Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

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bogle22
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Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by bogle22 »

I need some direction. Stopped at a red light. A 15 year old hit my car on the side panel after a bag she was carrying got caught in her spoke. About $800. Worth of damage, plus a rental. She wasn't hurt, called for police and a report was issued. When I notified my car insurance, they followed up and her mother rents without insurance and has no money according to her. I have a $500. deductible. The insurance is passing it to collections. If collections has no luck, should I take her to small claims court. I don't mean to be heartless, but the kids had iPhones, nice clothes and had just bought sneakers.
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by Daryl »

You'd probably win in small claims court, but have trouble collecting (just like the collection agency).
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prudent
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by prudent »

Can you barter for yard work, cleaning the garage etc. that could work off the debt?
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bogle22
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by bogle22 »

Where there is a minor involved. The police advised not talking directly to them. After collections is through I will send a certified letter. But just wanted to figure out if this doesn't work, am I aggravating myself with small claims.
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by livesoft »

I think you will spend more of your personal time than $800+ trying to collect any money. That's part of life.
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orca91
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by orca91 »

bogle22 wrote:If collections has no luck, should I take her to small claims court.
No.

It sounds like a true accident. Stuff happens. I would call it very petty if you drag it out to the max. over this. JMO
Alchemist
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by Alchemist »

Pay the $500 deductible yourself and move on with life. This is really, really not worth the aggravation on your part to attempt getting blood from a turnip.

This is why you have a cash emergency fund. Is it right you have to pay for this? No it isn't, but attempting to apply justice instead of mercy really would be punishing yourself with the aggravation and placing a poor family who is in a bad situation into a worse one.

Write the check, then pour yourself a nice drink and forget about the whole thing. Or at least that is what I would do. I've had two cars hit in parking lots by hit and runs so I do understand the frustration but in those cases it was easier for me to pay the deductible and get on with life instead of getting mad over it or wasting time trying to play detective to figure out who did it.



ETA: I say this as a car person. The first car hit was a Camaro Z28, the second one to get hit was a GTO while I was in a movie theater....the very same day I finished detailing it myself (waxing and everything in Florida heat) so again, I really get how angry you must be about this.
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by White Coat Investor »

That aggravation wouldn't be worth $800 to me. I let a $1000 issue go when I was making a lot less than I do now that was similar (hit by illegal immigrant without license/insurance etc who totalled my car and I had a $1000 deductible.)
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dodecahedron
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by dodecahedron »

Let it go. Not worth the aggravation. And be grateful. For perspective, the accident could have been so much worse (the bag getting caught in her spokes could have happened with slightly different timing after the light turned green, causing a collision when both of you were moving, with potentially devastating physical and emotional consequences, let alone financial ones.)
RudyS
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by RudyS »

prudent wrote:Can you barter for yard work, cleaning the garage etc. that could work off the debt?
I go for that. Drop the attempt to get cash, way too much aggravation. Stuff happens. But that's a great idea.
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JDCarpenter
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by JDCarpenter »

I do law, and agree with the consensus here.

And if you've ever sat through a state court docket call, much less small claims court, you'd likely be quite happy to pay to avoid it. I had to do one small claims case for a corporate client many years ago. Yuck. Prepare to waste half a day. Court time drags, much time wasted as everyone in front of you is called.... (Of course, you may live in an efficient, user-friendly, dream jurisdiction the like of which I am not aware!)

Then, once you have a judgment, you need to collect.... On a minor ....
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carofe
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by carofe »

I had a similar problem with a homeless guy running into my SUV with a bike. The homeless guy ended laying back on the road injured. The police came, and the homeless began to claim I hit him :annoyed. But several witnesses and the traffic camera discouraged him from keeping lying. The emergency officer told me I wasn't going to get anything out of the homeless guy to fix my car dent. I was more worry about him being OK than the truck, it is a 1993 vehicle, a cast iron tank, that probably hurt a lot.

