PDA

View Full Version : Broken Window - Who pays/what would you do?


procut
11-19-2009, 02:36 AM
Alright, while doing clean a clean-up on Friday, at appears some stones were in the lawn and the mower happened to catch one and throw it shattering the window of a truck driving by. Now, the mower had a recycler kit in it, which completely covers the discharge, so the fact that a stone escaped and flew about 50 feet is completely beyond me.

Anyways, I was the one on the mower when it happened, and had no clue that a rock had escaped. At first I thought this guy was driving by with the window already broken by and saw a nice lettered truck and guys working and stopped looking for patsy to replace his window. However an employee was standing at the back of the truck fueling a blower and says he saw/heard it.

Now originally I gave the guy a card and said get an estimate to fix it and get with me. Well, the estimate was laying on the fax machine today, and lets just say, it's not a nice number.

Now that you know the story, my question is, am I really even responsible? I mean if you are happy homeowner, and you are mowing your lawn with your 21" on Saturday morning and throw a rock and break someones car window, do you have to pay, or is it the vehicle owners responsibility to just turn it in to their insurance?

I know it's not good biz, but I'm half tempted tp just tell the guy, "Hey, I didn't see it happen, the guards were all in place on the mower, if you think you can prove I broke your window, sue me."

I'll probably end up cutting the check for this, but just looking for some opinions.

pflasch
11-19-2009, 03:24 AM
That's a tough one!
If I had the mulch cover in place, and wasn't on the side of a hill where a stone could possibly escape, I'd probably tell the guy that there was no way you could have caused the problem!
Yes, people will drive around looking for pro mowers WITHOUT the discharge chute down (I hate it when I'm driving down the road and I see this... they are just asking for problems!!) and blame you for throwing a rock! What can you do? Not too much!!
But, in your case, I'd probably call the guys bluff... get my camera, take a picture of the mower, and where it was... with the mulch plate on, (have him / her in your photo also to prove you didn't take the photos later) and THEN tell him to contact their lawyer!

I think that it probably varies by state, but if your were running SAFE, and you can prove it with pictures... that has the "victim" in them... now THEY would have to prove that your equipment was the source of the rock... and with pictures, that's going to be tough!

BTW, I always carry a small digital camera in the glove box! Everyone should!

Have you ever done a property where you have seen something damaged BEFORE you even start to mow? Take a digital photo of the area BEFORE you mow, to prove to the owners that you were not the cause of the problem. If no one is home, leave a courtesy message on their phone telling them about the damage that you had found before you started to mow, and you had taken a photo of that damage... just be nice about it!

Without the photo or the phone call, YOU will be blamed... and how could you dispute the fact without proof.

With a photo and a nice courtesy call, you are not under suspicion, and you have an informed customer that will not take their business elsewhere... hopefully!! :dancing:

Hanau
11-19-2009, 03:43 AM
Yep, you're responsible. Hell your own employee saw/heard it happen. Be a man and step up to the pump. Send the guy a check with a nice note apologizing for the inconvenience. Be glad you didn't hit someone in the head and kill them.

If it's a huge number (can't be more than a few hundred for a truck window) kick it over to your insurance company.

This is the way it works. If you pay him he'll tell no one except real close friends and family. If you put him through the ringer he'll tell everyone who will listen about how you broke his truck window, almost killed him, and then wouldn't pay to make it right.

That couple hundred dollar truck window will cost you thousands in bad publicity and lost work. This is the digital age. Suppose he has a Facebook account and sends out a message to all his contacts. Then those contacts forward it to theirs, and so on down the line. 24 hours after you tell him to pound sand half the people in Michigan will know about this. Now suppose it winds up getting to your existing customers?

They're going to think "I'd better get somebody else before this clown breaks something on my property".

In the digital age this kind of public relations is more important than ever.

Not only is it important for your corporate image, but it's old fashioned being a good neighbor.

dKoester
11-19-2009, 04:16 AM
Only 1 Estimate? What does the law state about that?

White Gardens
11-19-2009, 07:55 AM
Pay for it.

Good for your business, business image, reputation, and I could go on and on.

I've had a couple of freak occurrences where I broke a window. Unfortunately it's the price you pay when you mow lawns, especially when you become larger and have more accounts.

JB1
11-19-2009, 08:13 AM
and say you were driving down the road and something flew out from somebody's mower and broke your window what would you do, probably would be jumping up and down screaming on how they broke your window. Quit acting like a scrub and fix the window.

Charles
11-19-2009, 08:37 AM
I have heard of a small claims court where the Judge ruled that the LCO was not responsible because the guard was down. The Judge was not saying the mower didn't do the damage. He was saying the LCO took reasonable care not let it happen. That the LCO was not being negligent.
Yea, I have had a big rock fly across the road. The rock sailed over a car coming out the opposite side of the deck with no discharge. I have had them come out of the front too. So it can happen. I think the rock hit the ground and bounced up over the road. I held my breath...
I hit a sitting truck rear window while weedeating. "Used truck"-- window cost me just under $400

ALC-GregH
11-19-2009, 08:52 AM
I can't believe you'd consider NOT paying. Your a scrub for sure if your trying to weasel your way out of it. Especially since your employee heard it happen. At least your employee is honest.

LouisianaLawnboy
11-19-2009, 08:53 AM
You were on someone's property and you employee heard you break the window. You broke the window, guard or no guard. Windows don't just shatter for no reason. You break you, you buy. My contract says I pay for anything I break, unless its caused by HO neglect.(Toys in the yard)

Also Charles, if someone tried to use the defense that they installed safety devices, my response would be that you were operating unsafe because you mowed over rocks.
Posted via Mobile Device

Turf Dawg
11-19-2009, 08:54 AM
I had to have a window replaced on a Chevy extended cab. The small window on the extended cab door was 380.00 to have replaced. The glass people said it would have been alot cheaper if it had been the windshield.

BTW, I think the farthest I have shoot a rock [or other object] was out of the side of a Walker GHS. It went across a blacktop parking lot, hit a curb, went air born and hit the second level of a apartment building. Luckily there were not any people near, but it went right behind a car and just missed the apartment window by a couple of feet. So yes, even with the mulch kit rocks can be thrown.

ALC-GregH
11-19-2009, 08:58 AM
Also Charles, if someone tried to use the defense that they installed safety devices, my response would be that you were operating unsafe because you mowed over rocks.
Posted via Mobile Device

Your kidding right? They would laugh you out of the courtroom with that line. Let me guess, if it was YOUR mower that threw the rock, you probably say that it couldn't have been my mower because I'm careful when mowing.

LouisianaLawnboy
11-19-2009, 09:08 AM
Your kidding right? They would laugh you out of the courtroom with that line. Let me guess, if it was YOUR mower that threw the rock, you probably say that it couldn't have been my mower because I'm careful when mowing.

So you would argue that since you have a mulching kit you don't have to pay?
Posted via Mobile Device

Charles
11-19-2009, 09:13 AM
You were on someone's property and you employee heard you break the window. You broke the window, guard or no guard. Windows don't just shatter for no reason. You break you, you buy. My contract says I pay for anything I break, unless its caused by HO neglect.(Toys in the yard)

Also Charles, if someone tried to use the defense that they installed safety devices, my response would be that you were operating unsafe because you mowed over rocks.
Posted via Mobile Device

That is what the Judge ruled. Rocks can be anywhere. They may be hidden in the grass. Kids throw rocks where they wouldn't normally be. Rain caused erosion will bring up rocks. Could be landscape pebbles
I am not saying he shouldn't pay it or use that defense. I AM saying a Judge ruled in the LCO favor because he had the chute down. Now I don't remember who paid what. The LCO may still have had to pay. The victim may have charge that the LCO was negligent. Been awhile since I read about the case

ALC-GregH
11-19-2009, 09:14 AM
So you would argue that since you have a mulching kit you don't have to pay?
Posted via Mobile Device

Not at all. If I did it, I'd pay. Doesn't really matter what happened in the end other then the fact that the mower your on threw a rock and broke a window which means your responsible to fix the broken window.

ALC-GregH
11-19-2009, 09:18 AM
If you went to the store to buy something and trip and fall over your own feet into a window and it breaks because you didn't bother to tie your shoe laces, is the store responsible or are you responsible?

My guess, you'd make it the stores fault and then try to sue them right?

lukemelo216
11-19-2009, 09:48 AM
this is why we have insurance. send it to them and just carry on. ya it sucks but what can you do. if your employee saw it happen, then you know hes not trying to shaft you. like i said just call your insurance tell them what happened and that your paying for it with your insurance money. simple case closed move on.

green_with_envy
11-19-2009, 10:07 AM
Your fault, pay it.........since this seems to such a big deal...do you even have insurance?

