Unfairly blamed for damage-- what do i do?

Submitted: Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 00:20
ThreadID: 24133 Views:2528 Replies:23 FollowUps:12
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Hi all,

A colleague has found a small ding on their car door. The ding is round and about 4-5mm across. They have decided that we must have done it. I obviously said that I didn't do it (seriously, I didn't).

We were parked next to their car and the ding is around the right height for our door. I am certain that I didn't do it but circumstances suggest that it is possible.

2 Questions... WHAT DO I DO??? and is it legit to offer to pay for the repair providing insurance companies are not involved (i worked out it would cost me about $1500 in lost no claim bonus if it went thru insurance)

Thanks for your wisdom
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Reply By: Member - Crazie (VIC) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 00:27

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 00:27
Mike

Unless you did it, you have no obligation to pay to fix it. It seems a bit rude to even accuse you...Your colleague might find some wisdom in going to a shopping centre and looking at how many vehicles line up with that dent..
crazie
AnswerID: 117166

Reply By: Trekkie - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 00:34

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 00:34
In a previous life I was a general insurance broker.
If you did not do it dont pay him - he will either claim from his own insurance or sue you himself. I doubt that his insurance company would see any value in persuing you. He will need to produce evidence that you did the damage (witnesses)

There is no law to stop you paying the repairs (ie exclude insurance companies) However If you do, get him to sign an indemnity.

(Dont take this to be legal advice - or Insurance advice - it is not legal for me to do that)
AnswerID: 117167

Follow Up By: BenSpoon - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 01:15

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 01:15
true.
If you do not admit liability you are sweet.

nice disclaimer trekkie.
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FollowupID: 372630

Reply By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 00:34

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 00:34
Unless they came up with sufficient evidence to convice me that my vehicle caused the damage I wouldn't pay a cent, being possible is not sufficient evidence. Darn rude of them I reckon.
AnswerID: 117168

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 00:39

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 00:39
Wait till he is there, grab the sleghammer out of the car, stick it through his door, adn point to it, and say, THAT I did.. the other I didnt.
if your going to pay for it anyway, may as well make it worth while
AnswerID: 117169

Follow Up By: Nudenut - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 07:26

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 07:26
nows thats something i would love to do.....

lets all vote to make it wothwhile !
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Reply By: rig pig - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 01:35

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 01:35
Tell him……..To build a bridge, and get over it
AnswerID: 117176

Follow Up By: ColinD - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 11:35

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 11:35
Tell him to go to bed with a full length mirror, and wake-up to himself...........
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FollowupID: 372665

Reply By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 02:31

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 02:31
I think its a bit rude I mean I would have asked if you did it and if the answer was no and there was no other evidence you just have to suck it coz thats life. Unlike in Bali you are innocent until proven otherwise
AnswerID: 117178

Follow Up By: Member - Jack - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 10:09

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 10:09
In Bali you are guilty until you come up woth the money to buy off the judiciary.

Jack
The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll-Alice In Wonderland)

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Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 20:16

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 20:16
In Bali you get a great holiday, great service, friendly service, cheap meals, the experience of another culture. I've just had another two weeks there and can't wait to get back.

Just don't get involved in drugs and you won't end up in Gaol.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jack - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 21:40

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 21:40
I'll pass that on to Schapelle.

Jack
The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll-Alice In Wonderland)

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Reply By: bob@judy - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 05:28

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 05:28
You say the ding is 4-5 mm across and will cost $1500.00 to repair.Does your so called friend drive a gold plated Rolls 4x4.
If you doubt you done any damage let alone $1500.00 worth, don't pay, if you know you did then you should pay up but get a proper quote, ding & scratch should do, not rebuild the door through a panel beater.
AnswerID: 117182

Follow Up By: Member - mikeyandmary (NSW) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 21:13

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 21:13
Its not the ding that will cost $1500, its the amount I will lose thru losing my no claim bonus.
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FollowupID: 372754

Follow Up By: Member - DOZER- Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 16:03