One year later, my SUV still has the dent.
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Small Law Survivor
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by Small Law Survivor »

Yes, don't know what state you're in (small claims varies from state-to-state), but it's probably not worth your time to go that route. You'll probably get a judgment against the kid (she won't even show up, most likely), but collecting against her would be a big, big hassle.
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TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by TheGreyingDuke »

JDCarpenter wrote:I do law, and agree with the consensus here.

And if you've ever sat through a state court docket call, much less small claims court, you'd likely be quite happy to pay to avoid it. I had to do one small claims case for a corporate client many years ago. Yuck. Prepare to waste half a day. Court time drags, much time wasted as everyone in front of you is called.... (Of course, you may live in an efficient, user-friendly, dream jurisdiction the like of which I am not aware!)

Then, once you have a judgment, you need to collect.... On a minor ....
I agree it is not worth pursuing but when I had a small claims case (against VW, not a diesel issue) we had a hearing set for 1 PM, got in on time and was out of there 35 minutes later. I am in Vermont, sometimes you do get what you pay for.
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BolderBoy
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by BolderBoy »

bogle22 wrote:I have a $500. deductible. The insurance is passing it to collections. If collections has no luck, should I take her to small claims court. I don't mean to be heartless, but the kids had iPhones, nice clothes and had just bought sneakers.
Collection agencies have infinitely more resources and time than you have. Let that be it. The insurance company will let you know if the collection agency has any successes. I've had collection agencies send me my share of their collections many years after the fact.

Also, let the minor and her parents hate the collection agency and not you.
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tim1999
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by tim1999 »

Speaking from direct experience, it is almost impossible to collect on a small claims judgment, especially if the person doesn't care about it being on their credit report as open.
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dm200
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by dm200 »

Collection agencies or collections departments of insurance companies have many more resources to collect on something like this than just about any of us. Just don't waste your time trying to do anything yourself.
Spirit Rider
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by Spirit Rider »

Is a civil collection against a minor even enforceable?
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by Doom&Gloom »

Agree with the "let it go and move on" posters.
letsgobobby
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by letsgobobby »

I wouldn't even have reported this to my insurance company.

I would have asked mom for a payment plan or payment in kind plan - as suggested, trade for lawn mowing or something. But wouldn't spend much energy on it as collecting is unlikely.

We were broken into a few years ago and the criminal caught and sentenced to jail. He owes us several thousand dollars in restitution (far more than he stole). Believe me that I am not trying to collect any money from him.
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Watty
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by Watty »

prudent wrote:Can you barter for yard work, cleaning the garage etc. that could work off the debt?
I would not let some stranger that can't come up with $800 work on my property under duress. There are too many things that could go wrong.
bogle22 wrote:The insurance is passing it to collections.
Unless there is already some sort of court judgment I don't see where the collections could be very effective except for bugging the person to try to get them to pay.

Trying to collect a million dollars from that person would be impossible but for $800 if the person is employed then her wages can be garnished to pay the judgement if it goes to court. I have occasionally worked with people in large payroll departments and wages being garnished is real common.

I would try to not worry about it until the insurance company has said that they have done all they can do. Do call them periodically to keep them working on it. There is a chance that they will cover the $500 just so that they don't have to pay their lawyers to take her to court.

(Disclaimer: I was once a teenager and while I was far from being known as a hell-raiser, but I did have a few "spots" on my halo. If you get stuck with the deductible then you might consider if there is anything in your teenage years that would make the cosmic karma score more even.)
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by Boglegrappler »

I agree to just let it go. Although I'd be certain to minimize any idea that you were somehow at fault. Hopefully the police report takes care of that.

Many years ago I ended up in small claims court because of a dispute over a painting bill. It was eye-opening. What happens is that you wait all day, and when you finally get called before the judge yourself, he threaten both of you that he might decide for the other party, and suggests it would be better for you to step out and see if you can reach a settlement on your own. If you don't, when your turn comes up again, (hours later), he does the same thing again.

I concluded that the judges are afraid of the people who end up on court for amounts so small, and they don't want to make any decisions. In any case, I resolved to not end up there again, and haven't.
sls239
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by sls239 »

Can I tell you something about the clothing?

Some poor kids need to be dressed nice because otherwise they risk being seen as a um, troublemaker. Please don't judge their finances on their clothing.