If not, this is your wakeup call. Get it. Think if that window was a kids eye.

Littleriver1
11-19-2009, 11:23 AM
You got to pay this one. If your not happy with the estimate get your own. There are glass companys out there that go to where the car is parked and give estimates and repairs. Call the guy and tell him your not happy with the price and your sending another company. What can he say, no? He is probably a rightous guy with a rightous estimate. If your insurance doesn't cover it then pay. Use it as a cost of doing business on your income tax. You do pay taxes don't you?

1993lx172
11-19-2009, 11:43 AM
Just man up and pay up.

procut
11-19-2009, 12:03 PM
Alright, I guess I'm going to have to chaulk this one up to the cost of doing business. The thing that gets me is I think this falls in the "Act of God" catagory because there was no neglegence on my part. Back to my homeowner situation. If some old man was out push mowing his lawn and threw a rock and broke your window, would you expect him to pay for it out of pocket? Or if your driving down the road and kick up a rock with your personal car, and it hits the car behind you, do you have to write a check?

topsites
11-19-2009, 12:10 PM
Here's an idea:

Tell the guy look, I'm sorry you say I broke your windshield, fine, maybe I can accept that.
But the windshield was not brand new before it broke, it is used now, please go replace it
with a used one because that only costs maybe a couple of hundred.
And I'll pay for it, after I check out the shop's credentials.

Now if the guy's scamming maybe he gets cold feet.
And it's not the greatest way to resolve it but I'm sorry we just ain't buying every
Tom Dick and Harry with a cracked windshield that one of us supposedly broke a
brand new thousand dollar piece of glass neither.

Peace out

Sport42
11-19-2009, 12:20 PM
Alright, I guess I'm going to have to chaulk this one up to the cost of doing business. The thing that gets me is I think this falls in the "Act of God" catagory because there was no neglegence on my part. Back to my homeowner situation. If some old man was out push mowing his lawn and threw a rock and broke your window, would you expect him to pay for it out of pocket? Or if your driving down the road and kick up a rock with your personal car, and it hits the car behind you, do you have to write a check?

You don't have to prove negligence/intent to prove a person is liable. This isn't a criminal trial...

This does NOT fall into an "act of God" category...wow

procut
11-19-2009, 12:21 PM
You don't have to prove negligence/intent to prove a person is liable. This isn't a criminal trial...

This does NOT fall into an "act of God" category...wow

Well, Mr. Homeowner, what catagory does it fall into?

topsites
11-19-2009, 12:26 PM
I can tell you another thing, if it's you paying, then it's your choice where it gets fixed, too.

For example, say it was one of my cars:
Below is my price on a Windshield for a
1991 BMW 318 2 Door Sedan
Windshield Installed Price: $220.31

Check out this place but...
I wonder if it's a scam...
http://www.windshieldstogo.com/

Sport42
11-19-2009, 12:34 PM
Well, Mr. Homeowner, what catagory does it fall into?

You're right. I can't possibly know anything about insurance or law, since I don't mow lawns for a living. Sorry, carry on, Mr. LCO...

Geez, anytime I try to add anything in this forum, I get ridiculed for being just a "homeowner". I'll stick with my other ignorant homeowners in our designated forum...

procut
11-19-2009, 12:38 PM
^ I didn't say your stupid, your just looking at it from a different perspective.

If you are mowing your personal lawn with your Hustler and throw a rock through someones window, do you run inside and get your check book?

onblawn
11-19-2009, 01:00 PM
I know that I do not have a deductable for a few different things. I once broke a window and insurance covered it all. You might call your insurance guy.

But i say you fix the window!

brucec32
11-19-2009, 02:31 PM
Alright, I guess I'm going to have to chaulk this one up to the cost of doing business. The thing that gets me is I think this falls in the "Act of God" catagory because there was no neglegence on my part. Back to my homeowner situation. If some old man was out push mowing his lawn and threw a rock and broke your window, would you expect him to pay for it out of pocket? Or if your driving down the road and kick up a rock with your personal car, and it hits the car behind you, do you have to write a check?

Yes, it happens all the time with semi trucks.

You really need to sit down and think about your ethical base in life if this is a question at all to you. The proximate cause of the rock breaking the window is your mower. God doesn't mow lawns, so it's not an act of god. You were not reckless but you still caused the damage. If it had been the homeowner's car you might have more of an argument that he didnt' keep his lawn rock-free, but even then the reality is you have to pay up. And as you know, you're not going to throw anything 50' to the non-discharge side of the mower, so when mowing near the road, try to keep that in mind as much as possible. If you have to mow a strip in one direction, turning off the blades on the return trip, then do so. It's not as efficient, but it would provide an added level of safety. Or, expect to rarely pay a claim if you don't want to do that. Cost of doing business.

Now, about that quote. Put some work into it if you want to save money. Replacing car windows is a commodity service. Meaning it's not like you have to inspect the vehicle first to give a price. So get on the phone yourself and call around and find out what it costs. Don't go to a dealer, of course. There are window replacement specialist companies out there. Some here drive around and do the repair on-site so the person with the broken window isn't even inconvenienced. They can do it while he's at work or sitting watching TV at home. Get the make/model/year and start calling. Find someone who will do it cheaper and offer that. He'll likely take it rather than push for the higher quote, and you've satisfied your ethical obligation to make him whole by fixing the window. You're not obligated to have his dealership do it, however. (they send this stuff out many times anyway!)

My first week in the business, with a puny 21" mower, with a mulch kit on, I somehow managed to send a rock about 50' also, hitting the ONE car in the otherwise empty lot at the veterinary office I was mowing (the vet's). It spiderwebbed the window and I couldn't believe my little mower did it, but I went in and told the guy and paid up.

This sort of thing is one reason why I rarely do cleanups of neglected properties (you hit all sorts of junk) and why I prefer not to do properties where cars are nearby. While I may know to charge extra to cover these things happening, my competition doesn't, and therefore the going rates are too low for me.

PS. Guys, do NOT file an insurance claim for a puny car window. You may pay for it many times over down the line in the form of higher premiums. And if not now, when your next claims come. It just puts you one step closer to being a "high risk" customer.

procut
11-19-2009, 02:43 PM
***UPDATE***

I made a few phone calls. The cost of the window is just under the deductable of my GL policy by a few dollars. The insurance man tells me I am really under no obligation to pay for anything, and suggested that the guy turn it into his insurance and that I pay the deductable or we split it. The guy refueses to use his insurance, though. The bill is sitting right here, the check will probably be cut tomorrow.

LouisianaLawnboy
11-19-2009, 02:48 PM
***UPDATE***

I made a few phone calls. The cost of the window is just under the deductable of my GL policy by a few dollars. The insurance man tells me I am really under no obligation to pay for anything, and suggested that the guy turn it into his insurance and that I pay the deductable or we split it. The guy refueses to use his insurance, though. The bill is sitting right here, the check will probably be cut tomorrow.

How much are we talkinf for the windshield?
Posted via Mobile Device

procut
11-19-2009, 02:52 PM
How much are we talkinf for the windshield?
Posted via Mobile Device

It's not a windsheild, but $480.00.

LouisianaLawnboy
11-19-2009, 02:58 PM
It's not a windsheild, but $480.00.

My insurance deductible is 250.00, but yours must be at 500.00.

Anyway if I were you I would get in the phonebook and call all the glass places and let them know that your an LCO(they may give you a better price in hopes of future business) and that you broke a window on such and such a model and your getting prices on having it replaced, and see what they. Also tell them your paying out of pocket, and they may give you a slightly better rate.

Have a notebook and write down all the places and their phone numbers and then prices. When you find the best(not necessarily the cheapest) call the customer up and say bring your vehicle to this place and they will replace it, or you might even get a mobile service.

A window guy told me that he just recently replaced 1500.00 camper for an LCO friend, and he installed it for free. If it would have been a regular customer it would have been 3,000.00 installed.

MowingMowingMowing
11-19-2009, 03:06 PM
procut,

Man up, and pay for it. You broke it, now you get to buy it. Your employee even saw it, you have nothing to go on here. Do what any reasonable person would do and pay. Put yourself in his shoes, and think about the situation or just about any other situation and I'm sure you would do the same thing as him.

Pay it out of pocket b/c turning it into your insurance could raise your rates.

procut
11-19-2009, 03:17 PM
procut,

Man up, and pay for it. You broke it, now you get to buy it. Your employee even saw it, you have nothing to go on here. Do what any reasonable person would do and pay. Put yourself in his shoes, and think about the situation or just about any other situation and I'm sure you would do the same thing as him.

Pay it out of pocket b/c turning it into your insurance could raise your rates.

