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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    7

    Default Someone opened their car door into mine, and refuses to pay

    State: California, Bay Area

    Yesterday, I was walking out of Trader Joe's parking lot and noticed a car parked very close to mine. Upon further inspection I discovered that he had opened his car door into mine. I took some pictures of the area with my cellphone camera, and got a snapshot of his license plate. I also took some somewhat blurry pictures of my silver paint on his blue car door.

    I waited around for a while until he came out of the store. I then told him of the incident and asked him for his information. He outright refused to give it to me, and said that it was my fault for "not parking in the parking space." In addition, he said "how am I supposed to get out when you're not parking in your space?" But the space was very small, and my car was on the line, not protruding out of the space. In addition, there was only about 2 inches clearance until the line on the other side of the space. Finally, I told him that if he didn't give me his information that I would have to call the police. He told me to go ahead and so I did.

    While waiting for the police to arrive, he finally gave me his drivers license. I copied down everything. Meanwhile, he went to buy a camera. Turns out, he removed the paint from his car (I took pictures of it before he did, though) and tried wiping the scratch off mine. When the officer arrived, he told me that he couldn't do anything and was there to just "keep the peace." He then told both of us that should I decide to sue him, that it would be my burden to prove that he did it. The officer then pointed out that the information on his DL had to be recent, and he puckered up and wrote a more recent address for me. Finally, the culprit told me to get a few estimates around town, but still refused to give me his cell phone number.

    I'm going to get some estimates around town and pay him a visit to his residence. But should this get out of hand, what should I do? Pictures can be found below.

    PICTURES, click here!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Someone opened their car door into mine, and refuses to pay

    Did the police obtain the other driver's insurance information?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Practicing in Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    411

    Default Re: Someone opened their car door into mine, and refuses to pay

    Quote Quoting vipcard99
    State: California, Bay Area

    Yesterday, I was walking out of Trader Joe's parking lot and noticed a car parked very close to mine. Upon further inspection I discovered that he had opened his car door into mine. I took some pictures of the area with my cellphone camera, and got a snapshot of his license plate. I also took some somewhat blurry pictures of my silver paint on his blue car door.

    I waited around for a while until he came out of the store. I then told him of the incident and asked him for his information. He outright refused to give it to me, and said that it was my fault for "not parking in the parking space." In addition, he said "how am I supposed to get out when you're not parking in your space?" But the space was very small, and my car was on the line, not protruding out of the space. In addition, there was only about 2 inches clearance until the line on the other side of the space. Finally, I told him that if he didn't give me his information that I would have to call the police. He told me to go ahead and so I did.

    While waiting for the police to arrive, he finally gave me his drivers license. I copied down everything. Meanwhile, he went to buy a camera. Turns out, he removed the paint from his car (I took pictures of it before he did, though) and tried wiping the scratch off mine. When the officer arrived, he told me that he couldn't do anything and was there to just "keep the peace." He then told both of us that should I decide to sue him, that it would be my burden to prove that he did it. The officer then pointed out that the information on his DL had to be recent, and he puckered up and wrote a more recent address for me. Finally, the culprit told me to get a few estimates around town, but still refused to give me his cell phone number.

    I'm going to get some estimates around town and pay him a visit to his residence. But should this get out of hand, what should I do? Pictures can be found below.

    PICTURES, click here!

    My response:

    His excuses are just that, "excuses". They are not legally cognizable excuses. He didn't have to park where he did if he couldn't do so without causing damages. This is what is called "negligence." He had a duty to you and others to not cause damages to other people's property. He breached that duty to you.

    Turn the matter over to your insurance company, and let them deal with him and his insurance. Your insurance company will send someone to YOU, or have you go to their inspection station, to make an estimate. There is no need for you to go all over town obtaining estimates.

    IAAL

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Someone opened their car door into mine, and refuses to pay

    aaron: No, the police did not obtain his insurance information. The police officer was very nonchalant about the whole thing.

    IAAL: Thank you, I will do that. I'm not even sure this guy has insurance. I went to his residence today and it's under a different name. I'll see if my insurance company can track him down with all the information I've gathered, which is basically his DL info and license plate.

    On a side note I went to an auto body shop today and got an estimate of $700. I was going to mail this to him but instead I'll just take IAAL's advice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Someone opened their car door into mine, and refuses to pay

    Called my insurance company and filed a claim, gave them all the information and a description of the incident. Someone should be coming out and taking a look at my car soon; I shouldn't be required to pay anything.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Someone opened their car door into mine, and refuses to pay

    That's why I like to park far, far away. I like to walk and need the exercise anyway.

    Some people are just careless and inconsiderate when they open their doors, others park so close that when people come back they just can't get in.

    It's important to request that a police officer fill out a collision/accident report so you can get address,insurance info., etc. It's their job!

    If a person has collision coverage, they can always fix under policy and their company will pursue the jerk for them. Or one can just take them to small claims court.

    It is good protection to be able to take pictures on the scene. If one doesn't have a cell phone than can take pics, they could have a cheap disposable camera kept in the car in case of an accident.

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