(For adults, this also applies to cars).

If you've never felt the need to dress a certain way to avoid negative attention, consider yourself lucky.
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by mikep »

letsgobobby wrote:I wouldn't even have reported this to my insurance company.

I would have asked mom for a payment plan or payment in kind plan - as suggested, trade for lawn mowing or something. But wouldn't spend much energy on it as collecting is unlikely.

We were broken into a few years ago and the criminal caught and sentenced to jail. He owes us several thousand dollars in restitution (far more than he stole). Believe me that I am not trying to collect any money from him.
Agree and I'd suggest to raise your deductible to $1000 so you aren't tempted to file a $300 claim.
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by Epsilon Delta »

orca91 wrote:
It sounds like a true accident. Stuff happens.
There is no accident here. It's at least negligence, probably gross negligence, possibly reckless endangerment.

Riding a bike with an unsecured load that can get caught in the spokes is morally equivalent having a mattress on top of a car being held down by the driver sticking an arm out the window. It's not a question of if but when.

Unfortunately the standard of cycling in the US is abysmally low and this will remain the case until there is some mechanism for instructing/encouraging people who are are unknowingly doing very stupid stuff to shape up. When I was a lad a great many members of the public would have politely explained what I was doing wrong. When I was a bigger lad the explanations would not have been as polite. Now almost all of the public interactions are to suggest that I abandon safe and legal practice in favor of unsafe and illegal practices.

Of course none of this affects the OP, unless he wants to tilt at windmills pour encourager les autres.
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by Perkunas »

Epsilon Delta wrote:There is no accident here. It's at least negligence, probably gross negligence, possibly reckless endangerment.

Riding a bike with an unsecured load that can get caught in the spokes is morally equivalent having a mattress on top of a car being held down by the driver sticking an arm out the window. It's not a question of if but when.

Unfortunately the standard of cycling in the US is abysmally low...
To the OP: this situation sounds wholly unfortunate and not worth an ounce of time or worry.

To the quoted poster: I beg to differ. You are talking about a 15 yr old and we don't have the story but saying that riding a bike while carrying a bag (presumably grocery bag or something similar if it got caught in her spoke) is "gross negligence" is pretty much a grossly negligent assumption. "Morally equivalent to reckless endangerment".... sorry, not even a chance. Kid. Riding a bike. This isn't someone with a gun or running someone over with a car.
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by Mr. Gatti »

Watty wrote:
prudent wrote:Can you barter for yard work, cleaning the garage etc. that could work off the debt?
I would not let some stranger that can't come up with $800 work on my property under duress. There are too many things that could go wrong.
This. All I can see is kid falling and breaking his neck or cutting his foot off with the lawn mower. You will be much easier to collect from if a case is then filed against you. What personal injury lawyer wouldn't be salivating over a case like that?
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by Ninegrams »

Perkunas wrote:
Epsilon Delta wrote:There is no accident here. It's at least negligence, probably gross negligence, possibly reckless endangerment.

Riding a bike with an unsecured load that can get caught in the spokes is morally equivalent having a mattress on top of a car being held down by the driver sticking an arm out the window. It's not a question of if but when.

Unfortunately the standard of cycling in the US is abysmally low...
To the OP: this situation sounds wholly unfortunate and not worth an ounce of time or worry.

To the quoted poster: I beg to differ. You are talking about a 15 yr old and we don't have the story but saying that riding a bike while carrying a bag (presumably grocery bag or something similar if it got caught in her spoke) is "gross negligence" is pretty much a grossly negligent assumption. "Morally equivalent to reckless endangerment".... sorry, not even a chance. Kid. Riding a bike. This isn't someone with a gun or running someone over with a car.
+1 Gross negligence would be texting or being otherwise needlessly distracted while driving and hitting a cyclist or pedestrian, which happens all too often.
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by robertalpert »

bogle22 wrote:her mother rents without insurance and has no money according to her. I have a $500. deductible.
.

No apartment insurance?

Do you have uninsured motorist coverage?