First off, the employee in question is a liar; he's the type of guy who would try to tell you he was born in outer space, hitched a ride on an asteroid, rode to Earth and here he is.

Second, if you'd read closer the amount is just under the insurance deduct able, so that's out of the question.

Thrid, I am fortunate enough where I can write a check from my business account barely even feel it, believe me, it still stings, but its not the the financial hardship it would be for a lot of guys here.

Finally, as I think already posted, tomorrow if Friday, and that is conveniently accounts payable day, so the check will be cut and mailed to the glass company.

Mahoney3223
11-19-2009, 03:35 PM
i've had this happen twice..once of of ex employees shattered a van window at my biggest church and the second was an ex employee shattered a door at my rest home...both times I had to man up and pay...the window was 371 for the van and 300 for the rest home door...it sucked but it would have sucked more to deny payment to them and get dropped from the contract...i did however get called and asked if we broke another window at the same church this season and i did not pay for it because i mowed the place and was there blowing off etc. and the window was not broke when i left but they still tried to blame us for it...i politely said if i was responsible i would pay for it as i had done in the past but i know 100% i didn't do it...i don't know how it got broke (probably one of the 1000 kids in your daycare program) but it wasn't me....they didn't argue because they were fishing for a free window...so i would just pay for it unless like me you are 100% certain you were being set up

Runner
11-19-2009, 03:40 PM
You don't have to prove negligence/intent to prove a person is liable. This isn't a criminal trial...

This does NOT fall into an "act of God" category...wow

Actually, it IS up to the plaintiff to prove negligence or intent was acted upon. The plaintiff has the burden of of proof. Now, while it may only be the preponderance of the evidence - in other words, the likelihood of whether it happened or not, it is still on the plaintiff.
Now,...on a criminal trial, the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt...which is a much higher standard, but that is a whole different story.

I can tell you another thing, if it's you paying, then it's your choice where it gets fixed, too.

For example, say it was one of my cars:
Below is my price on a Windshield for a
1991 BMW 318 2 Door Sedan
Windshield Installed Price: $220.31

Check out this place but...
I wonder if it's a scam...
http://www.windshieldstogo.com/


Actually, this is untrue. If someone gets their door or hood damaged, they have no obligation to take their vehicle to Spraycan Harry, if that's where the defendant wants to designate. If they want to take their car to their dealer or body shop where they get everything done, they are entitled.

MowingMowingMowing
11-19-2009, 04:31 PM
procut,

I see what you are saying about even though it stings you are going to pay, and I commend you for it.

My next question, and I'm really not trying to out on your case here, but why would you have an employee that "he's the type of guy who would try to tell you he was born in outer space, hitched a ride on an asteroid, rode to Earth and here he is."

I'm just curious (maybe he is a hell of a worker, just has a bad attitude?)

Charles
11-19-2009, 04:45 PM
That is exactly what the Judge said. Since there was a protective device on the mower and it was in use the LCO was not liable for damages. That is what I remember. Now for moral obligation, that is another story. Like I said, rocks can shoot out from under a mower from any angle.
Even this guy Insurance agent said he was not obligated. I paid for my weedeater mishap on the spot even though my Insurance would have paid it. You get that no claim discount with mine.
That is about all you are going to do it break a window mowing lawns. Unless you are really being careless. I have spent a lot of money on Insurance for no return as well all do. :cry:


Actually, it IS up to the plaintiff to prove negligence or intent was acted upon. The plaintiff has the burden of of proof. Now, while it may only be the preponderance of the evidence - in other words, the likelihood of whether it happened or not, it is still on the plaintiff.
Now,...on a criminal trial, the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt...which is a much higher standard, but that is a whole different story.




Actually, this is untrue. If someone gets their door or hood damaged, they have no obligation to take their vehicle to Spraycan Harry, if that's where the defendant wants to designate. If they want to take their car to their dealer or body shop where they get everything done, they are entitled.

topsites
11-19-2009, 04:46 PM
You're right. I can't possibly know anything about insurance or law, since I don't mow lawns for a living. Sorry, carry on, Mr. LCO...

Geez, anytime I try to add anything in this forum, I get ridiculed for being just a "homeowner". I'll stick with my other ignorant homeowners in our designated forum...

Well if you ARE a homeowner you SHOULD be in that section, this IS the COMMERCIAL mowing part and there ARE
several differences between a commercial Lco breaking a window and Johnny Homeowner doing it too plus I feel
like someone's trying to get a bit too cozy and friendly and I realize this isn't your fault but the timing couldn't have
been worse with one of you getting funny on me so ****

Damn

lol

That is exactly what the Judge said. Since there was a protective device on the mower and it was in use the LCO was not liable for damages. That is what I remember. Now for moral obligation, that is another story. Like I said, rocks can shoot out from under a mower from any angle.
Even this guy Insurance agent said he was not obligated. I paid for my weedeater mishap on the spot even though my Insurance would have paid it. You get that no claim discount with mine.
That is about all you are going to do it break a window mowing lawns. Unless you are really being careless. I have spent a lot of money on Insurance for no return:cry:

If this guy's a homeowner like is being hinted upon, then he doesn't even
carry the same insurance and it's a whole different ballgame anyhow...
geez us

procut
11-19-2009, 05:06 PM
My next question, and I'm really not trying to out on your case here, but why would you have an employee that "he's the type of guy who would try to tell you he was born in outer space, hitched a ride on an asteroid, rode to Earth and here he is."

I'm just curious (maybe he is a hell of a worker, just has a bad attitude?)

This is kind of getting off topic, but...

He is a good worker, and has a lot of landscaping knowledge/expirience, but he probably won't be coming back in the spring.

Mickhippy
11-19-2009, 05:35 PM
Get 3 quotes and pay the cheapest!

johnslandscaping
11-19-2009, 06:08 PM
ditto... I had this happen twice once cost me 150.00 The guy was very nice about it. The second a bolt was lying in the grass at an apt. complex and put a dent in a car the size of a dime that cost me 1200.00 this was a new car and the lady was a B***h about it Then the guys still see the car and never got it fixed. sucks when it happens and hopefully not often but it is the fees along with this business. I just suck it up and hope it does not happen for a couple more years.

Toy2
11-19-2009, 07:32 PM
Get 3 quotes and pay the cheapest!You can do this ^^^^, we have major issues with mowing companies doing ROW, whatever is in the ROW they mow right over it, tires, car parts, and yes rocks.......one hit my work truck one day and I was doing 70mph, did a u-turn and stopped the whole operation......plus they had to pay the damage, $300.00, major door ding.....

ponyboy
11-19-2009, 07:42 PM
you should pay but get more than one estimate and pay for the lowest
make him sign a release form.
Or put it threw your insurance if it was so crazy

Green Pastures
11-19-2009, 08:00 PM
We have a paragraph in all our contracts that states we are not responsible for broken glass.

Sign the contract or we do not work for you.

ponyboy
11-19-2009, 08:08 PM
We have a paragraph in all our contracts that states we are not responsible for broken glass.

Sign the contract or we do not work for you.

I would like to see that hold up in court
Mine say not responible for slip and fall but we still get sued and insurance settles

ADVANCEDOHIO
11-19-2009, 10:37 PM
We have a paragraph in all our contracts that states we are not responsible for broken glass.

Sign the contract or we do not work for you.

I don't think the guy driving by has anything to do with any type of contract at all here???? I don't think any property owner would be OK with signing a contract that states if you break any glass, you will not be responsible... If you damage something - pay for it and learn a lesson. Reputations are damaged much quicker than they are built!!!

brucec32
11-19-2009, 10:49 PM
We have a paragraph in all our contracts that states we are not responsible for broken glass.

Sign the contract or we do not work for you.

Wow. You get signed contracts with cars that happen to drive by your accounts? LOL

ALC-GregH
11-19-2009, 10:55 PM
Wow. You get signed contracts with cars that happen to drive by your accounts? LOL

sharp as a spoon I tell ya. :laugh:

jasonnau
11-19-2009, 11:01 PM
Here in Kentucky glass is covered with no deductible on automobile windows through your auto insurance. It does not count against your insurance cost in any way. I think you can only do it once per year, but it's covered. I don't know what the rules are in your state, however, you may be able to pay his deductible (if it's less than replacing the window) if there even is one. Have him cover it under the auto insurance and slip him some cash. A win win.

N.TX
11-20-2009, 01:17 AM
You just need to get 3 quotes .....find the cheapest .... call the guy up and set them up to fix it. It doesnt happent often but I have seen stuff fly out from under the deck if you hit it just right ....especially on the zero turns. There is a company called mister glass around here that will come out to you and fix it.

