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Discussion Starter #1
Grrrr... I know this is long, but bear with me.

My girlfriend just bought a 2000 Focus a week and a half ago. She parked it in her apartment lot Friday night, and when I looked at it on Saturday morning, I saw someone had hit it!!! Looked like someone turned too sharply while backing out of the space next to her and creased/dented/scraped the bottom third of both of her driver's side doors with their bumper. Easily over $500 worth of damage. And, you guessed it, no note on the windshield. :mad:

Before this happened, that car was in pristine condition!!!

Even worse, her insurance company (whom she just started coverage with a week and a half ago when she got the car) sent her some paperwork to fill out, but since she was out of town for a week, she couldn't get it sent in -- so she has no comprehensive or collision insurance right now. And the insurance company wants to take picutres of her car before they put that coverage back on -- so there's no way in hell they're going to pay for this, as it happened while her coveraged lapsed, and they'll know it.

Earlier today, she found a car that she believes did it (early 90's Olds Cutlass) -- the paint on her doors matches the color of that car, and that car has what looks like primer (from her car) and scratches on the right place.

Several people have told her to contact the police, file a report, and see if there's any way to prove that it was the Olds that hit her. She's hesitant to do so, as she doesn't think they'll be able to do anything for her.

Anyone know much about situations like this? Do you think the police would even come out to take a look at it, given this happened a few days ago? Do they even bother to try to match paint (i.e., the maroon paint that was left on my girlfriend's gold car) in situations like this? Anyone have any suggestions as to other courses of action?

My girlfriend's really strapped for cash right now, so if she can't get the other person's insurance to pay for it, I'll end up having to try to fix it myself. I've never done much body work, and while I'm not so concerned about how it would look, we do need to make sure it at least won't rust. She needs to be able to keep this car for a looooong time.

What do you guys think? :sad:
 

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Well, you could definately file a report. AND.....depending where you live they may or may not come out and look at it, it's techinically a hit and run so they may come out regardless. And yes they can match paint chips and farely easily tell if the damage patterns match up. My dad (keep stupid comments to minimum) was approached by someone in our neighborhood who had their truck hit and he thought it was someone at his work, my dad figured out within 5min that the guys mother in law had backed into his car, realized she hit, pulled forward, and backed out by running through the grass. All of that without the car (a blue neon) even being present. You'd have been better off contacting them right away though. The insurance company more than likely won't cover anything, just because they suck and they're a business. Business's are in business to make money, why do they want to lose any $$$? Good luck with getting her car fixed, and I'd definately hope that your local cops would be willing to show up and do a investigation.
 

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I'd at least try to get the cops to do something. What's the worst thing they could say?... " Sorry, can't do any thing."....and you're not any worse off. BUT, what if they can do somthing? At least then you have a chance to get it fixed.
 

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If the paint matches, take them to small claims. File a police report first.

Take lots of pictures too. Of both cars. If you see a spot where theres still other paint on the other car, take a picture. The judge will see that, and it will be an short case.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the input, guys. She called the police this morning. They came and looked at the two cars, and the officer said that while he thought it was probably the Olds that hit her, it wasn't conclusive, so there's not much they can do. He said it'd cost $3000 to do any kind of paint matching, so that's out of the question. He said they'd file the report and it'd be submitted to her insurance company (not that they'll pay, anyway). I guess I'll just have to fix it myself. Oh well...
 

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An idea.....

Go to the owner of that Olds and say that you called the police and filed a report. Tell him/her that he/she can prevent thier insurance company from finding out about this (thus not raising their insurance rates) if he/she will pay for the damages to the Focus out of his/her pocket.

:)
 

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Warlord187 said:
An idea.....

Go to the owner of that Olds and say that you called the police and filed a report. Tell him/her that he/she can prevent thier insurance company from finding out about this (thus not raising their insurance rates) if he/she will pay for the damages to the Focus out of his/her pocket.

:)
Otherwise known as blackmail:D
 

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Anyone know much about situations like this? Do you think the police would even come out to take a look at it, given this happened a few days ago?
Had a drunk hit one of my s-10's (was parked on the side of the road next to my house...residential street). Found a cornering light, from the ford emblem and size/shape/pn, i could tell it was from a red(paint on my truck) 91 F150. called the cops, they came over and asked me how i knew what i did.. they drove 1/2 way around the block and found the truck that did it. Took him to jail (stunk like beer) and charged him w/ ouil/leaving the scene. His insurance co paid for it in full...
 

