Neighbor Parking Problem

Four units in our building. Received a letter yesterday from the guy who parks next to me telling me that I hit his car. He is asking for **half of the $650 dollars **that the quote he attached shows that it is going to cost to repair.

I never touched his car and in can see no damage other than a couple non-descript paint streaks on his rear bumper. There is definately no damage on my car.

Anyway, if I don’t pony up the money he is going to report me to the police for a hit and run and take me to small claims court. The police are “going to match the paint on your car to the paint on our car.”

I’ve reported the incident to my insurance agent and supplied him with photos and a copy of the letter.

I will not talk to him. I’ve tried talking to his mom before but her only method of dealing with things is to get defensive and yell loudly.

What is my next step if anything?

Thanks

If you hit his car, why is he only asking for half of the damages? If you hit-and-ran, why is he hesitating to call the cops?

I think it is “wait and see” time. Sounds like he is Prenda-ing, hoping for quick “to make it all go away” settlement with no intention of actually going to court.

Your next step is to have this thread moved to IMHO-- the forum for asking advice. :wink:

Maybe file a complaint with the police of his attempted fraud and extortion? :slight_smile:
At least warn him you’re thinking of that if he harasses you again.

Basically, unless the damage is obvious and matches up, there’s no proof you hit him. If it does match up, then there’s still no proof you were in motion not him - unless it’s the position of the damage (I.e. one car’s front corner, the other car along the broadside.) This is where the insurance usually ends up in 50-50… Each pay for their own damage. Do bumper heights even line up? Would you actually ahve left rubber strip not paint? No paint missing on your car?

Unless he’s ready to perjure himself and say he saw you do it. Then, it comes down to credibility. be sure to write down a journal of exactly what he claimed at each encounter with him, just in case “it happened last night” morphs into “I saw you do it”.

Report the guy and his mother as problem tenants to the landlord; remember that your cars are parked near each other, if you tick him off too badly you may find yourself with broken headlights, taillights, etc. afterwards. (See “asshole” in the dictionary).

I very much doubt that the police are going to do a paint match for a situation in which there is so little damage (if any) to a car. Surely it would cost hundreds of dollars to do so?

Oops! Thanks!

Does it seem like this guy does not have insurance? Would not most people report damage to their insurance agent rather than deal directly with the other party? “Let’s just work this out together” always sounds like “I don’t have insurance.”

No paint is missing on my car nor is there paint on my car that matches theres.

We have been having parking issues lately with this jerk.

BTW, how much is your deductible? I would think that the $325 he’s demanding is less than that, in which case the insurance company wouldn’t be involved anyhow.

Maybe he hit your car and this is a preemptive strike!

Record some video of your car mentioning today’s date (and/or showing today’s newspaper) and documenting that there is no damage on your car that corresponds with any damage on his car.

Contact the police and tell them you are being threatened with extortion (cuz that’s what this is). Explain the situation, and if you can get an officer to stop by, show him your car and your dick-neighbor’s car. If there’s new damage to either one, show him the video so you can confirm what the condition of the cars were at the time your dick-neighbor made his threat.

With any luck, the officer will talk to your dick-neighbor, possibly with you present. At which point the two of you can set him straight, pointing out that your car isn’t damaged, the officer has personally witnessed this, and you have video evidence documenting the lack of damage.

They could just not want to risk having their rates raised, but this particular guy sounds like a scam. Follow your insurance agent’s advice.

Yup.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator

Send him a certified letter that says:

Dear Neighbor,

I have received your extortion attempt to not report a crime in exchange for a cash payout. I have filed a police report. I did not hit or otherwise damage your vehicle. I have notified my insurance company of your attempted scam.

Sincerely,

Laggard

I don’t think the OP should do that unless he finds another, preferably enclosed, place to park. There’s too much opportunity for the neighbor to engage in mischief.

Laggard:

First of all, he might have liability insurance but not collision. Secondly, he might be trying to get you to pay what would otherwise have been his deductible. Thirdly, the rise in one’s insurance rates for filing a claim could easily exceed the simple cost of repairs. It’s totally normal to want to work things out directly rather than report to insurance. That’s always been my preference, and I have full insurance coverage.

I agree you should not talk to this guy. Since you didn’t hit him and your car has no damage, if I were you I would do nothing right now. Let him make a move. If he asks why you didn’t reply to his letter you could just say since I didn’t hit your car I figured this was just a mistake. If you have a relationship with your insurance agent you might ask him to look your car over so he can verify it had no damage.

Dick-neighbor’s liability insurance would pay for the other party’s damages when dick-neighbor is at fault; dick-neighbor’s collision insurance would pay for dick-neighbor’s damage when dick-neighbor is at fault. If the OP were in fact responsible for the damage, then dick-neighbor should not have to claim against his own insurance (unless the OP lives in a no-fault state).

It’s not normal to begin with threats of police and legal action; that’s something you reserve for later, after the culprit has declined to work things out amicably.

Get a good camera and take lots of photos. If he does something stupid like taking you to small claims court, you want evidence. Make sure that the photos have a date/time stamp.

Machine Elf:

True, but if it happened while parked, then it may be difficult to prove fault to the insurance company’s satisfaction.

For sure, but still, that’s just an indicator of dickishness, not of non-insurance.

Or he may take your money and do nothing, except hit the bar for a few nights… Who cares about a few scrapes on your bumper if you’re the sort of idiot who can’t scrape up $600?

That’s your best move. That’s why you have insurance. Let them handle it. I strongly suggest you completely ignore the idiot and leave it to the pros. There is no action you can take that will have a positive outcome for you. Either it’s a bluff and he will do nothing, or he’s totally fucking batshit. I do have a couple of questions for you though:

[ol]
[li]What is in the photos that you sent to the insurance company? Your car, his car, or both?[/li][li]What is the damage described in the repair quote? If it’s a legitimate estimate it will be quite detailed as to what is to be repaired, breakdown for parts and labor, etc.[/li][li]Is the quote consistent with the condition of his car?[/li][/ol]
He has been watching too much CSI. The police aren’t going to bother with that kind of analysis when nobody was even injured. That kind of thing is for fatal hit and run accidents, not parking fender benders. The police may not even want to write a report if the guy waited so long to report it.

Best case: He just gives up and goes away.
Worst case: He actually gets you into small claims court, where the case will be dismissed as his word against yours, or lack of evidence.

Liability doesn’t have a deductible.