Car Park Incident - Chad.R
Some friends of ours came over yesterday and told us of a minor (supermarket) car park incident that they were involved in, the summary of which is;

Our friend (on her own) had parked up and was getting out of the car when a gust of wind blows the door wide open causing it to bang into the adjacent car's door. The driver and passenger of this car, get out and have a look to see if there's any damage. All parties have a good look and agree (verbally)
that no damage has occured. Our friend does her shopping and comes back to her car only to see the driver and passenger waiting by her car. Their car has now been moved to another parking bay. They claim that some damage has been done and show her a dent in the door that clearly wasn't apparent earlier.

Our friends have already settled the insurance claim (£500) privately due to not wanting to loose their NCB but when she asked me what she should have done at the time of the incident, I really didn't know what to say....
what would you have done?

Chad
Car Park Incident - Mike H
After stage 1 (door gets bumped, all agree that no damage done), I would consider it finished.

When stage 2 comes up (car moved, allegations of damage not previously there), I would tell them to whistle for it, and take me to court if they felt that they had a substantiated case - which clearly they haven't. Obviously one would phrase it more elegantly than this!

If they did take it to small claims court (or even insurance company), I would simply tell my truthful side of events. They would find it difficult to consistently bluster their way through. Small claims court works very strongly on balance of probabilities - if I was in the right, I'd find it much easier to look the arbitrator in the eye.

These are of course only my opinions, but at the end of the day, if you are in the right, it is much easier to take a firm stand end hope that, eventually, the blusterer will spot that the effort is being wasted.
Car Park Incident - Chad.R
I appreciate that most of us would "tell them to whistle for it" but unfortunately our friend felt somewhat intimidated at the the time (reasonably so, I think) and also wasn't sure where she she stood legally - it was basically her word against theirs and because it was some 30min or so after the incident that the damage was pointed out she couldn't be 100% certain that she'd simply missed it first time in the heat of the moment.

Certainly proves the case for carrying a disposable camera in the glove box, take as many snaps as you've got on it from every angle and that £10 or so may save you much much more in the long run....

Chad.
Car Park Incident - tunacat
You say they've already paid the other party £500? What if they'd refused to discuss the matter further? Surely the other party would have to PROVE that the damage had been done by your friend? Which party has the stronger case? Any witnesses?

Need help from our judicial members here!

Tricky one, at the time, though having read your post, in future I'd suggest we all

-check for and get details from any witnesses
-carry a camera (better still a camcorder) in the car and photograph any 'damage' immediately
-get all parties to sign a written agreement of any 'damage', even if it's zero
-get back in the car and drive off to another supermarket to do one's shopping
-maybe just report it to the police so at least they have a record if the other party start unjustified hassle later
Car Park Incident - Cliff Pope
I'm sure you are right in theory Tunacat, but it is easier said than done.
I once tried to report an incident in which an idiot deliberately rammed my LandRover. There was no damage (to my vehicle!) and he drove off laughing. The police said I couldn't report it because there was no proof of any damage therefore no accident.

In this incident I'd just have refused. Otherwise anybody could come up and expect to get away with any allegations they liked. It seems suspicious to me that the other car had been moved to a new place. Why did they do that if they were trying to claim the correspondent's car had damaged theirs?
Car Park Incident - Galaxy
By the other car being moved you have lost any possible chance of "matching" the claimed damage, i.e. does the damage match, for example, where one of your doors would touch the other car. I would consider this act would negate any possible chance of them subsequently claiming that damage was caused to their car.

Personally I would have told them to get lost.
Car Park Incident - LongDriver {P}
Did they just "pay £500" or did they see the invoices for the repairs?
Car Park Incident - Welliesorter
It seems a good idea to carry a camera, but who would have bothered to take a photo if they didn't believe there was any damage?
Car Park Incident - Cliff Pope
It seems a good idea to carry a camera, but who
would have bothered to take a photo if they didn't believe
there was any damage?


Yes, quite. They were only picked on because of the previous incident. But people like that could just as easily have picked any likely-looking 'victim' and then pretended that person had done the damage. You can't photograph negative things that haven't happened.
Car Park Incident - Hugo {P}
>> It seems a good idea to carry a camera, but
who
>> would have bothered to take a photo if they didn't
believe
>> there was any damage?
>>
Yes, quite. They were only picked on because of the previous
incident. But people like that could just as easily have picked
any likely-looking 'victim' and then pretended that person had done the
damage. You can't photograph negative things that haven't happened.


Yes you can Cliff,

You photograph the undamaged door and then of the car with the reg number showing and keep this for evidence. If the idiot comes back to you, you then tell him that you have sufficient evidence to cast huge doubt on his claim. Tell him he's a liar and a cheat and you will prove this in court and report him to the police for attempting to obtain money by deception, and harrassment if it continues.

That should put him on the back foot.

H
Car Park Incident - BobbyG
Paid £500 for damage - what damage was involved? If it was a dent chance that dentmaster could have goot it out for £50 and maybe a wax and polish with a good cutting compund would have worked?

What exactly was the damage to the other car?
Car Park Incident - weatherwitch
I have to say that my first reaction to this would have been to tell them to get lost (being polite there ;) ) but she was female and on her own, which could easily make you feel intimadated straight off. I'd have gone back to the supermarket on some pretence (left purse/cheque book behind) and returned with a security guard myself.

I would have asked them why they moved the car, and then asked the supermarkets security guard for the CCTV footage of the car park. My thoughts are that the other people have to have damaged their door deliberately with this in mind, which to me is fraud. All agreed there was no visible damage so how did this damage occur later on?

The supermarket is extremely likely to have CCTV which may well have caught these people damaging their own car themselves. Not all the cameras are in obvious places. Even if the incident wasn't on film, the suggestion of CCTV footage might have made the other people back off with this claim.

Why on earth did they pay this ridiculous figure? If it was repaired professionally by a garage then what was the other car, a BMW with rare specialist metalic paint? If I was them and it didn't occur that long ago I'd look at the legal aspects of this, it's possible deliberate fraud in my opinion, especially since all three of them agreed that there was no damage.
Car Park Incident - Cliff Pope
You are right Hugo, in this instance there was non-damage to photograph. What I meant was there are people who try on this stunt without the fortunate occurence of a real but negligible bump beforehand. There are apparently people who take their damaged car to a carpark, park next to another unoccupied car and then accuse the driver of causing the damage.
It's like the imaginary accident that is becoming increasingly common.
Car Park Incident - SteveH42
Did they just "pay £500" or did they see the invoices
for the repairs?


My thoughts exactly. £500 seems really OTT for a dent to a single panel. (I was quoted between £460 and £700 for dents to all 4 panels down the side of the car) so unless some proof of expense was shown I'd definitely query this.
 

Value my car