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 16:03
Gday do u have a mr ding in your area??? They use suction to pull small dents out and would probably be less than $100...however, i side with the rest of us on this...whilst it would be a nice thing to assist this colligue of yours by fixing his car while you arnt sure you did it, im sure he/she isnt sure it wasnt done at the local either...you could suggest to them that you will pay half on these grounds, but only because you have to work with them for x amount of years after that....otherwise, tell them to get it fixed with insurance and take it from there...re no admitting of liability......thats why you have/pay insurance....it takes the personal issues away from you.
ps i have a few dings in my car and im sure you did them.....
Andrew
b4 you bag me out, walk a mile in my shoes, then your a mile away and have my shoes :)

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Reply By: Brew69(SA) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 07:22

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 07:22
What sort of colleague are you talking about? All that needs to be said is that you absolutely did not do the damage and that your word is good. If this is any sort of friend then thats all that would be needed as they will believe you. If its a work colleague it gets a bit more difficult, but as stated don't pay for what u didn't do. Remember in this country we are still innocent until proven otherwise. Good luck with it.
AnswerID: 117186

Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 07:30

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 07:30
Mike

Clearly your colleague has determined that there is no ongoing friendship to preserve, and perhaps there is some pre-existing animosity toward you or your type of vehicle. So that means you don't have to be so concerned about the social niceties. All you need say, in a letter perhaps, is that you definitely didn't do it. It was mostly likely inflicted by a child forcefully opening a door, or someone maliciously damaging their vehicle, and that accidental damage from someone such as yourself would not have caused such serious damage.

Was the damage alleged to have been caused by your drivers door, or could one of your passengers have done it without you being aware?

Having been the victim of both kids (as above while I sat in the car), and malicious damage, I know that minor dings cost about $60 to fix. Major dings involving respray of the whole side of the car cost over $1000.

It may have been possible for your car to have done it, but then, has he ever parked alongside another vehicle ever? That is equally possible.

If you did feel the need to preserve the peace whatever the cost you might offer to help pay for the damage while still denying any responsibility, but clearly state that you are doing this for that reason and not because there is any way you could have caused the damage.
AnswerID: 117187

Follow Up By: Member - Chrispy (NSW) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 08:00

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 08:00
"Clearly your colleague has determined that there is no ongoing friendship to preserve"

...indeed!

Why waste time contemplating niceties when your "colleague" has already dumped his?

If you yourself are sure that you did not contribute to the carnage, then back off and be content to see him as a problem - nothing more.
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FollowupID: 372640

Reply By: Nudenut - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 07:30

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 07:30
Mike, is it equally possible you didnt do it?...was your car parked next to his all day?
meaning someone else may have parked there for a short while

any signs of paint on your or his car...

was dent clean....suggetsing it was older than the day it happened?
AnswerID: 117188

Reply By: vitara - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 07:47

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 07:47
Mate I wouln't pay a cent or admitt you did it unless you did. Don't even say i'm not sure. Either you did or you didn't. my quess you didn't or you would remember. To cause $1500 worth of damage no way. This is a work friend, TELL HIM/HER TO JAM IT.and as truckster stated I would do better than that. If your going to get blamed for it make it worth while,make use of your arb bullbar or rear stepbar same as myn especially if you have the tow hitch still attached they can do big damage more than $1500. Work Freind ha DONT PAY A CENT NO PROOF NO MONEY !!!! Take Care Vitara
AnswerID: 117193

Reply By: Brian B (QLD) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 09:56

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 09:56
Hey Guys,

Like others have said.

You have said you didn't do it so he needs to accept that. If he doesn't then that is his bad luck and if he goes on about it to you then you maybe need to tell him that you are ticked off that your word is being questioned.

At the end of the day if you didn't do it then don't pay or admit any liabilty.
AnswerID: 117213

Reply By: Member - Banjo (SA) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 10:14

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 10:14
Nah - he (she) thinks you did it - he doesn't know you did it - he wants to blame someone - you know you didn't do it - does he check all of his doors thoroughly everytime he returns to his vehicle ? You are watching an exercise in human nature - he'sbleepoff and looking for a solution - you don't have to be in the story - if you state that you are careful with doors and didn't do it, its over !
AnswerID: 117218

Reply By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 11:47

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 11:47
If you do decide to pay let me know where you park. I've got a few dings that could do with a touch up. hey if a few of us join in we should get a bulk and save you a few bucks.

