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Old 03-24-2006, 08:53 AM
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This just burns me up

Just have the need to vent to fellow enthusiasts. Three weeks ago the middle-aged son of one of my neighbors backed his Tahoe out of a driveway and slammed into the rear of my Suburban. Instead of being apologetic, he jumps out and starts cussing me out, probably because I was fortunately around and saw it meaning he couldn't drive off.

First off he starts by yelling that there was pre-existing damage on the vehicle so he's not responsible for anything. The damage there was is a 2" long fairly deep scratch in the paint that I simply never attended to over the years. The damage he did was twist my bumper beyond recognition, dent the rear fender, push the fender into the tailgate and knock the tailgate out of alignment.

Within minutes my neighbor comes out to meddle and states that seeing as I work on cars, he should just have to buy me a bumper somewhere like a junkyard and I can slap some bondo on the dent....

Needless to say this was not going to be the route I wanted and when they started cussing out me and my sons, the local police were called. All the time while waiting they are ranting and raving that I am to blame. How a parked vehicle is to blame in a collision is still beyond me, but oh well. They keep demanding my name, where I am from (well duh I live here....), etc and only get more aggravated each time I tell them that the police are the only ones who need to know this.

Finally, the cop turns up and within minutes it's established that this loser doesn't have insurance on the vehicle nor is he the owner. The cop removes the tag, writes the report etc and tells me I'll most likely have to sue to collect damages.

I obtained several estimates and the damage total around $1700 with the bodyshops stating there's more likely than not about another $400 of hidden damage they can't see yet. I sent several letters to both the driver and the registered owner, yet of course they are expecting this and are refusing to accept delivery of the mail. My first idea was to proceed through Small Claims Court, but the Clerk keeps yapping about the fact I have to have proof I have attempted to collect on this. Pretty hard to do when someone refuses to accept mail and can play dumb.

Well today, the neighbor stops by again and within minutes starts yelling and screaming that because I have the abililty to do body work on cars I should do the repairs myself and quit sending letters. He goes off on a tangent that I must be running a business because of all the vehicles I fix. Not sure where he gets this from because the only vehicles I work / worked on are my '53 Chevy, my two sons' trucks and a few of their friends' vehicles who needed help installing suspension modifications. So finally I agree and tell him I'll do the work and tell him it will be time and materials. I grab a catalog and show him the cost of the bumper, brackets, repair panel for the rear fender, etc and give him an estimate of the number of hours it will take me to do all this (I figured about 20 hours). Immediately out come the cusswords that I should not be charging time because I know how to do bodywork.

By now I've had it with these people so I ask him if he knows how to use a hammer. He looks at me and again starts with the words telling me that of course he knows how to insert popular expletive use a insert popular expletive hammer. Unfazed I ask him then why he expected his homeowner insurance to pay for the reroofing of his home last year following hurricane damage. Yet again out come the expletives and the topic now is that I should be considerate because his son doesn't have insurance and I should be cooperative.

At this point I conclude it would be better to simply go back inside and let my bloodpressure settle somewhere in the more normal range and preferably get it below triple digits.

After a short while I decide the time has come to go back to the Court House and try to get some things moving. Well now the Clerk starts going on how I should give them some time to repay me because the fines that were levied against this guy were pretty substantial and he probably has no money right now to pay me.

This just really burns me up. I am getting told I have to be patient yet the DMV and City who incurred no damage whatsoever have already collected a total of $3,000 in fines from both the driver and owner of the vehicle.

I guess the time has come to hire an attorney knowing though that it will probably cost me more than the damage and I'll probably end up doing the repairwork myself just like these uninsured motorists hope people do.

Sorry to vent but it just really bugs me that with all these uninsured motorists driving around, the authorities seem to use it as a cash-cow instead of using the collected fines to create a pool to at least somewhat contribute to the expenses borne by the victims.

