Scratched his BMW, OOPS!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by eslawns, May 27, 2002.

  1. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 712

    Oh, what a day. I decided to work today. I usually don't work Memorial Day or Veteran's Day, but wanted to stay caught up.

    I noticed a hole in my pocket when I went to get change for coffee. It was an omen. I also got my mower stuck. Another omen. Then I see this man watching me mow around a video store. He waited until I stopped and wanted me to see all the scratches my mower put on his car.

    I walked around the building expecting a hoopty, but it was a month old BMW Roadster. There were a couple of small nicks in the paint. I honestly don't think the mower did it. These were scratches like you get when the air dam scrapes over a curb or those parking obstacles. But I can't honestly say I didn't do it, so I told him to get some quotes.

    He was really pi**ed, but all I can do is pay to fix the car. I hope it isn't too much, because we just got our new insurance policy. I hate to make a claim already. Some days you get the bear: Some days the bear gets you.
     
  2. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,325

    Eslawns - I wouldn't roll over that easy for this guy. Don't be intimidated just because he drives a Beemer. These are usualy the types that just wait for an opportunity to blame their road scrapes on someone else. I has it happened to me - when I showed the lady that there was no way that my mower could have caused the damage she had alledged, she got all pissy and stormed off. She was just looking for a patsy. You may have caused the damage, but don't be too quick to jump to conclusions and offer to pay for damages. I suggest re-approaching the guy and asking to reinspect the damage. Look for signs that you either did or did not do the damage. Are the chips old? Do they have dirt or grease (from the road on them - take a magnifying glass)? Too many of these A---holes take advantage of things and try to get people like us to pay for their stuff. If he's got no-fault, his insurance should pay for it - then, the most that can happen is that he can sue you for the deductable. Make him tkae that route. Don't give in so easy. Good luck.
     
  3. watatrp

    watatrp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 496

    Amen to that. I've had people come out of their house and say that I put a scrape in their siding. I pull the mower up to the house and ask them what part of my mower at this height scraped your house? I admit, I have damaged a house or two but have told the homeowner when I do it and pay for repairs. More often then not, it's not me doing damage. I even had one guy tell me I damaged his sprinkler system on his new house before I had even mowed it once. Stick up for yourself.
     
  4. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    I couldn't agree more, don't go down without a fight.

    I had a guy follow me 15 miles one day to tell me that a mower bag that blew off the trailer hit his POS car and put dents in it. When I asked him to show me the dents he couldn't find them any more, and when I asked him which bag that blew off he said he never stopped to pick it up. Last I ever heard of him. I did lose a bag, but how do I know it hit his car?
     
  5. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 962

    Ask for a minimum of 3 written quotes from reputable Body Shops and make the estimators give a statement about what, in their opinion caused the damage.

    Inform your buddy with the Beamer, that your insurance company will send out an adjuster to inspect the damage, to see if its consistant with what a mower would do....

    And you might want to inform him that insurance fraud is a crime, which is what he is commiting if he tries to get prior damage fixed.
     
  6. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Maybe I'm missing something, but you should know if you were even blowing his direction. Were you blowing clippings at or on his car?
     
  7. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    eslawns,

    First things first. Did you, or did you NOT come in contact with, or cause debris to contact his car? If not walk away. I hope you didn't give your info to him, if you did, its possibly too late.

    Why did you title this thread " Scratched his BMW, OOPS!!"

    That "OOPS!!" part almost seems like you actually DID scratch it :confused:

    If you didn't do it, don't submit a claim to your insurance. Especially if its a new policy. Knock on wood, I've had liability insurance since 1988 and haven't had a claim yet.
     
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    I had a guy try this a few years ago. He saud that I hit his car as he was pulling out of a restaurant that I do, and when I shut down the mower to look the car over, there were NO visible signs of any damage that was recently done. The car was a little dirty, and I scanned the whole side closely with my eyes. He said fine, he'll go in and talk to the owner, I said fine, and went in and GOT the owner and told him what was going on. The owner himself came out and looked it all over and said he couldn't see any visible damages. The driver then said he was taking the car to his dealership and having them look at it. I said fine, but I can't be responsible for anything that happens once that car leaves this parking lot. He called the owner about a week later, and wanted to meet back up at the restaurants location to talk. When I got there, he had spots of tape from one end of the car to the other, including spots that were TOTALLY irrelevent to and possible mower damage AND spots on the hood that were NOT there that day! The owner of the restaurant was even sure of that! Things like the weld of the roof post where it goes down and meets the quarterpanel. He said he'd accept a couple of hundred bucks and "call it even". I said he can sue me if he wishes, but I'm not paying, because I KNOW I didn't cause any of that damage. And I SURE wasn't going to turn it in to my insurance! Well, I think I did the right thing, as the restaurant owner even told me after the man left that he was trying to scam me. Well, needless to say, I never heard from that man again.
     
  9. lawnkid

    lawnkid LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 935

    You should get it checked out by like the police cause if he's lying that's fraud I think. I've seen that happen to a lot of people and they always get dooped on money. If you say it is like scratches from the curb, then you should have an auto body repair shop check it out to see what happened, they can tell you usually without you even telling them.
     
  10. Dennis E.

    Dennis E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 349

    Don't be so fast to take care of his Beemer. Like mentioned above,he may have got the damage somewhere else and wants you to be the "fall guy".
    I had a customer try that with me years ago with his "new van".
    He was "positive" that I had done it. I brought the mower out to prove that there was no way my mower could have done that kind of damage. We lined the mower up every way possible and nothing matched up to the point of"impact"on his van. We argued to the point of throwing punches and I told him I would not even consider paying for the damage. I stood my ground. If I had hit the van I would have told him right away,not hide it.
    Come to find out later the Sheriff's Dept. had picked up some kids that were out vandalizing vehicles and his van was one of those vehicles.
    This POS never even apologized for raking my rear over the coals.
    Dropped him like a hot rock! More or less told him to KMA!!
     

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