My question involves defamation in the state of: CALIFORNIA
Hi, to make a long story short here it is:
At 8:45 PM on a Sat. nt. we pulled into a private club with an unpaved and unlit parking lot. My husband and I started to back into a parking spot when we realized our large truck would not fit. He stopped, at which point the sliding fifth wheel hitch in the back slid and made a loud clunk noise as it normally does. We moved to another spot about 50 yards away and no sooner than we got out was the owner of the vehicle which we were previously about to park next to standing in our head lights telling us we hit his car.
We got out and told him that we didn't feel we hit anything. We went to inspect his car, there was damage to the passenger rear which looked concave like he hit a pole. We inspected our car, not a scratch, dent or any other sign of damage.
We did not want an altercation so we did the right thing and gave him our insurance info., and said we would let the insurance handle it. He would only give us his name and ph. number.
Next thing we know he suddenly has a "impartial witness" who "saw the whole thing" and swears we hit his car. This witness then proceeds over the next few weeks to tell several versions of the story to the club management and other members. He also began following me around the club staring us down and following us out to our car. He has been reprimanded for these actions at least twice that we know of.
The owner files a police report stating that we admitted to him we hit his car. An independent appraiser hired by the insurance co. came to inspect the vehicles and took pictures and measurements. He stated that there were no signs of damage to our truck and that the measurements of our bumpers could not possibly match up. His damage ended at 24 inches off the ground, our bumber starts at 29.5 inches off the ground. He stated that in his opinion we did not hit anything with our truck.
However, Because the witness gave a statement (and was supposedly impartial) the insurance co. sided with the other owner. Since the damage repair costs were minimal at $600 the insurance company didnt care much about handling the claim properly and signed it off. They paid the owner a check of $600.
The same day the owner got the check he went to court and filed a small claims case against us for $5000, for time and repairs.
We finally just got all of the report info. from the ins. co. wherein the witness statement is contained. In it, he explains that he knows the owner of the vehicle, therefore making him not an impartial witness but a biased one. The ins. co. has admitted to us that our claim was mishandled, and decisions were based on the witnesses statement not the factual or physical evidence. And that the part in his statement where he admits to knowing the car owner was overlooked.
Now we have a false police report filed against us and a small claims case against us and the ins. co. doesn't want to help clean up their mistakes. what do we do?