TheC-Master
11-20-2009, 04:28 AM
Had something similar happen to me. A while back my dad had mowed a gas station and suddenly a guy came over from across the street, a busy street with cars. He said the window broke because of my dad's ZT. My dad didn't see how a rock jumped across that distance of 2 streets and hit the window, but at the same time he was the only mower there. They ended up solving it and they filed a claim. I told him to get a chute protector for his own sake, especially when his rock nailed me in the head as well the next lawn.

Groh's Mows
11-20-2009, 07:26 AM
Liability is not the same as negligence. I worked for several years as an insurance adjustor and have handled claims similar to this issue for commerical general liabilty policies on all types of contractors. Liabilty only requires that your action is the proximate cause of the damage. In this case your mower put a rock into motion which broke glass. Any damage you cause is a potential liability. The person or party responsible to pay ultimately is a matter to be decided by the civil courts if the parties can not reach an agreement. Insurance companies routinely pay claims they may not actually owe to avoid court/litigation.

Negligence on the other hand, is some failure on your part or your employees to excercise due diligence or engaging in some action that is dangerous to others. The standard is that of a resonable person. For example, would a resonable person remove factory safety equipment (i.e. a discharge chute) knowing it makes a mower more dangerous. Negligence brings into play additional damages called punitive damages designed to punish the wrong-doer and compensate the victim above the actual cost of what was broken. Probably a lot more than most of you wanted to know but there it is. Pay the man his money.

Groh's Mows
11-20-2009, 07:33 AM
Also you do not have the right to pick where someone has the repair done but you only owe the fair market value. This leads to the old get 3 estimates thinking to ensure he isn't getting his brother-in-laws glass company to write a sky high estimate. You pay what is fair and he fixes it wherever he wants but pays the difference if he goes somewhere extra expensive.

LouisianaLawnboy
11-20-2009, 08:14 AM
Also you do not have the right to pick where someone has the repair done but you only owe the fair market value. This leads to the old get 3 estimates thinking to ensure he isn't getting his brother-in-laws glass company to write a sky high estimate. You pay what is fair and he fixes it wherever he wants but pays the difference if he goes somewhere extra expensive.

I know you don't have the right to pick, but if you do that and make it easy for the victim I'm sure they will go there as long as its not Sam's Shadetree.
Posted via Mobile Device

MarcSmith
11-20-2009, 08:27 AM
At TGLC we had more than our fair share of glass breakages. we had an autobody company that we sent all our work to. we paid the company to do the work, so none of the "taking the money and running" bs...If the people complained, then we told them get it fixed and bring us the bill...which also stopped the taking the money and not fixing the car.

We had one person with a broken side window get their own repair $1800 bucks. I called around and the same repair by our company was $800. We got 2 other estimates to make sure our company was not the low ball and to ensure that their estimate was not to high. We ended up paying $1000 on the claim. So they were out 800 bucks or were trying to pull a scam with a friend.

Please be careful, if you have insurance and you chose not to use it, you may be violating the terms of you insurance policy...

rob7233
11-20-2009, 08:41 AM
***UPDATE***

I made a few phone calls. The cost of the window is just under the deductable of my GL policy by a few dollars. The insurance man tells me I am really under no obligation to pay for anything, and suggested that the guy turn it into his insurance and that I pay the deductable or we split it. The guy refueses to use his insurance, though. The bill is sitting right here, the check will probably be cut tomorrow.

I wouldn't be so quick to write a check. First, it needs to be written off as a business expense and documented. Call and get some estimates of your own, to get an idea of the range in what it costs to get it repaired. Offer to pay to repair shop or service directly and not to the vehicle owner. This prevents him from taking your money and not having the repair done and also eliminates him from driving by another LCO and making a similar claim. By doing this, it reduces the likelihood the vehicle owner will just pocket your money and then submit the claim to his auto insurance(double-dipping). Prior to paying, have him then sign a release of liability for you and your company, to reduce any additional claims or "unnoticed" damage". Now you have a legitimate repair receipt and prevents any games while meeting your liability.

txgrassguy
11-20-2009, 01:03 PM
I'd say the aggravation isn't worth the trouble.
Turn it into your insurance company and let them deal with it.
I don't know what your insurance premiums are like on the G.L. coverage but mine haven't budged despite a $7K "oops" where I mistakenly killed a yard one time.
For a $500 window don't sweat it - let the insurance wienies deal with this guy.

procut
11-20-2009, 03:14 PM
Ok, this is really getting beaten to death here. But first, the check will be sent to the glass company directly. Second, I called my ins. company and since it falls below the deductable, they said there is nothing they can do for me.

brucec32
11-20-2009, 03:33 PM
Ok, this is really getting beaten to death here. But first, the check will be sent to the glass company directly. Second, I called my ins. company and since it falls below the deductable, they said there is nothing they can do for me.

Unfortunately, there is nothing they can do FOR you, but there is something they will do TO you.

There is a system insurance companies have called a C.L.U.E. report.
On this they log any questions or comments from customers that might indicate risk in the future, perhaps as a tactic to make you less attractive to other insurers if you wish to leave later. Sometimes simply calling to ask about a potential claim will be noted and treated almost as if you've already filed the claim. That's why it's best to call anonymously or not until you have a bona fide claim. Sneaky, aren't they?

An article on how it works http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs26-CLUE.htm

Groh's Mows
11-20-2009, 08:44 PM
Bruce you are right. It is important to make it clear when calling your ins co that you are not presenting a claim. It is usually better to talk to your agent and not to the company. I like the idea of calling anonymously, but I think my company would know it is me. They told me when I got the policy it was the only one of this type they had written.

puppypaws
11-20-2009, 09:14 PM
I have heard of a small claims court where the Judge ruled that the LCO was not responsible because the guard was down. The Judge was not saying the mower didn't do the damage. He was saying the LCO took reasonable care not let it happen. That the LCO was not being negligent.
Yea, I have had a big rock fly across the road. The rock sailed over a car coming out the opposite side of the deck with no discharge. I have had them come out of the front too. So it can happen. I think the rock hit the ground and bounced up over the road. I held my breath...
I hit a sitting truck rear window while weedeating. "Used truck"-- window cost me just under $400

You have idiot judges all over the country, just because the guard was down does not mean you are not responsible for damage you cause to someone else's property. You do the damage, you pay the bill, pretty simple. I still can't believe a judge could be that stupid, I've seen judges make their own laws as they go, and that is exactly what that one did.

You have insurance for accidents caused by your equipment or people working for you, negligence or no negligence, this makes no difference, you cause the damage, it's your responsibility to repair what was broken.

Are you really sure a judge said, oh, the defendant had his guard down, this puts the responsibility on the plaintiff to repair his own property, for some reason I don't think so.

This is not worth the paper it is written on!!!

We have a paragraph in all our contracts that states we are not responsible for broken glass.

Sign the contract or we do not work for you.

puppypaws
11-20-2009, 09:45 PM
Liability is not the same as negligence. I worked for several years as an insurance adjustor and have handled claims similar to this issue for commerical general liabilty policies on all types of contractors. Liabilty only requires that your action is the proximate cause of the damage. In this case your mower put a rock into motion which broke glass. Any damage you cause is a potential liability. The person or party responsible to pay ultimately is a matter to be decided by the civil courts if the parties can not reach an agreement. Insurance companies routinely pay claims they may not actually owe to avoid court/litigation.

Negligence on the other hand, is some failure on your part or your employees to excercise due diligence or engaging in some action that is dangerous to others. The standard is that of a resonable person. For example, would a resonable person remove factory safety equipment (i.e. a discharge chute) knowing it makes a mower more dangerous. Negligence brings into play additional damages called punitive damages designed to punish the wrong-doer and compensate the victim above the actual cost of what was broken. Probably a lot more than most of you wanted to know but there it is. Pay the man his money.

You working for an insurance company at one time how would you handle this.
My daughter called me one afternoon and said her passenger window would not close on her Honda Accord. I told her to run by a friend of mind that owns a glass shop which has been in business over 50 years and see if he could get it up for her. He got the window closed and told her to bring the car back on Monday morning and leave it with him so he could go through steps to find out what was wrong.

He called me on Monday afternoon and told me something very sticky had been spilled into the main control panel on the drivers side, it shorted out the switch and burned the motor up in the passenger side window. He told me Honda had no problems with these parts and did not keep them in stock; so it would be Tuesday before he finished the work.

I asked my daughter if she spilled something into the drivers main control panel. She said she stopped at Bojangles to get something to eat and the girl by accident flipped a cup of tea and it ran down the inside of her door.

He call me the next afternoon and told me he was finished with the vehicle and the bill was $458.44. I sent a check with her and a friend to go pick up her car.

