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  1. #1
    msn25 is offline Junior Member
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    Skateboard accident - Whose fault?

    What is the name of your state? TX

    Can you please provide some advice for this situation...

    I live in an apt complex in Texas and of course the complex is surrounded by parking lots for the residents. I often skateboard in a cul-de-sac/parking lot area outside my building. The cul-de-sac is positioned perpendicular to a road that leads through the parking lot and around the complex. The road that leads through the complex has speed bumps every 100 ft or so. Just at the edge of the cul-de-sac is one of these speed bumps.

    The other night (around 9pm) a friend and myself were outside skateboarding when I fell off my skateboard and the board rolled into the road mentioned above. At that point, a car was driving through, who was easily driving over what should be a cautious speed limit and ran over the skateboard. Due to the speed of the car, the board somehow dented the panel to the right of drivers side front wheel, just to the left of the drivers door. The damage was pretty shocking considering it was a skateboard, and unbelieveably the skateboard had just a mere fracture and is actually functional. At the time I was really shocked and felt extremely sorry for the situation. In an effort to appease the situation I told him to get an estimate and I would take care of the damages. A week later he informs me that the damage will cost a little under a $1000. Being that I am a college kid, that is quite unaffordable. I told him that I wouldn't be able to afford that, perhaps we could split it. He said that wouldn't be a problem. Now a few days later, he calls and tells me that since he can't afford half either, I am to pay the full amount...

    In this situation, whose fault is this? If this was to go to court... What legal actions would take place? What would you do?

    If there is any ambiguity, please ask.

    THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR TIME!
  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by msn25
    What is the name of your state? TX

    Can you please provide some advice for this situation...

    I live in an apt complex in Texas and of course the complex is surrounded by parking lots for the residents. I often skateboard in a cul-de-sac/parking lot area outside my building. The cul-de-sac is positioned perpendicular to a road that leads through the parking lot and around the complex. The road that leads through the complex has speed bumps every 100 ft or so. Just at the edge of the cul-de-sac is one of these speed bumps.

    The other night (around 9pm) a friend and myself were outside skateboarding when I fell off my skateboard and the board rolled into the road mentioned above. At that point, a car was driving through, who was easily driving over what should be a cautious speed limit and ran over the skateboard. Due to the speed of the car, the board somehow dented the panel to the right of drivers side front wheel, just to the left of the drivers door. The damage was pretty shocking considering it was a skateboard, and unbelieveably the skateboard had just a mere fracture and is actually functional. At the time I was really shocked and felt extremely sorry for the situation. In an effort to appease the situation I told him to get an estimate and I would take care of the damages. A week later he informs me that the damage will cost a little under a $1000. Being that I am a college kid, that is quite unaffordable. I told him that I wouldn't be able to afford that, perhaps we could split it. He said that wouldn't be a problem. Now a few days later, he calls and tells me that since he can't afford half either, I am to pay the full amount...

    In this situation, whose fault is this? If this was to go to court... What legal actions would take place? What would you do?

    If there is any ambiguity, please ask.

    THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR TIME!
    I don't know why the driver would initially agree to pay half. I certainly would not have. Your skateboard shouldn't have been in the street. I hate to say it, but if your dog had gotten into the street and gotten hit by a car, you would have been responsible for the man's damages as well. I don't understand why you think he should have to pay for your actions?

    You indicate he was speeding. Were the police called after the incident, and was he cited for speeding or are you estimating that he was speeding?
  3. #3
    msn25 is offline Junior Member
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    The fact that its in a residential complex has no change in the situation?
  4. #4
    racer72 is offline Senior Member
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    Your uncontrolled property damaged someone elses property. The speed of the vehicle is irrelevent, the damage could have occurred at the speed limit. Guilty as charged, case closed.
    If you feel my answer is rude, mean, snarky or in anyway not to your liking, I did my job. You don't need to tell me.

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  5. #5
    Sabor is offline Member
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    heh..

    Kind of a bad situation you got into. But you do have some options.
    Its unlikely that this guy will want to take you to court over damages of his vehicle for sub 1000 which, maybe a overestimate in the first place?
    Most cases will settle before they are brought to trial. Even though you do not have money try attempting to make a payment plan with him. Ask the person is the damage to your vehicle causing your vehicle to be in a non driving condition or is it simply cosmetic. If it is cosmetic tell him you will pay the damages over time, in which you can pay him monthly sums you can afford for the cost of the damage. Once damage is payed he can pocket or fix the vehicle if it really is damaged to this extent. I also suggest finding if any of your friends knows a body shop mechanic or at colleges often have body shop schools(especially community colleges) where they might be able to give a free estimate of a fair price to fix, you would be surprised what a second estimate might bring or with bargaining, say hey " I got these pictures how much, to fix, other guy told me 700." whatever its life , just try to get a good deal on it. In this case , 1000 is not so much for body work, they are probably just going to replace with aftermarket, throw some paint and clear coat for 4 hours work.

