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My Son Damaged Neighbours Car - Need Advice!


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Hi All,

 

About 2 weeks ago my son and another child were on a 2 seater go-kart which crashed into the door of a neighbours car.

 

At the time, I willingly offered to pay for the damage because I was under the impression that my son was solely to blame.

 

Upon further investigation it turns out that the other child on the go-kart grabbed the handle bars and caused the collision.

 

I suspect that the owner of the vehicle already knew this fact and deliberately neglected to tell me.

 

I now get the feeling that he is taking the **** and expecting me just to shell out the total cost for the repair because I was responsible enough to offer to pay thinking it was my son that was to blame.

 

He arrived this evening with a massive bill which is easily OTT for the damage caused, as I was out my wife explained to him that there was another child involved and his attitude was, I don't care you can split the bill.

 

Surely it is up to him to track down the other child and produce the other half of the bill to her parents as I get the impression that he is expecting me to do it?

 

I don't know the other child and apparently she was only visiting friends where I live.

 

As my child was one of the 2 on the go-kart and wasn't solely to blame for the crash am I correct in offering to pay half the cost of the repair and telling him that it is not my responsibility to track down the other child's parents for half the costs?

 

Is he taking me for a mug?

 

Thanks,

 

RI

Edited by RoyalIrish
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First of all, you should be entitled to see more than one estimate. The owner of the car has a duty to mitigate his losses. Secondly, who's cart was it? This will be the person liable for the damage. You havn't mentioned how old the children were and whether it happened on private property. If you consider that the other child had something to do with the cause of the 'accident', surely your child will know them ans therefore, you could possibly trace them? However, i'm not so sure you can ask their parents to contribute (eevn though perhaps they should).

 

My final thought at this stage is your household insurance... have you thought of that route? regarding the OTT bill, as I mentioned earlier, you should of asked for a couple of estimates before agreeing to pay. Did you discuss the damage in detail with the owner at the time?

 

__________________

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my scales at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice usefull.

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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Hi, Thanks for replying!

 

His estimates were £600, £470 and £270 (he stated that he was going for the £270 quote as the other 2 were blatantly excessive and bordering on fraud, the scratch is about 2 inches long with a tiny dent!).

 

The kart belonged to some other child in the cul de sac and my son and this other girl were riding on it.

 

My son is 9 and I guess the other child was 8/9 also.

 

I'm sorry but you know what kids are like, he only knows her first name (for some reason she has never returned!!).

 

It happened on a street in a development as far as I know it is public.

 

When the accident happened I went over and looked at the damage myself, it looked worse that what it was, of this I am sure.

 

My problem is that I am almost positive that it should NOT be my task to chase up another child's parents to ask them to contribute to a bill.

 

That is HIS responsibility, HIS car so HIS responsibility!

 

I have no intention of being his idiot.

 

I am quite irritated by his attitude, he seems to be under the impression that because I acted in a responsible manner and went to sort this out that he can just hand me the bill and I will pay it.

 

Should I agree to pay half the cost of the agreed amount and tell him that it is his problem to find the other child to bill their parents or should I tell him to bugger off and get the police involved?

 

I have a feeling this might get ugly and I want to avoid a brawl.

 

As I said, I have absolutely NO problem paying for half of the repair bill but because it was the other child's fault that this happened I am bloody sure I ain't footing the bill for her as well.

Edited by RoyalIrish
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If it were 2 other kids in the street and it happened to your car would you be happy to have to look for and chase someone unknown for money?

Would expect the neighbour who's kid was on the cart that did the damage initially say he would pay it all to only give you half?

 

I would expect the neighbour to be well p'd off.

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Personally I would deny all liability and let him claim off his insurance. It will be up to him then to show who was responsible.

 

Pretty hard to sue a 9 year old who has nothing.

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hope my quotes not like that!

 

ive got about 20 large scratches and 3 dents from an encounter with a brick pillar

 

ill tell you what i get quoted when i look aroun might help decide if hes claiming excessivly or not

Please note:

 

  • I am employed in the IT sector of a high street retail chain but am not posting in any official capacity,so therefore any comments,suggestions or opinions are expressly personal ones and should not be viewed as an endorsement or with agreement of any company.
  • i am not legal trained in any form.
  • I have many experiences in life and do often use these in my posts

if ive been helpful kick my scales, if ive been unhelpful kick the scales of the person more helpful :eek:

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The children were driving an unlicensed, unsupervised and uninsured motor vehicle (go kart) on a public highway without any form of driving licence. As the your child is under 18 years of age he is your responsibility and you may be laible for the actions of your child.

I would be very careful how you go about this as it could lead to more serious charges by the police. I think that £270 is an average quote for damage to a door especially if there is a dent where the scratch was made.

I know it is not what you want to read but you also need to look at the bigger picture and any repercussions. Claiming on insurance may also have the knock on effect of premiums increasing or not being able to get insurance.

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ok, firstly it wasn't a motorised kart it was a go-kart with pedals.

 

It wasn't a highway it was a residential cul de sac.

 

Secondly, after consulting a solicitor, I have found out that I am quite within my rights to offer to pay half the cost, as a gesture of good will, without predudice.

 

If he accepts fine, if not then there is very little he can realistically do.

