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Truck Backed over my Vac

Strava

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A truck backed over my vac and bent my light pole. I was able to get the company name off the security video. I talked to the owner of the company and they admitted it was their truck. He wants me to give him a cash number to decide if he wants to write a check or get insurance involved. Should I give him a price on the vac, install cost & lost income, or make sure it goes through his insurance provider? Thanks for the advice.

 

Randy

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The first thing you need to do is call the police and file a police report for "Felony Hit and Run" aganst the driver, the driver knew he hit your vacuum island. Get the companies insurance information, I can almost guarantee they are going to tell you to go pack sand once they find out how much it's going to cost to repair the damage. Then call for estimates from a few different car wash distributors, whatever you do DON'T try to be Mr. Nice guy and let them fix or take cash.
 

washnvac

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The nerve of you putting that vacuum right there; well lit with a lighted dome. I cleary see how he could not see it.

Seriously---what Randy said. I have tried to be Mr. Nice Guy a few times and have gotten screwed. Never again.....
 

Roz

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Not everyone is trying to screw you. Give him a $ number for the replacement which is fairly easy to calculate and a short deadline to cut you a check before you will need to file a police and insurance report. If the police report and insurance report is delayed a week (worst case) it is still valid as you have the video and tracked down the owner. Most business owners know that if they are at fault, caught on video, and then try to not cover the costs it will come back to bite them one way or another. Just make certain you have the right total cost.
 

Earl Weiss

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The first thing you need to do is call the police and file a police report for "Felony Hit and Run"
Maybe not - I was surprised to learn in Illinois it's a minor crime. Dependig on town cops may or may not be interested.
 

Earl Weiss

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" Should I give him a price on the vac, install cost & lost income, " Absolutely. Just like I take care of relatively small damage claims. Keeps the insurance rates from going up.
 

ICEMAN

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Absolutely involve the police. This driver , who has a cdl, will be given a ticket and may lose his cdl. He knew he hit your vac but was too lazy or did not care enough to look for a number to call. Why in the world would you try to be a "nice guy". I had a guy come to my wash with a skid loader he rented that was packed with mud. He parked it so he could stretch the hose out and wash the mud off in my parking lot. His buddy used a shovel to knock off huge chunks of mud leaving about 200 lbs of mud in the lot. I went to his business and told the owner what happened and told him to cover the clean up and all was good. He told me that is what a car wash is for, I said see you in court. Ended up costing the guy 1000.00 dollars. He is responsible for his driver's actions. HIs driver should have been a "nice guy" and should have done the right thing.
 

Randy

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I learned many years ago that if you play Mr. Nice guy you’re going to get screwed one way or the other. Years ago I had a semi-truck try to drive into a bay. Ripped the mansard up to the tune of around $2000. The driver denied the whole incident until I sent the video to the owner of the construction company. The driver came to me crying the blues that he’d lose his CDL if he had a Felony Hit & Run citation on his record. So being Mr. Nice guy I dropped the charges as he said he’s pay for the damages. It got ugly after that. I must have called and E-mailed the owner of the construction company 25 times, took me almost a year to get it fixed.
The last incident was a long 2 car hauler trailer. The driver and his wife got stuck in the back of the car wash trying to get out and the only way they could get out was to ram down part of the back fence with there trailer, they knocked down the fence with the trailer, damages were around $1700. I have audio on the cameras and you could hear them laughing about running down the fence. It took some doing but the police found who he was and filed Felony Hit & Run on the driver and he came to me crying about losing his CDL and livelihood if he got a Felony Hit & Run citation. In the end he lost his CDL and still had to pay for my fence. Had he called me and told me what happened I wouldn’t have not pressed the Felony Hit & Run charges. He told me that I was PRI$K and that I didn’t care about him. That’s why I’m not Mr. Nice guy anymore.
 

Robert2181

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Also include all labor (your time). And remember availability time for replacement.

I had it happen 2 times over the years. I would say about 8 to 10 thousand in damage. Light and pole, vacuum and crash poles ,labor and shipping.
 

MEP001

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Something similar happened to a friend recently. He was in the process of closing on a wash, and a truck driver took out a brick column for a bay. Driver admitted fault and left his company's info with the attendant, but company is denying responsibility and refusing to pay. This happens in almost every case I've been involved with, including shipping and receiving damaged goods, trucking company will lie and deny until they lose in court.
 

mjwalsh

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Not everyone is trying to screw you. Give him a $ number for the replacement which is fairly easy to calculate and a short deadline to cut you a check before you will need to file a police and insurance report. If the police report and insurance report is delayed a week (worst case) it is still valid as you have the video and tracked down the owner. Most business owners know that if they are at fault, caught on video, and then try to not cover the costs it will come back to bite them one way or another. Just make certain you have the right total cost.
I am with Roz on his approach consistent with me hitting the "like" button. What I will add is that I would be firm on the few days that you are requiring them to pay. I could be wrong; but it seems like you could use the lever of being able to file a criminal complaint to make sure they hurry up the proper amount! Keep in mind it was a "hit & run" which should make it more than just a "civil offense" Since the evidence is so clear ... if it did come into "small claims" along with an eventual police report & filing ... it would tend to be a "slam dunk" IMHO.

From actual experience ... some officers handle these events differently. I know one time an officer said he would not help track down the offender in the future ... if I personally was not willing to file the more serious "hit & run" formal complaint! Other instances the officer said I don't need to part of showing up in court or filing an affidavit ..... he would do the "criminal hit & run charge" without me. Another situation had a more forgiving officer who said to get back to him if the "careless driver" did not properly pay up with "fair compensation" that the small business owner requested. Like Earl possibly alluded to "your specific town or city" might be a factor on how you proceed.

As far as Randy's "evidence of laughter" it seems like "Marsy's Law in some states might also come into the picture. I know we had graffiti happen to a just painted $8,000 exterior paint job & it was right after Marsy's Law was passed in our State of ND. I was shocked that the officer that responded ... insisted that I & the "also affected" neighboring business ... fill out the Marsy's Law Form for "VICTIM DAMAGE".
 
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Strava

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Thank you for the great advice everyone. The state police are involved and pursuing it as a hit and run. The driver's company insurance contacted me & we are going to move forward with a claim on their insurance. Now I'm vacuum shopping.
 
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