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Discussion Starter #1
So 3 days ago. A neighbor backed into my Duc and tipped it over in my apartment parking garage. They didn't bother to leave a note. They however, did try to pick it back up, using the right mirror (it fell on its left side) sadly that broke the right mirror. The best part is, I got paint transference on my rear fender and its off their SUV rear spare tire. HA! Tonight, i'll see if the police will come out to take samples or something. I dont get off work until 10pm.

Any suggestions on this? I've filed a police report, talked to my insurance and notified my landlords. All of which basically say its in my hands to get their insurance info and them to admit guilt. Need help on this one.
 

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Good luck getting the police to take paint samples. I've investigated many (100+) hit & run accidents and I've never taken a paint sample.

The best you can hope for is to document with pictures all the damage on your bike and corresponding damage to the offending SUV. Usually if I have a suspect in mind, I'll give them the line that they probably didn't mean to hit the bike and didn't see the damage, so now is the time to exchange info to avoid a hit & run charge. It usually works, but sometimes not.

If you take pictures, use a tape measure and show how high up the damage is and use a reference item to show scale, such as a quarter or other common item.

I would suggest taking pictures with actual 35mm film instead of digital pictures because we've been seeing court issues with the admissiblity of digital pictures due to the ease of altering them. Good 'ole 35mm negatives make great evidence if it comes down to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the tip. I'll do that, I happen to have a 35mm disposable I can use. I think in the end, nothing will come of this. But, it won't be from a lack of my trying. I bugged my landlords again today to contact them on my behalf. If this doesnt work, next step is to sit in the parking lot and wait for them to come home. I know they didn't mean to and it is just an accident. But, they need to take responsibility of that accident and have their insurance pay for my damages.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Heh yeah i'm friends with a few of the rougher clubs in the area. Had people offer, but I dont want none of that. Bad karma.
 

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If they don't come clean, let us know. I can think of a few things that would irritate the hell out of anyone.... ;-)
 

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epx666 said:
Thanks for the tip. I'll do that, I happen to have a 35mm disposable I can use. I think in the end, nothing will come of this. But, it won't be from a lack of my trying. I bugged my landlords again today to contact them on my behalf. If this doesnt work, next step is to sit in the parking lot and wait for them to come home. I know they didn't mean to and it is just an accident. But, they need to take responsibility of that accident and have their insurance pay for my damages.
Something similar happened to me once. Ten years or so ago I came out of class one day to find my BMW airhead on its left side. This was in a "bike only" parking area and there was a big chunk of red paint on the right cylinder head. I surmised that someone had dropped their red bike onto the right side of my bike and, domino like, knocked it over to the left. Of course, no note. So I took some pictures of my bike and reported it to the campus cops. As this was student/faculty parking I then commenced my "stakeout", scanning the parking area daily, hoping the offender would be stupid enough to park there again. Sure enough, about a week later a red Gpz550 is there and, what do you know, it has a dent in the left side of its tank. A dent that is exactly the same size as BMW cylinder head. I called the campus cops, they came over, checked out the situation, looked up the guys plate, and headed to his house. Man, I wish I could have gone along because an hour later I got a call from the officer giving me the guys name and saying he had admitted to knocking over the bike.

I was pretty psyched about this, but it gets better. I next called my insurance company to update them on the latest news and give them the name of the offender. The agent asks me to hold on, then comes back on to tell me that the guy was also a customer of his. In fact, Mr GpZ rider had called to make a claim on his damage, saying the wind had blown his bike over. I have no idea what happened after that to that guy, I just hope it involved years of pain.

So, take pictures like danielspdx suggested and then let the police deal with the situation. The driver of the SUV will probably act much more reasonably with a police officer than with you.

Good luck,
Tony
 

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danielspdx said:
Good luck getting the police to take paint samples. I've investigated many (100+) hit & run accidents and I've never taken a paint sample.

The best you can hope for is to document with pictures all the damage on your bike and corresponding damage to the offending SUV. Usually if I have a suspect in mind, I'll give them the line that they probably didn't mean to hit the bike and didn't see the damage, so now is the time to exchange info to avoid a hit & run charge. It usually works, but sometimes not.

If you take pictures, use a tape measure and show how high up the damage is and use a reference item to show scale, such as a quarter or other common item.

I would suggest taking pictures with actual 35mm film instead of digital pictures because we've been seeing court issues with the admissiblity of digital pictures due to the ease of altering them. Good 'ole 35mm negatives make great evidence if it comes down to it.

I can't add anything more to the above except my dept had a strict policy (years ago) on taking paint samples in all hit and run cases. Obviously, it was mostly for PR purposes. I worked traffic for 5 years and as a hit and run liaison to the courts. Sometimes my samples of paint from suspect vehicles was a little aggressive, "Your honor, I have a sample, 2 lbs of paint, the whole left side of the suspect vehicle" lol.