Would your $500 deductible apply in this case?
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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by Earl Lemongrab »

prudent wrote:Can you barter for yard work, cleaning the garage etc. that could work off the debt?
I would be reluctant to have a minor girl whom I don't know coming to my house in an "indebted" situation. Seems fraught with much bigger peril than a few hundred bucks.

Earl
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by jcar »

The identical incident happened to my wife. Our coverage was a Lower deductible but what occurred is the mother attempted to sue my wife for negligence. It was thrown out of court on a summary judgement. It will be difficult to recoup the out of pocket I suspect.

EDIT my wife just reminded me uninsured motorist coverage covered the deductible.
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burt
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by burt »

You gotta be kidding me !
Absolutely forget it, and be very thankful you didn't hit the person.

burt
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by CedarWaxWing »

An innocent kid with a normal accident and very little resources.. .forget it and move on. If the kid was drunk, or a scum bag (like my recent car hit by drunk scumbag with his business vehicle no less... and they had insurance) in some obvious way... that may be diff.

Forget and forgive and be grateful you can afford to do so.

Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by crit »

mother rents without insurance and has no money according to her.

I would absolutely not take this person to collections over $500.

Be kind. Do unto others. Etc. And as said above, don't judge an iphone, that mother may well be struggling to give her child the appearance of normal to her peers.

It was an accident - don't turn it into a catastrophe for them.
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by Loik098 »

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
prudent wrote:Can you barter for yard work, cleaning the garage etc. that could work off the debt?
I would be reluctant to have a minor girl whom I don't know coming to my house in an "indebted" situation. Seems fraught with much bigger peril than a few hundred bucks.

Earl
Agreed. Nowadays, you'd have a harder time getting a minor to come to do (quality) work to pay off a debt than you'd have getting them to show up to small claims court. This suggestion seems like it's straight from the 1950s.
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by Teague »

When I think of the mistakes and mishaps from when I was young, and all the goodhearted adults that cut me some slack when things could easily have turned very bad, I'm tempted to send you the money myself to make this go away for that family.
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dodecahedron
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by dodecahedron »

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
prudent wrote:Can you barter for yard work, cleaning the garage etc. that could work off the debt?
I would be reluctant to have a minor girl whom I don't know coming to my house in an "indebted" situation. Seems fraught with much bigger peril than a few hundred bucks.

Earl
On further thought, I might suggest that she put in some community service hours at a well-run nonprofit of my choosing doing worthy work for the community, supervised by someone else, not me. Volunteering at a bike safety education nonprofit might be one possibility.
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by Perkunas »

Just remember this is a 15 year old girl who crashed her bike.

Some folks are suggesting punishing her or making her repent by doing community service or something. Think about what you would do, as a parent, if your daughter crashed her bike into a car. Hard to teach a kid a lesson when they didn't do something wrong. Maybe there is more to the story, but based on what we know, I'd hope the driver was more worried about the kid than the dent and taking someone to court.
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by Bekki »

It sounds like your chances of recovering any of your money are somewhere between zilch and nil.

I would just suck it up, and let it go. Maybe scream in to a pillow or something, because it definitely hurts to be out $500.

Maybe send a letter to the family, asking the girl to find a way to "pay it forward" one day.
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by mickroark »

In Colorado its against the law to drive without insurance. When an uninsured driver rear ended me causing $1400.00 in damages they were unable to pay. So I complained to the local police and they arrested the driver and the courts issued a restitution order. They garnished his wages when he got a job. It took a couple of years but I got paid.
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by BolderBoy »

mickroark wrote:In Colorado its against the law to drive without insurance. When an uninsured driver rear ended me causing $1400.00 in damages they were unable to pay. So I complained to the local police and they arrested the driver and the courts issued a restitution order. They garnished his wages when he got a job. It took a couple of years but I got paid.
... and Colorado has a pretty good restorative justice program for minors - they are pretty good about "forcing" the minors to pay up. Only seen it applied in criminal proceedings, however.
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BolderBoy
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by BolderBoy »

Perkunas wrote:Just remember this is a 15 year old girl who crashed her bike.