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Old 03-24-2006, 09:11 AM
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Your frustration is felt. Feel free to vent if it helps, that’s a rw deal on your end for sure. In MN here. We would have to send a letter to collect via the sheriffs department certified and notarized. It also would help to place an add in the local paper, claiming the debt upon them. After that, small claims. That’s the way it would go here. Unfortunately if they don’t have any money it just heads on over to the collections burrow. I have people that owe me for repairs as long as 4 years gone by now. I tried to play nice guy to many times. I got to the point with some people that I took a small tool box in hand and went to their houses after dark, I knocked on the doors and said either you make a payment now or I will uninstall what I have installed. Granted this was not legal but I received payments. One customer owed me for a simple battery; he lived just 3 blocks from my shop. Months went buy and no payment. I always got the ohh yea I will be in on Friday. So I went to his house and walked back to my shop with battery in hand, the next morn he was down to pay. I know this doesn’t pertain to your predicament but I feel your pain trying to collect. I wish you best with this. And vent any time. Troy
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Old 03-24-2006, 01:06 PM
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Record every conversation with your neighbor. Get evidence that he is aware of being at fault and that he has no intentions of paying directly or fairly for that matter. Sorry to hear about this. I don't know what I would do if this happened.
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Old 03-24-2006, 01:42 PM
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Get your insurance company involved. They seem to get things handled. In Indiana, his license would be suspended till all damages are paid. He would then get no license until filing proof of insurance and would pay high-risk for several years. This scenario is also why I carry uninsured motorist coverage on my own insurance.
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Old 03-24-2006, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USA1
Get your insurance company involved. They seem to get things handled. In Indiana, his license would be suspended till all damages are paid. He would then get no license until filing proof of insurance and would pay high-risk for several years. This scenario is also why I carry uninsured motorist coverage on my own insurance.


Good advice there^^ ^^^.

Some people are just out to screw whoever they can however they can. I'm owed $100 right now for a job I did the first week in January. By calling once a month, now I'm being told to quit calling and harrassing them. Boils my butt. It could be worse. My bro-in-law has an '02 Chopper Edition Dodge truck that has over $6500 in damage from a sale deal gone waaayyyy past wrong. The chick just ripped him and ran. Kept the truck in locked garages and stashed away from the repo guys while he made the payments to cover his credit rating. Eventually these people will be ripped in return.




In a while, Chet.
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Old 03-24-2006, 04:14 PM
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I thought you were in Florida for a minute. Sorry to hear about your problem. I wouldn't talk to him again without a witness.
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Old 03-24-2006, 04:19 PM
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ah, I would just snipe them.
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Old 03-24-2006, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USA1
Get your insurance company involved. They seem to get things handled. In Indiana, his license would be suspended till all damages are paid. He would then get no license until filing proof of insurance and would pay high-risk for several years. This scenario is also why I carry uninsured motorist coverage on my own insurance.
You may want to double check your insurance policy, uninsured motorist only covers medical payments if the driver at fault has no or too little medical coverage. it only cover the people in your vehicle.
Collision coverage will cover your vehicle if the at fault driver has no liability insurance.
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Old 03-24-2006, 04:32 PM
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I would talk to a lawyer. Get all the proof that you tried to contact them via registered letter. Have the lawyer take them to court to get the vehicle repair costs PLUS lawyer fees and court costs. Because THEY refused to deal with you in a sensible manner and they forced you to go the legal route, they should have to pay any and all legal fees. After all, it has already been proven that they are scofflaws. In MI, we have no fault insurance, so you would have been covered by your own insurance.

These neighbors are apparently real dicks. When they aren't home, throw a bucket full of crickets near an open window. Better yet, INTO the window.

tom
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Old 03-24-2006, 04:42 PM
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yep, lawyer post-haste. The great thing about a lawyer is they have an interest in getting paid, and this is a pretty easy case. Most of the time they can just add their fees into what you're suing for. Trust me, a lawyer will make sure he gets his fees, too.


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Old 03-24-2006, 06:45 PM
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my wife got me a pocket digital video camera for Cristmas.cheap? $150 buck I dunno get one recore every conversation & let them know you are doing or It cant be used leagally & see how much their attitudes change.