You being an insurance adjuster at one time, what would have been your take on this situation and how should it have been handled?

rob7233
11-21-2009, 05:04 PM
Unfortunately, there is nothing they can do FOR you, but there is something they will do TO you.

There is a system insurance companies have called a C.L.U.E. report.
On this they log any questions or comments from customers that might indicate risk in the future, perhaps as a tactic to make you less attractive to other insurers if you wish to leave later. Sometimes simply calling to ask about a potential claim will be noted and treated almost as if you've already filed the claim. That's why it's best to call anonymously or not until you have a bona fide claim. Sneaky, aren't they?

Yep, That's true. They call it an UNPAID CLAIM. Never, and I mean never do this with your house insurance unless you know you're definately going to make a claim. Get the estimates first!!

Green Pastures
11-21-2009, 06:19 PM
I would like to see that hold up in court
Mine say not responible for slip and fall but we still get sued and insurance settles


It probably wouldn't, but they would first have to PAY to take me to court and then they would have to prove that I broke the glass.

99% of the time we cut grass the client is not home.

We were getting a ration of calls for broken glass 1, 2 and 3 days after we were at the property. After I spent almost $3K in broken glass claims in a season I added that paragraph to ALL my contracts.

All customers renewed and none have claimed broken glass again.

It works for me.

puppypaws
11-21-2009, 07:12 PM
Unfortunately, there is nothing they can do FOR you, but there is something they will do TO you.

There is a system insurance companies have called a C.L.U.E. report.
On this they log any questions or comments from customers that might indicate risk in the future, perhaps as a tactic to make you less attractive to other insurers if you wish to leave later. Sometimes simply calling to ask about a potential claim will be noted and treated almost as if you've already filed the claim. That's why it's best to call anonymously or not until you have a bona fide claim. Sneaky, aren't they?

Yep, That's true. They call it an UNPAID CLAIM. Never, and I mean never do this with your house insurance unless you know you're definately going to make a claim. Get the estimates first!!

I told the manager at Bojangles about the incident, they called their headquarters, a few days later I got a call from Wells Fargo and the lady explained they handled the insurance for Bojangles, which blew my mind. She said Bojangles had given her the OK to pay 1/2 of the bill I turned in, they would not pay the entire bill because my daughter did not report it when it actually happened. I asked her why they were willing to pay anything, and she told me it was a good will gesture to show their gratitude for me being a good customer. Bojangles paid 1/2 the bill, and my insurance Nationwide paid the other half under comprehensive. The adjuster said he had never dealt with a claim such as this and was going to speak with the company. I honestly did not think they would pay the claim under comprehensive but he called me Friday and told me there would be a check put into the mail Monday, the company told him to pay the claim.

Some things you don't believe can work will, and sometimes things you think there will be no problem with fall through.

buckwheat_la
11-21-2009, 07:56 PM
if there is a question on if you did it, then you pay, simple enough, i had a situation a while ago, where a landscaping company was in front of me, and some gravel came off the tailgate, and smacked my windshield (brand new windshield ruined) i phone him five minutes later, and left a message concerning the incident, told him when and where it happened, what i was driving, and that i would be willing to split cost, but that i didn't believe i should have to pay for it exclusively, he left a rude message with my secretary saying i could screw off, so now i have phoned DOT (department of transport), Workers Comp, OHS (occupational health and safety),whenever i see him out and doing something i can even imply a issue with and i well continue to phone reports on him whenever i can. I hope he is sitting on a pile of tickets and fines, and thinking happy thoughts.

topsites
11-22-2009, 03:35 AM
I still wonder who is truly liable?

Because a truck driving down the road throws a rock into my windshield, I'm SOL, the truck driver is NOT responsible.
That is, unless it's an uncovered load of gravel, but I'm talking a rock off the road itself.

So I'm just wondering, obviously it may affect one's business as well, but is it really our liability?

Unfortunately, there is nothing they can do FOR you, but there is something they will do TO you.

There is a system insurance companies have called a C.L.U.E. report.
On this they log any questions or comments from customers that might indicate risk in the future, perhaps as a tactic to make you less attractive to other insurers if you wish to leave later. Sometimes simply calling to ask about a potential claim will be noted and treated almost as if you've already filed the claim. That's why it's best to call anonymously or not until you have a bona fide claim. Sneaky, aren't they?

Yep, That's true. They call it an UNPAID CLAIM. Never, and I mean never do this with your house insurance unless you know you're definately going to make a claim. Get the estimates first!!

I finally find someone who is onto the little games Insco's like to play.

It boils down to this: Policy ACTIVITY can increase premium.
Yes, ANY activity, even an innocent phone call.

if there is a question on if you did it, then you pay, simple enough, i had a situation a while ago, where a landscaping company was in front of me, and some gravel came off the tailgate, and smacked my windshield (brand new windshield ruined) i phone him five minutes later, and left a message concerning the incident, told him when and where it happened, what i was driving, and that i would be willing to split cost, but that i didn't believe i should have to pay for it exclusively, he left a rude message with my secretary saying i could screw off, so now i have phoned DOT (department of transport), Workers Comp, OHS (occupational health and safety),whenever i see him out and doing something i can even imply a issue with and i well continue to phone reports on him whenever i can. I hope he is sitting on a pile of tickets and fines, and thinking happy thoughts.

Sorry, I would have told you to pound sand, too.
You may not like it, but he could say you were following too closely.

THC
11-22-2009, 03:51 AM
I use a mulch kit on my 36 toro, things are always kicking out from under it.

buckwheat_la
11-22-2009, 04:11 AM
I still wonder who is truly liable?


Sorry, I would have told you to pound sand, too.
You may not like it, but he could say you were following too closely.

yep, and i would be phoning DOT, OHS, and generally being a PITA to you too, by the way, just a little FYI (in Canada at least) if there is proof that your vehicle kicked up the rock, you would still be liable, so for example if a rock was kicked up by a semi and hits a vehicle, and it was caught on tape or something (i know very far fetched) but never the less the semi's insurance would still be liable. It comes down to how hard it is to prove.

puppypaws
11-22-2009, 09:43 AM
I still wonder who is truly liable?

Because a truck driving down the road throws a rock into my windshield, I'm SOL, the truck driver is NOT responsible.
That is, unless it's an uncovered load of gravel, but I'm talking a rock off the road itself.

So I'm just wondering, obviously it may affect one's business as well, but is it really our liability?



Yes, it is your responsibility if your mower throws and object and causes damage.

A rock or object laying on the road is thrown into your vehicle from a truck tire leaves you with the responsibility of repair. A rock or object falls off the same truck and damages your vehicle; the responsibility of repair falls on the truck owner. Proving this is another problem, but today with camera phones, snapping a picture and getting the tag number of the culprit can go a long way in proving your position.

This best thing is to present the evidence to your insurance company and let them handle the negotiating, that is why you pay them large amounts of money each year.

ALC-GregH
11-22-2009, 09:48 AM
yep, and i would be phoning DOT, OHS, and generally being a PITA to you too, by the way, just a little FYI (in Canada at least) if there is proof that your vehicle kicked up the rock, you would still be liable, so for example if a rock was kicked up by a semi and hits a vehicle, and it was caught on tape or something (i know very far fetched) but never the less the semi's insurance would still be liable. It comes down to how hard it is to prove.

and your correct. However, if you don't have any proof, you can't put the blame on the truck. If a rock gets tossed in the air and hits your windshield and breaks, who's to say the truck did it? Anyone with a broken windshield can drive behind a semi and then make them pull over and say their truck broke the windshield when in reality their young kid broke it out throwing rocks at their house.

Calling the DOT and other places on someone is asinine. The company could easily sue you for harassment or slander if you run your mouth too much. Better be careful just who you make those calls on because in the end, it could backfire.

puppypaws
11-22-2009, 01:38 PM
and your correct. However, if you don't have any proof, you can't put the blame on the truck. If a rock gets tossed in the air and hits your windshield and breaks, who's to say the truck did it? Anyone with a broken windshield can drive behind a semi and then make them pull over and say their truck broke the windshield when in reality their young kid broke it out throwing rocks at their house.

Calling the DOT and other places on someone is asinine. The company could easily sue you for harassment or slander if you run your mouth too much. Better be careful just who you make those calls on because in the end, it could backfire.

I just talked with a gentleman that owned a Farm Bureau Insurance agency over 40 years. I asked him specific questions in church this morning, in NC a rock thrown up by a vehicle that causes damage is paid for by your insurance company. If there was a slow motion video of the rock leaving the road from a vehicle in front of you, the owner of that vehicle is not responsible by law for any damage done to your property. If anything falls from the vehicle and you can prove this actually happened, then the vehicle in front of you is responsible for damages by law.