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Dude, I feel your pain. The same happened to me, but I got lucky. The dumb B1tch parked in front of my apartment two days later.

I had peices of the other drivers marker lights, which I left in place until the police got there (ALWAYS CALL THEM). The officer took pics of the peices then I kept them to compare. Two night later I see a car with matching paint and a busted marker light. BINGO. I called the cops, they made a report, they gave me the owners info. I went straight to her apartment and told her she needed to pay. She bitched, she called me a liar, then she called her insurance company. They Bitched, they called me a liar, then I told them the Police were there, they made a report, and the marker light fit. I got a check in the mail two weeks later.

I hope your story has a happy ending too.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, get this... Right after the police left, my girlfriend did leave a note on the suspect car asking the owner to contact her and settle it w/out getting the insurance companies involved. When I went down there this evening, I saw that a note had been left on my girlfriend's car, from the owner of the Olds -- the owner admitted that she had done the damage and apologized profusely. From what I gather, she doesn't have much money and as a result was afraid to tell anyone she did it because she'd have a hard time paying for it. I do have some sympathy for that, but considering my girlfriend doesn't have any money right now either, I'm still glad to see she owned up to it. She left her contact info and offered to pay for the damage in installments if needed and would be willing to work something out -- she just really wants to keep her insurance company out of it.

What do you know -- sometimes stuff like this really does work out.

...Now we just have to start getting some estimates from body shops, which should be a bit of a squeeze, seeing as how I'm moving in a week. :crazy:
 

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Oy!

Personally I say get insurance involved and let them take care of it. I've had a few friends go the route you're speaking of and inevitably they had wished they went the insurance route. Costs recovered just didn't match the inconvenience of the problem that someone else caused.

But, if you do plan to settle without insurance company help ABSOLUTELY create a written contract that both of you sign and date outlining EXACTLY what the intentions are, right down to exact dates payments are due, with some sort of clause about penalty late payments after exact dates. Get the idea? This is absolutely crucial. Cover your ass COMPLETELY, and make sure that late payments REALLY HURT. Believe me, after 6 months of making payments that other party is gonna' be looking for ANY way not to complete the transaction, especially if they can find a way of legally doing it because of a shoddily written contract.

CYA baby, CYA...
 

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White97Sport said:
...from the owner of the Olds -- the owner admitted that she had done the damage and apologized profusely.
Wow! That's a surprise..... I wasn't expecting that. Glad to hear she admitted it.

I got nailed by hit and run once. Suffered a good 1-2K worth of damage. The guy hit me, stopped on a corner, and then drove off before I could get to where he was. I doubt he had insurance. The cops never found the guy - but the fact that the cop totally misunderstood everything I said - and then when I called back with details from a witness - he totally butchered the description - it's no surprise.
 

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Snorton Norton said:
Oy!

Personally I say get insurance involved and let them take care of it. I've had a few friends go the route you're speaking of and inevitably they had wished they went the insurance route. Costs recovered just didn't match the inconvenience of the problem that someone else caused.

But, if you do plan to settle without insurance company help ABSOLUTELY create a written contract that both of you sign and date outlining EXACTLY what the intentions are, right down to exact dates payments are due, with some sort of clause about penalty late payments after exact dates. Get the idea? This is absolutely crucial. Cover your ass COMPLETELY, and make sure that late payments REALLY HURT. Believe me, after 6 months of making payments that other party is gonna' be looking for ANY way not to complete the transaction, especially if they can find a way of legally doing it because of a shoddily written contract.

CYA baby, CYA...
Could not agree more with this...anything less and you will likely only see one or two payments and have a hard time collecting after that. Get a contract and then if you have a hard time recovering payments make a date in small claims court...the contract will come in handy there. Personally I would get my insurance involved to avoid the hassle but I could see going the payment route just CYA.
 

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Get the insurance companies involved. I think everyone has been screwed by not doing it, or at least knows someone who has. Also, you saved all the notes right?


Good Luck
 
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