That don't work sick the Lawyers on them.If you give them a inch their run with it forever!

Rattle Snakes are not nice to find inside of your car or house !!! {hint hint}

good luck keep us posted?


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Old 03-24-2006, 06:53 PM
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Tell the clerk at the small claims court to stuff it and file against them. When you get to court they will loose and if they don't pay just put a lean on whatever property of theirs you can.... car/house.... whatever. You may not be able to collect immediately but you will eventually collect and you can charge interest on the unpaid balance in most states.
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Old 03-24-2006, 07:51 PM
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That is one of those things that if it happened to me I'd go after them, even if I didnt get anything in return. That kind of thing is something people should not be allowed to get away with. It is unfortunate that people act the way they do, people like that ruin it for the rest of us honest folk out there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ownerT
uninsured motorist only covers medical payments if the driver at fault has no or too little medical coverage. it only cover the people in your vehicle.
I had an old Isuzu Trooper that was sideswiped while it was legally parked. The driver drove off and never got caught. The body damage was substantial and ran the length of the vehicle, save the front fender. Body shop estimates were about $3800. They totaled the car and it was covered by uninsured motorist coverage.

Here's another one. A co-worker was on his way to work one morning. He was turning left on a GREEN left turn arrow when he was T-boned by an oncoming car that had a RED light. Actually, that car was one of those chassis-cab E350 busses about the size of a small motorhome and he was driving a small Toyota pickup. You can imagine what the pickup looked like afterward. Anyway, the driver that hit him was cited for running a red light and the only reason he stopped at all is because the vehicle veered off the road, over the sidewalk and into a short rock wall about 30 yards up the road. It's been a year and a half now and he now has a lawyer because the other drivers insurance company still refuses to pay any damages.

Last edited by Blazin72; 03-24-2006 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 03-25-2006, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blazin72

I had an old Isuzu Trooper that was sideswiped while it was legally parked. The driver drove off and never got caught. The body damage was substantial and ran the length of the vehicle, save the front fender. Body shop estimates were about $3800. They totaled the car and it was covered by uninsured motorist coverage.
Interesting, this is taken from my policy. One would think that the definitions of coverage used by the insurance industry would be uniform.

NOTICE REGARDING UNINSUREDIUNDERINSURED MOTORISTS COVERAGE
The Iowa Insurance ~ -Division requires that we advise you that Uninsured/Underinsured coverage does not cover damage done to your vehicle. It provides benefits only for bodily injury caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. If you wish to be insured for damage done to your vehicle, you must have collision coverage.
You should review your Declaration, limits, policy and endorsement to make sure that you have the coverage desired. If you have any questions, you should contact your agent.
COVERAGE IS GENERALLY DESCRIBED HERE. ONLY THE POLICY PROVIDES A COMPLETE DESCRIPTION OF THE COVERAGES AND THEIR LIMITATIONS.
;.
COVERAGE SELECTIONS WILL APPLY TO ALL FUTURE RENEWALS, CONTINUATIONS AND CHANGES IN YOUR POLICY, UNLESS YOU NOTIFY US OTHERWISE IN WRITING
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Old 03-25-2006, 08:27 AM
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That sucks, and you have to live by these people. My wife's Exploder got clobbered by a taxi cab a few years back. When she called the "damage control" agent for the company, he politely told my she needs to "go **** herself." We sued them. Got nearly twice what we thought, and the company got a judgement against them because the agent couldn't pay on the spot. Have a little faith in the system. If you do hire a lawyer, be sure to sue for his costs too. As much as I hate lawyer, they are good for some things. On the other hand, I broke one of my neighbors windows out of his van. My lawn mower threw a rock. No one saw anything... I went over and let them know what happened, fixed it for them, everyone was happy. I guess that's just the way I was brought up. Not that I wouldnt of fixed it, but I do have to live there and I see no point in making enemies.
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