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Who's responsible... haying damage to car?

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  • Who's responsible... haying damage to car?

    Long story short, and I don't know all the details, so I'm being fairly general. My barn owner is an old farmer and has multiple hayfields. He was haying this past week and had some people in to help him. One guy was helping him out; not sure whether it was a boarder or a neighbour. The helper was doing something with a hay wagon or rake and unhitched it incorrectly and it whacked his car. From what I gather it left a couple of dents in the back/trunk door (SUV), just cosmetic, not noticeable unless you move the spare tire. I also gather that it was the helper's fault--he shouldn't have been doing whatever he was doing with the hitch; I don't know my farm machinery, so as I said, I don't know the details.

    The helper wants the barn owner to pay for replacement of the trunk door now. This seems unfair to me, as it was the helper's mistake that caused the damage, but the helper's reasoning is that it was the barn owner's property and machinery. What would be your take?

    I just feel badly for the barn owner, who's a nice old farmer and really can't afford to pay this expensive car bill right now... he did offer to split the cost, but the guy wouldn't take it, I guess. Don't know if the helper had financial incentive to help or was just doing it to help.
    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

    Graphite/Pastel Portraits

  • #2
    Rotten is what I'd call the helper.
    Not an insurance agent, but since it was his car, and his doing, I would think it would be his auto insurance that a claim would be made against.

    I suppose he could go after the farmer's farm insurance, but I would think they would consider this the helper's fault. Now, if the farmer was driving the car, or the attachment, that makes things different.

    Again, I am not an insurance agent, but thats my take.

    Tell that nice old farmer to tell that whippersnapper to jump in the pond!
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld


    • #3
      The farmer should call his insurance agent and/or insurance company. They'll be able to tell him what his liability is and if he's covered for the damage, if he's responsible.


      • #4
        Why did he park the damned car where it could get bit by something, even a remote chance? Anyone around here with even half a brain knows enough to park out of the way of machinery or in a place where the machinery will go during the course of the work. And if he was using his car to move something, he deserves a bite in the backdoor for misuse. His problem, not the farmer's.

        Honestly, it is bad enough when you HAVE to back a truck up to some equipment to put an unweildy part into the box to get a replacement or to refit the replacements. This is why most farm trucks have either box liners or very beat up boxes.
        Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

        Member: Incredible Invisbles


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by fivehorses View Post
          Tell that nice old farmer to tell that whippersnapper to jump in the pond!
          LOL, that's my preferred response. d;
          "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

          Graphite/Pastel Portraits


          • #6
            Hands down it's the fault of the complete moron who hit his own car with the farm vehicle he was handling at the time.
            Seriously...how stupid and greedy can people get???

            Poor farmer...tell him the general consensus is to tell the helper he's sh*t outta luck on this one.
            You jump in the saddle,
            Hold onto the bridle!
            Jump in the line!


            • #7
              I think we can all agree that if you damage your own vehicle, no one but you is to blame. Honestly, I don't know what such a pristine vehicle was doing at a barn anyway. Anywhere machinery is used, anywhere lose rocks are the norm, anywhere a cat or dog my get to your car, is not the place to leave your highly prized, immaculate SUV. This is why farm vehicles aren't coated in Turtle Wax with sheepskin seat covers.
              "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer


              • #8
                If I were to run into my own car with a piece of equipment I'd suck it up, and probably cover it up too, my DH would never let me live it down.

                Trying to imagine the precise scenario, helping out a friend or employed by a friend, if I were to hit a client car my employer would probably have to pay as I am the employee; helping out a friend, well the friend might have to pay, same as if I were to be involved in an auto accident his insurance has to pay, or at least haggle it out with mine.

                Still, it isn't at all honorable to have an accident with other people's equipment in the first place unless it was a equipment failure.

                My employer pins our drivers to the wall when they have any sort of accident at all - they go before the accident review board, often there are threats of termination, suspensions if the driver is found to be at fault, demotion in some cases. There's a strong impetus to hide accidents, but discovery of failure to report is a double whammy, better to be a safe driver.
                Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                Incredible Invisible


                • #9
                  We had something similar happen a few years back. We parked a flatbed trailer in our "turn around" paddock which sits next to our barn and is not only where employees park, but also where we turn our trailers around after coming down a narrow drive. An employee backed her car right into the flatbed trailer which did no damage to it but dented her trunk pretty well. She wasn't quite so presumptuous as the helper you are discussing - she filed with her own insurance carrier and that's the last we heard about it other than to have a good laugh about it on occasion.
                  Susan N.

                  Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.


                  • #10
                    No biggie.

                    Just a little property damage claim.

                    That's why we have insurance.
                    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                    -Rudyard Kipling


                    • #11
                      In a younger, previous life, I tried to move the manure dumpster by pushing it with my truck. Dented the front bumper.

                      I guess I missed an opportunity to go after the Dumpster co. for making such a hard sided bin!
                      You're entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
                        If I were to run into my own car with a piece of equipment I'd suck it up, and probably cover it up too, my DH would never let me live it down.

                        I really did LOL on that comment, because that would so be me!!!!!!


                        • #13
                          Jswan, why should the farmer pay a damage claim.
                          Every time you put in a claim for insurance, your rates are affected.
                          My agent/friend told me even inquiries are tracked and if they think you are a risk, then you're gone.

                          I try not to put in small claims, want low rates. Plus, they have a national tracking and can see your insurance history if you try and get other insurance.
                          save lives...spay/neuter/geld


                          • #14
                            Bumbling "helper" should suck it up and take responsibility for damaging his own vehicle. There's no reason for the farmer to have any liability for this, whatsoever.
                            In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                            A life lived by example, done too soon.


                            • #15
                              Sounds like his own damn fault.
                              Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by fivehorses View Post
                                Jswan, why should the farmer pay a damage claim.
                                I didn't suggest that.

                                The owner of the vehicle should file a claim against his own insurance. It's his fault the accident occurred (if I'm reading the post correctly)

                                The owner of the vehicle could file a claim against the farmer's insurance, though the company should just decline to pay. The damage may have occurred on the farmer's land, but it was due to the car owner's negligence.

                                The owner of the vehicle might consult an attorney, but no attorney worth his salt is going to fiddle with a low dollar claim. Especially a low dollar property damage claim.

                                Much ado about nothing. The guy sounds like a real jackass. I'd classify the damage to his car as a stupid tax.
                                Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                -Rudyard Kipling