Sorry....can't help myself :)
AnswerID: 117235

Reply By: slyonnet - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 14:23

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 14:23
I agree with everyone on that one. If you did not do it don't pay up and obviously he's not worth keeping as a friend.
My wife used to work in a shopping centre and the poor Daewoo Lanos she drove then was covered with dents and marks all over some of which more than 20cm long! Nothing we could do about it. People just don't care about other people stuff. So tell him he is actually lucky if he's got only a 5mm dent!
What proof has he got that you did it. It could have been there for weeks or done that day by someone else. People can do some damage trying to pass through cars with trolleys.
Good luck with it.
Rgds,
Sly.
AnswerID: 117250

Reply By: Member - Karl - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 15:45

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 15:45
The onus of proof is for him to prove that you did it. If you didn't do it - then don't pay. By paying you are admitting liability.

If he was a friend he would accept that, if he doesn't then he is not a friend.
AnswerID: 117271

Reply By: Member - AVA 191 (QLD) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 18:40

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 18:40
What Karl said - if you pay, you are admitting guilt.
(remember a bloke in the US by the name of Jackson.......?)
AnswerID: 117303

Reply By: Member - Pezza (QLD) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 19:48

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 19:48
Hi Mike,

am in full agreement with everything said, also IMO there is no loss in not having "friends or colleagues" as rude as that.
I think my rigpic signature covers this situation.

Avagoodn
Pezza
AnswerID: 117318

Reply By: Member - Ray - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 21:32

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 21:32
Mike,
Give him 40cents and tell him?her to go and ring someone who gives a Sh** about their petty opinions.
AnswerID: 117334

Reply By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 11:47

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 11:47
Get a few quotes and tell the collegue you like them and would like an ongoing friendship with them.

Tell them that there 'is' doubt and you are an honest person, but if you both agree beyond a shadow of doubt it was YOU then pay.

If you dont agree beyond a shadow of doubt you'll split it 50/50 or 70/30 or whatever.

It seems you are in a wonderful opertunity to make a new life long friend. People do strange things even you do, it's called human nature

Friends dont come easy and if it does not pan out that you are friends in the long run you've paid say $800 toward some dent you did not do, in order to repay all the little ones you did actually do to others.

Lifes roll on and on and on.

iMusty

AnswerID: 117387

Reply By: Diamond (Vic) - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 13:37

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 13:37
tell him to ring mr dent(should be some one like that in nsw) we used him a few times around $40 for a dent removal and no need for respray.
AnswerID: 117403

Reply By: Peter - Sunday, Jun 26, 2005 at 04:46

Sunday, Jun 26, 2005 at 04:46
if your door is not marked you didnt do it. simple as that. a ding on a door will leave a corresponding mark on the other vehicle. if youhave no mark you have no worries.
also, reverse the argument. whats to say your colleague didnt hit YOUR vehicle. you may well be the victim. not the colleague.
AnswerID: 117487

Reply By: Member - Chrispy (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 26, 2005 at 08:10

Sunday, Jun 26, 2005 at 08:10
So...after all the advice in the world...... what was the outcome? Did this bloke pull his head - in or did you pay up?
AnswerID: 117492

Follow Up By: Member - mikeyandmary (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 26, 2005 at 09:15

Sunday, Jun 26, 2005 at 09:15
The colleague wanted to know who was driving, I said it was me. My wife and I told her again that we did not hit her car. The colleague said ok.

I hope its the end of it but who knows. I just don't want to lose my no claim bonus over something I didn't do.

BTW. I am being vague as to the identity (e.g. male/female, car type etc.) of the other car owner as it's not worth the risk of getting into trouble for possibly identifying them.
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FollowupID: 372896

Follow Up By: Member - Chrispy (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 26, 2005 at 09:17

Sunday, Jun 26, 2005 at 09:17
Too true.

Good to hear that it appears finalised though.

Cheers
Chris
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FollowupID: 372897

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Jul 04, 2005 at 11:41

Monday, Jul 04, 2005 at 11:41
... I am being vague as to the identity (e.g. male/female, car type etc.)

but you said earlier
"My wife and I told her again that we did not hit her car" ;)~

It would have to be a woman, of other nationality driving ableepbox, that thinks its a rolls, and the quote will be in the thousands, which will cover a paint job from her Uncles Panelshop...
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FollowupID: 373927

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