Where a mower is concerned, the owner of the mower is responsible for any damage caused. A person could be riding by your mower cutting grass and a vehicle in front throw up a rock and crack his windshield. This person could see the rock thrown up by this vehicle but come back and say your mower caused the damage, you will be held responsible. This is the way it works, not right, but still the way it works.

topsites
11-22-2009, 03:37 PM
A rock or object laying on the road is thrown into your vehicle from a truck tire leaves you with the responsibility of repair. A rock or object falls off the same truck and damages your vehicle; the responsibility of repair falls on the truck owner. Proving this is another problem, but today with camera phones, snapping a picture and getting the tag number of the culprit can go a long way in proving your position.

All right, so how about the rock in the lawn, I didn't put that thing there! :laugh:
But...

This best thing is to present the evidence to your insurance company and let them handle the negotiating, that is why you pay them large amounts of money each year.

I would have to agree, that is the best answer, all you rich folks can just let the insurance deal with it.

But I will say this, too...
One learns over the years, which WAY to aim the discharge, and how to keep an eye out for both moving and stationary objects,
when to throttle down and when to disengage the blades and come to a complete stop.
Because that's what I usually do any time a car is passing, throttle down, disengage blades, and STOP.
Wait until they pass, then start up again, same goes for trimmers, and folks walking by.

Guess what?
Either no windows ever get broken anymore, or nobody ever says I did it.

Because in ways I do believe we bring it on ourselves, which doesn't make it right...

Because that's the part I always had a problem with, like they see you coming so now
is a good time to take advantage of someone, that *%&^ ain't right.

But taking precautions does go a long ways towards avoiding the problem in the first place.
One it's far less likely a rock even gets thrown, two they know I am now fully alert of their presence,
either it doesn't even cross their mind OR they think better of it.

Yeah...

puppypaws
11-22-2009, 03:47 PM
All right, so how about the rock in the lawn, I didn't put that thing there! :laugh:
But...



I would have to agree, that is the best answer, let them deal with it.
But as was said, don't present it as a claim, simply give them the information.

I will say this, too...
One learns over the years, which WAY to aim the discharge, and how to keep an eye out for both moving and stationary objects,
when to throttle down and when to disengage the blades and come to a complete stop.
Because that's what I usually do any time a car is passing, throttle down, disengage blades, and STOP.
Wait until they pass, then start up again, same goes for trimmers, and folks walking by.

Guess what?
Either no windows ever get broken anymore, or nobody ever says I did it.

Yep, that is when it gets to be an, I say, you say, they say, we say, and the attorneys are sitting like buzzards on a limb waiting to swoop down. :D:D:D

buckwheat_la
11-22-2009, 03:50 PM
and your correct. However, if you don't have any proof, you can't put the blame on the truck. If a rock gets tossed in the air and hits your windshield and breaks, who's to say the truck did it? Anyone with a broken windshield can drive behind a semi and then make them pull over and say their truck broke the windshield when in reality their young kid broke it out throwing rocks at their house.

Calling the DOT and other places on someone is asinine. The company could easily sue you for harassment or slander if you run your mouth too much. Better be careful just who you make those calls on because in the end, it could backfire.

did you happen to read my pervious post, this guy had been hauling larger rock/gravel (2-4inch) off his truck and didn't clean it. i phoned him 5 min after it happened, all he needed to do was go outside, see all the rocks on his tailgate and bumper and realize he messed up, BUT to be rude to my office staff was uncalled for especially when he screwed up. as far as phoning DOT and stuff, i only phone them if i see ANYTHING i can pick on, i don't phone in false stuff, but if i see a mudflap gone, DOT gets a call etc, etc. I tell you what, if someone called me and said this had happened, and i went out and looked at my truck, and saw rock and gravel on my tail gate, i would be phoning back saying i am sorry, how can we help, not "screw off" like this guy did

buckwheat_la
11-22-2009, 03:54 PM
lets all keep in mind laws in different places well state different things

puppypaws
11-22-2009, 04:08 PM
did you happen to read my pervious post, this guy had been hauling larger rock/gravel (2-4inch) off his truck and didn't clean it. i phoned him 5 min after it happened, all he needed to do was go outside, see all the rocks on his tailgate and bumper and realize he messed up, BUT to be rude to my office staff was uncalled for especially when he screwed up. as far as phoning DOT and stuff, i only phone them if i see ANYTHING i can pick on, i don't phone in false stuff, but if i see a mudflap gone, DOT gets a call etc, etc. I tell you what, if someone called me and said this had happened, and i went out and looked at my truck, and saw rock and gravel on my tail gate, i would be phoning back saying i am sorry, how can we help, not "screw off" like this guy did

That is why you would be considered a responsible person and the other fellow would fit right in with all other "jackasses" in the world. There is a simple philosophy to follow in life, "treat people exactly the way you would like to be treated."

rvpkanapsky
11-28-2009, 01:16 AM
It sucks, but you're responsible.

Engloid
11-28-2009, 10:23 AM
Insurance companies typically will ASK that you get three estimates, but you do NOT have to provide them. Since they cannot pick the shop you go to, they can't required you to get any estimate other than that one shop. They just want you to do the legwork so they can pay out towards the lowest one.

You may want to offer the guy a couple options:
1) You pay direct to the shop of your choice, 100% payment, and he signs a contract stating that he will not speak badly of this interaction or your company, in any public forum.
2) He turns it in to his insurance. He then provides you with the bill from the shop, and you pay what insurance doesn't (probably his deductible). The bad thing is that the deductible will likely be near the total cost. Further, his insurance company will likely then contact yours and it will come down on you in the form of higher rates.
3) Refuse payment of any kind and you may spend much more in attorney fees.

My thought is that you would be best to just talk kindly to him about it. Tell him that you are willing to pay for the damage, but you have found a shop that will do the work cheaper. Ask him if he will work with you on this so that his window gets fixed and it minimizes your cost. Most people will work with you if you handle things in the right way.

JCLawn and more
11-28-2009, 10:55 AM
Yep, you're responsible. Hell your own employee saw/heard it happen. Be a man and step up to the pump. Send the guy a check with a nice note apologizing for the inconvenience. Be glad you didn't hit someone in the head and kill them.

If it's a huge number (can't be more than a few hundred for a truck window) kick it over to your insurance company.

This is the way it works. If you pay him he'll tell no one except real close friends and family. If you put him through the ringer he'll tell everyone who will listen about how you broke his truck window, almost killed him, and then wouldn't pay to make it right.

That couple hundred dollar truck window will cost you thousands in bad publicity and lost work. This is the digital age. Suppose he has a Facebook account and sends out a message to all his contacts. Then those contacts forward it to theirs, and so on down the line. 24 hours after you tell him to pound sand half the people in Michigan will know about this. Now suppose it winds up getting to your existing customers?

They're going to think "I'd better get somebody else before this clown breaks something on my property".

In the digital age this kind of public relations is more important than ever.

Not only is it important for your corporate image, but it's old fashioned being a good neighbor.

As many times as we have butted heads on here I agree fully. I also don't think it would be right to push it onto the home owner. For one he won't forget that happened. I put out a extended cab little window and that was $400, so I can just imagine how much this would be.

puppypaws
11-28-2009, 02:15 PM
As many times as we have butted heads on here I agree fully. I also don't think it would be right to push it onto the home owner. For one he won't forget that happened. I put out a extended cab little window and that was $400, so I can just imagine how much this would be.

It is actually very simple, you cause a problem, you remedy the problem. I cause someone a problem, I own up to it and accept responsibility. I seem to have dealt with quiet a few people in my lifetime that doesn't follow the same thought process, just had dealings with one (large company), last week as a matter of fact. Their thought process is, do whatever is necessary to deny any responsibility, we want nothing negative showing up on our stores record.

georgiagrass
11-29-2009, 01:53 AM
It is interesting to read the variety of opinions on the several issues raised by this thread. Here is my 2 cents worth:

1. Even with a mulch kit installed, a mower can, and will, throw a rock a long distance. I speak from experience and have the receipts to prove it ....

2. The LEGAL issue of responsibility for damage caused by a thrown object is a bit more complicated. In most scenarios, you are legally liable for damage you cause if you were negligent or you caused the damage intentionally. The question of negligence is a fact-sensitive inquiry. Facts such as the presence of the mulch cover over the discharge chute are relevant. Also relevant are facts such as your knowledge of rocks or other items in the turf, the proximity of the street, the propensity of your particular mower to throw rocks, etc. It is entirely possible that a court could determine that an LCO who took appropriate cautions that a reasonable man would take would not be liable for damage caused by a thrown rock. The wild card here is a legal doctrine called "strict liability." Strict liability, basically calls for liability without proof of negligence in several circumstances, such as for certain inherently dangerous activities. Here is a definition: "strict liability n. automatic responsibility (without having to prove negligence) for damages due to possession and/or use of equipment, materials or possessions which are inherently dangerous such as explosives, wild animals, poisonous snakes, or assault weapons." Whether commercial lawn mowing constitutes a strict liability circumstance is a question for your local statutes and case law. In summary, you may or may not have LEGAL liability for damage caused by a thrown rock.