    So the damages do not sound to outrageous. That is the problem with major scratches or dents, you have to replace the intire part rather then fix it. It simply cost less in aftermarket situation and less hours. Anyways, if it does go to court do not be afraid because even if he gets a judgement against you, he still has the collect the same way he is doing now. You understand? See, whether u have no money now or later doesnt matter if you have a judgement against you, because fact is you still have no money and he wasted all that time for 1000usd. It becomes his responsibility to collect or put liens on your property, im assuming you dont have much property here anyways. Besides this would have to bea terribly horrible person, which I gather he is not assuming he would pay off half initially. I highly suggest you look at the nolo press books available at nolo.com. They are cheap and give excellent advice for your situation.

    So your to do list:
    1.Call him negoitiate if the damage is not stopping him from commuting.
    2.Ask for pictures or bring someone to his vehicle for viewing for a 2nd estimate, then based on these two estimates give him a monthly payment program, i assure you he will be happy as he is in a situation where he wont get any money since the time invested pursue against you for damage in smallclaims/court exceeds the amount to fix & collection fees.
    3.If he really wants to take it to court, prepare a defense, buy a nolo press book from nolo.com based on your specific criteria, and defend yourself. State he was driving fast in a residential,complex and thats why he did not even have enough time to avoid your skateboard. IF he was driving a safe and reasonable speed, this incident would not have happened.

    Good luck, although this is freeadvice.com try taking the goodadvice only. Some people simply do not help.
    Last edited by Sabor; 10-28-2005 at 03:33 PM.
  6. #6
    msn25 is offline Junior Member
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    um...

    Thank you all who have replied, greatly appreciated!

    Although, I still am a little blurry on why it's my fault...

    Yes I see how my uncontrolled property damaged his property... But in fact he initiated contact. He damaged my property....

    Had I been running in the middle of the parking lot, and he struck me, would I be liable for his damages...

    Another instance. A friend of mine own several horses. (remember i live in texas) One night the horses jumped the fence and were roaming in the streets. A driver tried to avoid the horses but struck one. Killed the horse and totalled his vehicle. He was held responsible for the cost of the horse and his vehicle... (it went to court)

    What if I left my board lying out in the middle of the street, and he drove by and hit it...

    Aren't vehicles always supposed to yield to pedestrians?

    The reason I'm asking these questions is because I truthfully have no idea why/how this situation is either of our faults. Granted its someones... but it seems as if it could be either one depending on the perspective.

    Plus I also feel since skateboarders have a negative connotation, its just a given whenever there is a issue, the skateboarder is at fault.
  7. #7
    msn25 is offline Junior Member
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    Again...

    I would like to reiterate, this accident was not in a street. It was in a parking lot.
  8. #8
    teflon_jones is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by msn25
    Yes I see how my uncontrolled property damaged his property...
    Ok then pay the man.

    Quote Originally Posted by msn25
    But in fact he initiated contact.
    How?

    Quote Originally Posted by msn25
    He damaged my property....
    Sure, because of your negligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by msn25
    Had I been running in the middle of the parking lot, and he struck me, would I be liable for his damages...
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by msn25
    Another instance. A friend of mine own several horses. (remember i live in texas) One night the horses jumped the fence and were roaming in the streets. A driver tried to avoid the horses but struck one. Killed the horse and totalled his vehicle. He was held responsible for the cost of the horse and his vehicle... (it went to court)
    What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

    Quote Originally Posted by msn25
    What if I left my board lying out in the middle of the street, and he drove by and hit it...
    Then you'd have one broken skateboard, and could be liable for any damages to his car.

    Quote Originally Posted by msn25
    Aren't vehicles always supposed to yield to pedestrians?
    A skateboard is not a pedestrian.

    Quote Originally Posted by msn25
    The reason I'm asking these questions is because I truthfully have no idea why/how this situation is either of our faults.
    Yes you do. You've already stated in your first sentence:
    "Yes I see how my uncontrolled property damaged his property..."

    Quote Originally Posted by msn25
    Granted its someones... but it seems as if it could be either one depending on the perspective.
    No. See above.

    Quote Originally Posted by msn25
    Plus I also feel since skateboarders have a negative connotation, its just a given whenever there is a issue, the skateboarder is at fault.
    Maybe they have a negative image because they try to avoid paying for damages that are entirely their fault?
  9. #9
    RobbieSue is offline Junior Member
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    I'm certainly not an expert, but I think the driver's comprehensive insurance should cover this, especially since it happened on private property.
  10. #10
    racer72 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieSue
    I'm certainly not an expert, but I think the driver's comprehensive insurance should cover this, especially since it happened on private property.
    Besides your comments being absolutely false concerning this case, why waste valuable resources responding to a thread that died long ago? Please don't revive the dead, especially when your totally wrong.
    If you feel my answer is rude, mean, snarky or in anyway not to your liking, I did my job. You don't need to tell me.

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  11. #11
    RobbieSue is offline Junior Member
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    What valuable resources were wasted?

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