Hard to teach a kid a lesson when they didn't do something wrong.
I'll take issue with this. Her behavior caused damage to someone else's property. To let her believe she did nothing wrong obviates her responsibility for her behavior, doesn't it?
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by gundlached »

I would let it go. Not a lawyer.

I'd rake an uninsured motorist over the coals. Not a kid on a bike.
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by sambb »

15 year old crashes bike, and some reactions are to lawyer up..
I would let it go
mouses
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by mouses »

Stuff happens. This does not sound to me like the kid did something wrong. Let it go.

As I have gotten older, I care a lot less about a scratch or ding on my car. My car looks 98% fine. Does the 2% matter? No. It even got dinged once shortly after I had had it repainted. So what.

Thank your lucky stars this wasn't a terrible injury accident for the kid.
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by joebh »

Epsilon Delta wrote:There is no accident here. It's at least negligence, probably gross negligence, possibly reckless endangerment.
Negligence, gross negligence, and reckless endangerment are legal terms. You have no basis on which to form a legal opinion on this case.
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by bottlecap »

RudyS wrote:
prudent wrote:Can you barter for yard work, cleaning the garage etc. that could work off the debt?
I go for that. Drop the attempt to get cash, way too much aggravation. Stuff happens. But that's a great idea.
No. Ther are all sorts of potential pitfalls with this. And you don't even know these people.

What if she gets injured while "working"?

And as someone else mentioned, you don't want a 15 year old girl you don't know spending time at your house if you happen to be a male.

While it stinks that the parent won't own up, just let this one go.

JT
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by Epsilon Delta »

joebh wrote:
Epsilon Delta wrote:There is no accident here. It's at least negligence, probably gross negligence, possibly reckless endangerment.
Negligence, gross negligence, and reckless endangerment are legal terms. You have no basis on which to form a legal opinion on this case.
Cyclists are are subject to traffic law as drivers of vehicles in all fifty states. In all states I am familiar with drivers are required to secure their loads so that they can't shift in a way that will cause a safety hazard. The description of the incident is that she failed to secure her load, then it shifted and caused a collision that damaged somebody else's property. So an illegal act caused harm to somebody else. Which part of the definition of negligence is not meet? In many places the illegal act makes this more than simple negligence.

This is reasonable law. Violating it causes a danger to herself and others. Those who are saying she did nothing wrong are endangering this girl and others like her. A fifteen year old who is doing illegal things that endanger her life (and the lives and property of others) needs to be told about it. Now that doesn't mean the OP has to sue her, but her mother darn well ought to ground her and the general community (that includes you, bogleheads) needs to make it clear to her and others that this is unacceptable behavior.
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by dm200 »

Epsilon Delta wrote:
joebh wrote:
Epsilon Delta wrote:There is no accident here. It's at least negligence, probably gross negligence, possibly reckless endangerment.
Negligence, gross negligence, and reckless endangerment are legal terms. You have no basis on which to form a legal opinion on this case.
Cyclists are are subject to traffic law as drivers of vehicles in all fifty states. In all states I am familiar with drivers are required to secure their loads so that they can't shift in a way that will cause a safety hazard. The description of the incident is that she failed to secure her load, then it shifted and caused a collision that damaged somebody else's property. So an illegal act caused harm to somebody else. Which part of the definition of negligence is not meet? In many places the illegal act makes this more than simple negligence.

This is reasonable law. Violating it causes a danger to herself and others. Those who are saying she did nothing wrong are endangering this girl and others like her. A fifteen year old who is doing illegal things that endanger her life (and the lives and property of others) needs to be told about it. Now that doesn't mean the OP has to sue her, but her mother darn well ought to ground her and the general community (that includes you, bogleheads) needs to make it clear to her and others that this is unacceptable behavior.
Nice theory, IMO.

Also, IMO - taking aggressive against a fifteen year old is both unlikely to have any positives and might incur efforts and some degree of risk. Leave it alone.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Post by Doom&Gloom »

When and where I grew up, the driver in such a case would never consider a lawyer. And some of them might even consider gifting the girl with a basket or saddlebags for her bike.

Sometimes the good old days really do seem like the good old days. *sigh*
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