 

It is a civil matter so the police would not get involved.

 

If he wanted to go to court to recover the other half of the bill he would have to prove everything and ultimately, it would be the owner of the go-kart who would be held to blame.

 

According to my solicitor!

 

As far as it goes, what he wants is for me to pay all the bill and approach the other child's parents for the money.

 

As I said before, this is totally unrealistic.

 

It's not my problem.

 

In fact, it's utter nonsense downright cheeky to presume such a thing!

 

RI

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you said he already mentioned you should split the bill? Well pay him half and say he'll need to chase the others for the rest. I very much doubt any court would make you pay all if it wasn't your cart.

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Apologies as I assumed that all go karts are motorised however a cul de sac can still be a public higway if maintained by the Highways authority.

If you have consulted a solicitor I am not sure why you are still asking for advice on this forum however I suspect that you think the solicitor's advice is incorrect?

IMHO I would agree with this as unfortunately you have admitted liability therefore the car owner can chase you for the repair and technically it is up to you to claim it back from the other party who was on the kart with your son. In addition, it was your son that was supposed to have been in control of the go kart when it crashed although he may have been distracted prior to the crash.

Never admit liability even if you are blatantly in the wrong.

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The mixed views expressed here is exactly the reason that I seek advice.

 

I think, at the end of the day, it's a 'good will' thing.

 

Technically, I didn't admit liability and even if I did it, unwittingly it was under the false assumption that my son was solely to blame, it is his word against mine anyway regarding the conversation!

 

Remember, this chap knew that there was 2 kids on the kart and he very conveniently forgot to inform me and let me believe that it was only my son.

 

It was only later that I found out the full story.

 

I would be quite within my rights to tell him to 'sod off and prove it' as I suspect that this is the response that most parents would give if put in the same position.

 

HOWEVER, that is not my style and offering to pay for half the cost (my son was only half to blame after all) is in my opinion, an honourable thing to do as I'm sure you will agree, if you think about it.

 

As for recovering costs from the other party, which was the thing I most needed help with, that is another story.

 

If I and another person owed you money you wouldn't expect me to pay all of it and then go ask the other party for it would you?

 

As far as I am concerned, it is up to him to recover the other half of the costs from the other child's family.

 

I have oodles of witnesses that saw them both on the go-kart.

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I think you might fall foul of a jointly and severally claim from your neighbour.

 

In common law if there are two or more people to blame it is possible to puruse just one and effect a full recovery, leaving that person (in this case you) to then split any costs with the other 'guilty' person.

 

I'm not too sure how that would pan out with a case against minors though, although as a parent you are responsible for their actions.

 

The law may well see this as a case of one innocent party (your neighbour) suffering damage as a result of others, the innocent party is aware of one of the cuplrits and could reasonably make a claim against them for the full recovery. As you state your son does not know the other child then the neighbour has no way of tracing them, and since they were innocent the law may well side with them.

 

Mossy

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I'm positive that the chap could find the other guilty party without to much hassle.

 

He knows her first name and I am pretty sure the people she was visiting.

 

The car was parked in the road, the actual road.

 

RI

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If the car had been parked on the pavement and the kids riding the go-kart on there you could have counter claimed that it was potentially causing an obstruction.

 

Hope all goes well with the outcome

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well for a repair to my car ive been quoted £670, £830, £250 and then £50 if i just want a respray and am willing to leave the dents in....

 

 

so its quite possible that they were realsistic quotes, on the other hand halfords has a dent removal service for around £65

Please note:

 

  • I am employed in the IT sector of a high street retail chain but am not posting in any official capacity,so therefore any comments,suggestions or opinions are expressly personal ones and should not be viewed as an endorsement or with agreement of any company.
  • i am not legal trained in any form.
  • I have many experiences in life and do often use these in my posts

if ive been helpful kick my scales, if ive been unhelpful kick the scales of the person more helpful :eek:

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If the car had been parked on the pavement and the kids riding the go-kart on there you could have counter claimed that it was potentially causing an obstruction.

 

Hope all goes well with the outcome

 

That would not have given rise to a counterclaim for anything.

 

The vehicle was parked and damage was done to it, regardless of whether it was fully on the road or part parked on the pavement, the person or persons who did the damage would not be able to claim anything.

 

Mossy

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That would not have given rise to a counterclaim for anything.

 

The vehicle was parked and damage was done to it, regardless of whether it was fully on the road or part parked on the pavement, the person or persons who did the damage would not be able to claim anything.

 

Mossy

You misunderstand me.. I am not advising they counterclaim in the court system sense. I mean "counter claim" as in argue/debate the full onus of responsibility and that by way of settling the matter they could argue the car was, not illegally parked, but parked in such a manner that it caused an obstruction to pavement users..

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You misunderstand me.. I am not advising they counterclaim in the court system sense. I mean "counter claim" as in argue/debate the full onus of responsibility and that by way of settling the matter they could argue the car was, not illegally parked, but parked in such a manner that it caused an obstruction to pavement users..

 

That would neither diminish or negate the liability of the person/persons who did the damage.

 

If an obstruction is there to see and you attempt to navigate around it and you damage it you are 100% liable for it, no arguments.

 

Mossy

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