It may have gotten by me, but I recall testifying and hearing an expert testify only once whether paint matched or not. Scientifically, we know it can be done, but in misdemeanor cases... To that extent, your neighbors fingerprints are probably all over your bike. Again, will the police go the extra mile on this? It depends on your police departments traffic policy, some are very aggressive while some are not. Mostly depended on the size of the city. Most hit and runs go unsolved, late night bumper cars from the drunks going home. Without witnesses, that sort of thing, the case goes in the round file.

As Daniel alluded to, a little scheme at the right moment may make your suspect throw his/her hands up. If you have your paint samples, photos, witnesses statements and the below fingerprint copies, then I would approach them first without the cops and see what happens. However, I wouldn't want you to put yourself in a situation that could go sideways, you never know. I believe if there is a shred of doubt in regards to this, I would try to get the police involved from the getgo. If you decide to go on your own, the trump card would be the police. Again, I would bring up witnesses, measurements and even photoshop a certificate of authenticity indicating that the samples matched. You can do all this stuff. You can even get some photo paper, cut to about 2"x2" in size, put some inked smudged fingerprints on them with clear tape over the top and photocopy them. (You can't have the real prints, but you have the next best thing) Your "case file" can be leaked to the suspect if you put it in a file envelope with big words, HITand RUN Case #3988774 and some other official words on the front. If you make contact with your neighbor, you will be amazed how distracted they will be in regards to the envelope. Watch their eyes, they can't keep from glancing at your file.

Good luck and let us know how it turned out. Actually, I like the other suggestions on this post to remedy the problem better.
 

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...well if nothing else never underestimate the joy and satisfaction that comes with wiring his turnsignals to his horn.


Matt:abduct:
 

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not sure a disposable will take clear enough close ups, you might want to borrow a decent point and shoot or SLR. been there done that, all blurry i'm afraid. danielsspdx offers good advice, i'd follow that for sure.
good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Updated....

I was coming home today, hoping i'd see them parking their car or something. Sure enough, as I rolled up I saw a lady parking a 'new' car they started parking there. I waited for her and walked over and said hello. Told her about how they knocked my bike over. I was nice about it, told her i'm not upset. But, they need to take care of the damages.

As it turns out, her husband/bf backed into my bike with his rented car or something. It wasnt rented as it had no rental stickers on it. We swapped numbers as well has apartment numbers. I asked when she'd call me, she said tonight. I got a call 10 minutes later from the husband. He apologized and said he'd take care of all the damages. I asked him bout picking the bike bakc up because the mirror had been ripped off. He tried, but the bike was too heavy. So he knows he backed into it and left it as is with no note. A BIG no no in California.

But good news, I talked to them and they admitted to it. Agreed to pay the damages. That's legally binding in California as far as I know. I take the bike in tomorrow for its estimate.

Upper fairing, wind shield, left clipon, r/l mirrors, shift peg, shift linkage, lower left fairing, tail section. Left cluck lever, left front foot-peg. Wonder what that'll cost em. Or even I can get replacements for the Matrix bike. Probably will have to get red or yellow then have it painted by a local shop.
 

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That really sucks .....Atleast you got them to admit to the damage. I think you are probably going to have a hard time finding replacement parts in the Matrix color. I hope it's a speedy repair.
 

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oh man.. now you got me all paranoid. i think i'll run out to check on my bike--first day i've taking her to work (stayed home yesterday to run a few break-in heat cycles).

i cant believe that happened to you.. and to a matrix.. ouch. but i'm glad to hear you found the guy. i hope she comes out like new.
 

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epx666 said:
I was coming home today, hoping i'd see them parking their car or something. Sure enough, as I rolled up I saw a lady parking a 'new' car they started parking there. I waited for her and walked over and said hello. Told her about how they knocked my bike over. I was nice about it, told her i'm not upset. But, they need to take care of the damages.

As it turns out, her husband/bf backed into my bike with his rented car or something. It wasnt rented as it had no rental stickers on it. We swapped numbers as well has apartment numbers. I asked when she'd call me, she said tonight. I got a call 10 minutes later from the husband. He apologized and said he'd take care of all the damages. I asked him bout picking the bike bakc up because the mirror had been ripped off. He tried, but the bike was too heavy. So he knows he backed into it and left it as is with no note. A BIG no no in California.

But good news, I talked to them and they admitted to it. Agreed to pay the damages. That's legally binding in California as far as I know. I take the bike in tomorrow for its estimate.

Upper fairing, wind shield, left clipon, r/l mirrors, shift peg, shift linkage, lower left fairing, tail section. Left cluck lever, left front foot-peg. Wonder what that'll cost em. Or even I can get replacements for the Matrix bike. Probably will have to get red or yellow then have it painted by a local shop.
I have a feeling this guy is gonna be shocked by how much this is gonna cost. Did you give him an idea of the damages?

Congrats on the resolution though! I bet you are sleeping better at night.
 

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John said:
As Daniel alluded to, a little scheme at the right moment may make your suspect throw his/her hands up.

On the other hand, if your suspect isn't the guy, then this "little scheme" is felony fraud on your part. The only thing worse than paying the deductible on your damaged bike would be going to jail for trying to frame an innocent guy.

Get real evidence, present real evidence.
 
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