3. The BUSINESS issue of responsibility seems easy to me, at least in this case. Pay up. Refusing to pay could cost you big time in bad publicity. You work hard to give your business a good reputation; don't screw it up over $500. On the other hand, if the rock had hit a child in the head, you may want to think more closely about paragraph number 2.

4. The MORAL issue of responsibility is up to you, not me.

5. Lessons? First, we all do things for our businesses that go above the minimum legal requirements. Second, we should all have the good sense to have appropriate insurance against the risks created by our businesses. Third, consult your attorney to learn what your legal risks are and take pro-active steps to guard against those risks. For example, almost all of our mowing is done with mulching mowers or Walkers that collect the clippings. In addition, we have a clause in the Service Agreement that all our customers sign that states as follows:

Limitation of Liability: Please identify to your Georgia Grass, Inc. representative any irrigation pipes and heads, electric dog fences, cables, and other items in your lawn that could be damaged by our mowers and other power equipment. You are responsible for ensuring that your lawn is free of rocks and other objects that can be damaged or thrown by our mowers and power equipment. Any damage caused by your failure to remove such objects is your responsibility, and you agree to hold Georgia Grass, Inc., its officers, employees and agents harmless and to indemnify Georgia Grass, Inc., its officers, employees and agents for any such damage. We are not responsible for damage to buried utilities, wires, cables, electric dog fences and irrigation heads or lines. Sometimes line trimmers will damage paint, trim, stucco and other surfaces near grass areas. We are not responsible for that damage. Your assistance in removing portable obstacles such as toys from your lawn before we arrive is appreciated.

So far, I have never relied upon that limitation of liability, but if a rock ever hits a child, well ... we'll see if it's enforceable.

andyslawncare
11-29-2009, 05:12 AM
I believe you are at fault for the broken truck window...especially since your employee commented on the matter on site, you should feel responsible with that statement... You should report the issue to your insurance (auto or commercial, if you have it) before the victim contacts his lawyer and gets you for more money (court costs and inconveniences)! If anything, you will owe a few hundred dollars to your insurance (mine is $500) to cover your deductible, or the cost of new window if less than insurance. If you treat this guy right, he will tell people that your company takes responsibility for their damage & inevitable mistakes (giving you positive reviews if you are a smooth talker. You could probably even ask him for a written review on your ways of business to explain that you are an honest guy, etc...), instead of talking down your business (if in this case, he will tell everyone he knows to not hire your service which could be thousands of potential $ per year)...I know it sucks at the time, been there in very similar situations more than once, but its best to take care of damages and concentrate on making sales and more money to cover what it costs and improve your reputation as an honest and respectful business man!! Good luck with whatever comes from this incident. I hope that you learn from what happens and possibly charge a contingency to your customers to cover the unexpected for now on, is a good idea...

Its easy to sell $5 more per customer/service for a contingency if you explain to them that the extra charge will help you afford insurance and deductibles as damages occur, because they happen more then we wish for... it happens to all of us eventually, and it is really easier to be insured and accept liability for problems that we may have caused, than have unhappy customers or alter what potential customers think of your business.

Engloid
11-29-2009, 10:02 AM
In addition, we have a clause in the Service Agreement that all our customers sign that states as follows:

Limitation of Liability: .....(removed to conserve space)

So far, I have never relied upon that limitation of liability, but if a rock ever hits a child, well ... we'll see if it's enforceable.

Most likely, the parent would sue you and win...then you'd have to decide if it is worth sueing the property owner. I'd bet that your attorney would advise you against it, unless he/she just wanted to make some money off the case.

I think you would be held ultimately responsible, because you are the professional. You should best know what items in the grass would pose a threat, and should advise the property owner of it...in the event they didn't know or see it. Of course with sprinkler heads, any property owner should know they have them, but with rocks or some other small items, they may think they're not a problem and you as a professional should know they are.

In this case, I think the lawn care provider needs to just pay up, without regard to the cost (provided it's reasonable). His equipment threw a rock. His employee heard it hit. He is responsible. I don't think the issues about bad rep would be all that big, but that depends on the individual who had the window busted. It may be a guy that goes on with life and says nothing, or it may be one that stands in the street with a sign while you're mowing.

If you can't afford the damage, you need to go get a loan. Get it paid asap. This guy wasn't at fault for driving down the road. He shouldn't have to pay for the window out of his pocket. I wouldn't bother turning it in to insurance either. Pay the cost before he turns it into insurance, or his insurance company will come after you for more, or go to your insurance company for it. Either way, I'd expect rates to go up above the cost of the window. If you nip it in the bud, this will cost you as little as possible.

puppypaws
11-29-2009, 10:02 AM
It is entirely possible that a court could determine that an LCO who took appropriate cautions that a reasonable man would take would not be liable for damage caused by a thrown rock. The wild card here is a legal doctrine called "strict liability."




One judge may rule in one direction and another judge my rule in the exact opposite. I have personally seen this with with two judges ruling against a written general statute. Written in black and white; as plain as the hand before your face, if you have good vision. Then the Court of Appeals rule entirely in conjunction with the written law in general statute form and totally against the lower court judges.

How this happens is totally beyond me, but it does happen on a more than a regular basis. You have a percentage of judges that believe they make the laws, and the General Assembly write law in state statute form to appear they are adhering to the duties of their elected positions. I have seen this time and time again, the word judge has gone to their heads, they make decisions, they feel comfortable with and disregard written law put in place for them to follow. This approaches a legal conspiracy between judges and attorneys; assuring job security for all involved whether people recognize this or not, it is developing into a detrimental problem over the entire country.

Politicians operate the country; with judges and attorneys controlling the politicians.

BearWise Landscapers
12-02-2009, 06:13 PM
That's a tough one!
If I had the mulch cover in place, and wasn't on the side of a hill where a stone could possibly escape, I'd probably tell the guy that there was no way you could have caused the problem!
Yes, people will drive around looking for pro mowers WITHOUT the discharge chute down (I hate it when I'm driving down the road and I see this... they are just asking for problems!!) and blame you for throwing a rock! What can you do? Not too much!!
But, in your case, I'd probably call the guys bluff... get my camera, take a picture of the mower, and where it was... with the mulch plate on, (have him / her in your photo also to prove you didn't take the photos later) and THEN tell him to contact their lawyer!

I think that it probably varies by state, but if your were running SAFE, and you can prove it with pictures... that has the "victim" in them... now THEY would have to prove that your equipment was the source of the rock... and with pictures, that's going to be tough!

BTW, I always carry a small digital camera in the glove box! Everyone should!

Have you ever done a property where you have seen something damaged BEFORE you even start to mow? Take a digital photo of the area BEFORE you mow, to prove to the owners that you were not the cause of the problem. If no one is home, leave a courtesy message on their phone telling them about the damage that you had found before you started to mow, and you had taken a photo of that damage... just be nice about it!

Without the photo or the phone call, YOU will be blamed... and how could you dispute the fact without proof.

With a photo and a nice courtesy call, you are not under suspicion, and you have an informed customer that will not take their business elsewhere... hopefully!! :dancing:

Pflasch,

That is good advice. I have seen so many insurance claims filed that could have easily been dismissed had there been a picture of the damage or any evidence whatsoever in the case.

I'm going to start recommending this advice to all of my clients.

Thank you

punt66
12-02-2009, 06:27 PM
I can't believe you'd consider NOT paying. Your a scrub for sure if your trying to weasel your way out of it. Especially since your employee heard it happen. At least your employee is honest.

i agree 100%! That thought wouldnt have even crossed my mind!

prizeprop
12-02-2009, 06:41 PM
Definetly get more than one estimate. If his friend owns the repair shop and could pad the estimate.It wouldnt be the first time.

IN2MOWN
12-02-2009, 06:45 PM
You broke it you buy it.

But I would get 3 estimates first.

JCLawn and more
12-02-2009, 06:58 PM
An entrepreneur is someone who takes a prospective employee out into the country, to a hillside overlooking a great estate, points to the mansion, the swimming pool, the stables, the tennis courts and says, "If you come with me and work your butt off, someday this will all be mine."

I love that quote! lol!

