contractor claims to have reached out to the dumpster company and he claims they are not returning his calls. I did not hire or pay the dumpster company. I paid the contractor, he paid for all materials and subcontractors to repair my home.

In my last communication with the contractor I told him if I did not hear back from him I would follow up in small claims court. I have an estimate to repair the driveway from Sam the Concrete Man in the amount of $4,200.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: In your situation, where the contractor you hired caused damage to your property through a subcontractor (the dumpster company), you typically have the right to seek compensation for the damages. Since your contract was with the contractor and not the dumpster company, the contractor is generally responsible for any damages caused by their actions or those of their subcontractors.

Given that the contractor has been unresponsive and the dumpster company is not directly accountable to you, pursuing the matter in small claims court could be a valid course of action. Before proceeding, make sure to gather all relevant documentation, including the contract with the contractor, any communication regarding the damage, and the estimate for repairs from Sam the Concrete Man.

It's also advisable to send a formal, written demand to the contractor for the cost of the driveway repairs, if you haven't done so already. This serves as a final opportunity for the contractor to address the issue before legal action is taken and provides a clear record of your attempt to resolve the matter out of court.

If the contractor still fails to respond or refuses to pay for the damages, filing a claim in small claims court, where you can present your evidence and seek compensation up to the court's limit, may be your next step. Consulting with an attorney can provide you with specific guidance and help you understand the legal process and your rights in this situation.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.