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Re: Noughty Neighbor
Go over and ask him if he noticed anything when he was backing out. If he
says no, say you have a dent in your car and if there's paint rub, tell him
that as well. If he wants to see it, show him but don't let him take any.
Tell him you'd like it fixed and you don't want to involve the police and
"I'm sure you don't either." If you don't get immediate co-operation, call
the police. Technically, it's hit and run, improper backing and leaving
the scene. Make sure you find out who was driving and get all their
insurances, if possible.
My story: Last September, my neighbor and his girlfriend went out drinking,
they ran out of money, she came home in his truck to get more $. backing
out, she smashed my CRX. She realized it as there was about a 10 second
pause before she took off - fast. I heard it happen as the front window
was open. When I went to the window, I saw no other cars in the street. I
went out and looked. Crap! I called the police immediately and filed an
accident report (you should have done so as well, if he hires an attorney,
you're looking at a counter-claim of "spoilage of evidence"). The next
day, their truck was back with my paint all over their bumper and guess
what, the paint all over my car matched their bumper. I called the police
and the office laughed at the scene. He knocked on their door and they
denied it. Their excuse? "We were at the bar drinking all night. It
couldn't have been us." Police had the truck towed for evidence and paint
matching. He admitted it the next day and got the truck out of hock. He
didn't have car insurance. In Michigan (no-fault), this makes the owner
totally liable for all damages; if the person who hits you has insurance,
you can collect up to $500. I spent 3 months chasing her insurance as they
initially said they would pay. They didn't. I spent 2 months chasing him
down and trying to get his insurance information, which I knew he didn't
have but he said he was. I then filed in small claims court in March.
Every lawyer I spoke to said it was an open and shut case, done deal, no
problem, etc... He removed it to civil court and had an attorney friend
hit me with 60 pages of discovery. Finally had a trial at the ONE YEAR
anniversary of the accident. I won. It's a month later and I still have
yet to see a penny.
My story, 2: In April, my wife and I were rear-ended at a stop light in
her Civic (since replaced with the 90Q, see there is Audi content here<g>).
They guy was in a brand new Grand-Am and he wasted the front: headlights,
hood, grill, spoiler, fog lights, radiator, turn signals, fenders. We
sustained damage to the bumper and a trim piece between the bumper and stop
lights. He didn't have insurance. So he's on the hook for the full
amount. I called him and talked to him. He said he'd pay. We set up a
time to meet that Friday (his home address is 1/2 mile from where I work).
He skipped. He disconnected his phone and his address is non-existent. I
doubt I'll ever find him.
As had been said he previously, we have a legal system, not a justice
system. If you're one good terms with the neighbor, give him ONE CHANCE to
make the situation right. If not, call the police and be relentless. It's
your only chance of collecting. Since your car is a dozen years old I
doubt you have collision or comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive could be
coaxed into coverage if your agent was cool (say it was a bike or cart at
the grocery store...). Good luck...
At 04:22 PM 10/26/1998 , Dan Hamren was inspired to say:
> Thursday night...Redwood City California..
> After rotating my tires in preparation for a trip to Northern
> California, I parked my car in the street like any other night. In the
> morning what do I discover, but a big dent! (sob!) I think my neighbor
> did it! They just sold their house, and he was moving stuff out in his
> Suburban. I know this since I was working on my car that night. I
> measured the markings on my car and the height of his bumper. The
> difference was 1 inch. But if he was loading stuff in his car it would
> be lower because of the weight. I saw him last night after returning
> from my trip, not a word! I have a sample of his bumper and the sample
> from my car. What should I do next. The dent can be repaired
> (paintless) but its gonna cost approx $200.00. Maybe I should take it
> out of his ass. Any suggestions?
88 90Q - K+N, new vac hoses, still gets 0.0 bar....
88 Golf GTi - PRO Rally