IN2MOWN
12-02-2009, 08:36 PM
An entrepreneur is someone who takes a prospective employee out into the country, to a hillside overlooking a great estate, points to the mansion, the swimming pool, the stables, the tennis courts and says, "If you come with me and work your butt off, someday this will all be mine."

I love that quote! lol!



It was in this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Small-Time-Operator-Business-Trouble/dp/0917510224

I bought it about 3 weeks after I struck out on my own and its one of the best small business books I have ever read.

STIHL GUY
12-02-2009, 10:41 PM
if you broke it and your employee witnessed it you should pay for it

kemco
12-03-2009, 12:31 AM
Last year had a worker blow out BOTH glass doors on a frech door leading out to a patio. There was a lot of pea gravel near a portion he was trimming. Bad thing was the worker swore he didnt do it. I, however, know that 99% chance was he did do it and knew he did it, just didnt want to take responsibility of admitting it. (Months later he admited to another worker that he had done it) No one was home when the glass broker. We paid anyway, to the tune of $600, we got estimates and chose the company to install, HO was cool about that. NO proof we did it. I just know that we did. So we took care of it. Less than deductible on the insurance so we paid out of pocket. He's still a good customer that we make 40 a week on. And he has since given us a referral or two to other accounts. Just pay it, and if the guy is an AH anyway, drop the yard at the end of the season or contract if you use them.

Darryl G
12-09-2009, 09:50 AM
Alright, while doing clean a clean-up on Friday, at appears some stones were in the lawn and the mower happened to catch one and throw it shattering the window of a truck driving by. Now, the mower had a recycler kit in it, which completely covers the discharge, so the fact that a stone escaped and flew about 50 feet is completely beyond me.

Anyways, I was the one on the mower when it happened, and had no clue that a rock had escaped. At first I thought this guy was driving by with the window already broken by and saw a nice lettered truck and guys working and stopped looking for patsy to replace his window. However an employee was standing at the back of the truck fueling a blower and says he saw/heard it.

Now originally I gave the guy a card and said get an estimate to fix it and get with me. Well, the estimate was laying on the fax machine today, and lets just say, it's not a nice number.

Now that you know the story, my question is, am I really even responsible? I mean if you are happy homeowner, and you are mowing your lawn with your 21" on Saturday morning and throw a rock and break someones car window, do you have to pay, or is it the vehicle owners responsibility to just turn it in to their insurance?

I know it's not good biz, but I'm half tempted tp just tell the guy, "Hey, I didn't see it happen, the guards were all in place on the mower, if you think you can prove I broke your window, sue me."

I'll probably end up cutting the check for this, but just looking for some opinions.

I haven't read all the posts here but I can't believe you're even thinking of trying to wiggle out of this. From what you've described, your actions were the proximal cause of the window being broken. Pay up and shut up!

BearWise Landscapers
12-09-2009, 12:11 PM
Liability is not the same as negligence. I worked for several years as an insurance adjustor and have handled claims similar to this issue for commerical general liabilty policies on all types of contractors. Liabilty only requires that your action is the proximate cause of the damage. In this case your mower put a rock into motion which broke glass. Any damage you cause is a potential liability. The person or party responsible to pay ultimately is a matter to be decided by the civil courts if the parties can not reach an agreement. Insurance companies routinely pay claims they may not actually owe to avoid court/litigation.

Negligence on the other hand, is some failure on your part or your employees to excercise due diligence or engaging in some action that is dangerous to others. The standard is that of a resonable person. For example, would a resonable person remove factory safety equipment (i.e. a discharge chute) knowing it makes a mower more dangerous. Negligence brings into play additional damages called punitive damages designed to punish the wrong-doer and compensate the victim above the actual cost of what was broken. Probably a lot more than most of you wanted to know but there it is. Pay the man his money.

At TGLC we had more than our fair share of glass breakages. we had an autobody company that we sent all our work to. we paid the company to do the work, so none of the "taking the money and running" bs...If the people complained, then we told them get it fixed and bring us the bill...which also stopped the taking the money and not fixing the car.

We had one person with a broken side window get their own repair $1800 bucks. I called around and the same repair by our company was $800. We got 2 other estimates to make sure our company was not the low ball and to ensure that their estimate was not to high. We ended up paying $1000 on the claim. So they were out 800 bucks or were trying to pull a scam with a friend.

Please be careful, if you have insurance and you chose not to use it, you may be violating the terms of you insurance policy...

Yes, it is your responsibility if your mower throws and object and causes damage.

A rock or object laying on the road is thrown into your vehicle from a truck tire leaves you with the responsibility of repair. A rock or object falls off the same truck and damages your vehicle; the responsibility of repair falls on the truck owner. Proving this is another problem, but today with camera phones, snapping a picture and getting the tag number of the culprit can go a long way in proving your position.

This best thing is to present the evidence to your insurance company and let them handle the negotiating, that is why you pay them large amounts of money each year.

I think these three comments were all great points.

Good luck with this situation!

BearWise Landscapers
12-09-2009, 12:38 PM
***UPDATE***

I made a few phone calls. The cost of the window is just under the deductable of my GL policy by a few dollars. The insurance man tells me I am really under no obligation to pay for anything, and suggested that the guy turn it into his insurance and that I pay the deductable or we split it. The guy refueses to use his insurance, though. The bill is sitting right here, the check will probably be cut tomorrow.

First off, the employee in question is a liar; he's the type of guy who would try to tell you he was born in outer space, hitched a ride on an asteroid, rode to Earth and here he is.

Second, if you'd read closer the amount is just under the insurance deduct able, so that's out of the question.

Thrid, I am fortunate enough where I can write a check from my business account barely even feel it, believe me, it still stings, but its not the the financial hardship it would be for a lot of guys here.

Finally, as I think already posted, tomorrow if Friday, and that is conveniently accounts payable day, so the check will be cut and mailed to the glass company.

My insurance deductible is 250.00, but yours must be at 500.00.

Anyway if I were you I would get in the phonebook and call all the glass places and let them know that your an LCO(they may give you a better price in hopes of future business) and that you broke a window on such and such a model and your getting prices on having it replaced, and see what they. Also tell them your paying out of pocket, and they may give you a slightly better rate.

Have a notebook and write down all the places and their phone numbers and then prices. When you find the best(not necessarily the cheapest) call the customer up and say bring your vehicle to this place and they will replace it, or you might even get a mobile service.

A window guy told me that he just recently replaced 1500.00 camper for an LCO friend, and he installed it for free. If it would have been a regular customer it would have been 3,000.00 installed.

Ok, this is really getting beaten to death here. But first, the check will be sent to the glass company directly. Second, I called my ins. company and since it falls below the deductable, they said there is nothing they can do for me.

ProCut,

I understand this is a frustrating situation. I think you did the right thing in paying for the claim.

I do however disagree with your insurance deductible and the approach your agent took towards the situation. Most liability policies do not have a deductible. If you do have a policy that has a deductible, then I suggest you take a look at a different carrier's rates for a policy without that deductible. You may gain better coverage without paying additional premium. Your agent should know this and should have offered these other options when your policy renewed last year.

With a claim of 480 dollars, I think you are better off in the long run paying for it and not reporting it to the insurance carrier. I would double check with your agent as you did and look at the policy to make sure that you are not required to notify the insurance carrier of every incident. Some carriers put that provision in the policy documents, but it shouldn't be included on a general liability policy. This is often true for workers compensation policies though.

I encourage you to continue to take steps as you have done to prevent this from happening in the future. Let us know if you come up with any ideas to limit these incidents because this is a very common type of claim for lawn maintenance businesses.

Thanks for sharing.

topsites
12-09-2009, 01:00 PM
I do however disagree with your insurance deductible and the approach your agent took towards the situation.

I'm not entirely disagreeing, but most agents fault respond like that once a policy holder calls...
I do agree, most anything under a grand, better off paying out of pocket.

lawncuttinfoo
08-25-2011, 09:02 PM
I have heard of a small claims court where the Judge ruled that the LCO was not responsible because the guard was down. The Judge was not saying the mower didn't do the damage. He was saying the LCO took reasonable care not let it happen. That the LCO was not being negligent.
Yea, I have had a big rock fly across the road. The rock sailed over a car coming out the opposite side of the deck with no discharge. I have had them come out of the front too. So it can happen. I think the rock hit the ground and bounced up over the road. I held my breath...
I hit a sitting truck rear window while weedeating. "Used truck"-- window cost me just under $400

Does anyone know this exact case trial info?
I saw a peoples court where the (fake) judge referenced this case as legal precedence for the case on TV.

Considering someone is claiming broken car window after one mower pass on a lush lawn, no rocks, with the discharge faced opposite of the car and across the road. Not saying it's impossible, but difficult to say the least.