Here is my situation. We have a food trailer that's parked seasonally at a farmer's market, where we serve food. On June 29th, after market closed and we have left. A truck brushed against our trailer and left a few what seem trivial at first glance, but are actually quite deep scratches. We noticed it on July 1st. My mother, the owner of the business, was very upset upon noticing the damage. We know this could only be done by one of the vendors at the market since no customer would drive by our trailer as it's separated from the customer's parking lot. We decided to wait for the next Saturday and see if anyone shows up.
3 days later, a vendor we knew approached us and told us that he had witnessed the incident and recorded down the license plate number and vehicle description, and hence passed them on to me. I was very thankful and appreciative.
We still waited through the Saturday, and no one showed to take responsibility of the incident, therefore we called the police, it took the police officer almost a month to get back to me and let me know that he had found out the other party's information and will inform them to give me a call.
Meanwhile, I have got an estimate for the damage, to fix the scratches, the whole front end of the goose neck will have to be repainted, and the decals with our logo, name and phone number will have to be removed and redone, and the total cost will be approx. $13,000
When I finally got in contact and spoke with this person, he claimed that his employee, who was driving the vehicle had spoken with the owner of the trailer and apologized, and the owner had said "it's ok, no problem", Either he is lying, or the employing spoke to my neighboring trailer's owner, who were doing clean ups before closing. Which is very bewildering... Why speak to the neighbor and apologize to them?? How convenient?!
Anyways, this person offered to fix my trailer at his place, because he "has capable employees who will do the job." However, his place is 2 hours drive from where I am, and the bodyshop told me this work will take 2 days. It's just not possible,(needing to hire a driver, issues with making time, traffic and risk of accidents etc.) and why should we drive 2 hours and back just for his convenience?
I offered him two options, either pay the invoice of the repair, or go through the insurance company. He refuse to pay, but is unwilling to provide me with his insurance information.
When I called the officer in charge, he says the incident is not covered by Highway Traffic Act because it occurred in a private parking lot, and the incident is not reportable because the damage (he assumed) is less than $1000. When I told him the estimated cost, he asked me to provide a proof(I will get this tomorrow) of the estimate and bring it to his police station, then he will contact the other party and 'try' to get his insurance information.
Also, the police officer asked me again "Why did you wait a week to report?!" And I told him I told you when we first met that we were going to wait and see if anyone show up to claim responsibility. He then admits I did tell him that.
My insurance company told me that if he does not provide his information, I will need to pay $1000 deductible, then the insurance company will try and get his information through their own ways. When successful, they will refund my $1000, but who knows how long it will take, maybe years?
I am just shocked that in this law abiding country, when my property is damaged by someone, with witness, it seem there's very little option I have to protect myself and compensate my damage. I am quite disappointed and hope dear fellows of the forum can provide me with some sound suggestions.
Much appreciated! Many Thanks.