How do I write a letter to a contractor who damaged to our property to ask them to either fix it or claim it on their insurance?

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How do I write a letter to a contractor who damaged to our property to ask them to either fix it or claim it on their insurance?

We had a contractor for a pool company come to our house to dig a hole. He wasn’t too sure if he should drive on our driveway as he had a big truck, I told him it was his call as he did this every day for a living I didn’t. I said I don’t want any damage done to the retainer wall and as little possible to the driveway. He said he would give it a go and stop if there was too much damage. On the first trip he has pushed all our pavers out, broken a lot of pavers and pushed the retainer wall out in one section. He said it had done more damage than he thought so I told him he was not too come back unless he had a smaller truck. I asked if they had boards or anything they use and he said the pool company does and I would have to speak to them. I did and they bought them out. No further damage was done after the boards were down except they didn’t watch the boards that were banging on our stormwater pipe and it has damaged our pipe coming from the roof. The pressure from the truck has also crushed or broken the stormwater pipe under the pavers in the driveway also as we know have a water mark running directly through our pavers where the storm water pipe is.

I don’t know wether the pool company is liable to fix it all as they should have supplied the boards to the contractor the pool company has in the contract we signed they are not liable for any damage done to driveways or paving I feel they are as they did not supply the boards in the first place so they haven’t filled their duty of care to protect our property the best they can. I’m not sure if we have to seek the pool company or the contractor who drove over the driveway, and what to put in the letter telling them I would like them to repair all damage done through their insurance. I have tried through my insurance but we are not covered as the damage was done by a third party.

Asked on March 5, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You write a letter detailing what you put into your question, stating that damage was done through their negligence (unreasonable carelessness), providing estimates or proposals for the repairs, and requesting that the pool company or contractor or both together pay for the repairs. Also state that if they do not reimburse you or at least enter into an agreement to do so within, say, 30 days, you may be forced to sue them. Then see what happens next: if one or both agree to pay even a large portion of the expenses, it's likely best to accept that (even if it means giving up some of what otherwise might be owed you) and settle the case without the time, cost, effort, and uncertainty of litigation. 
But if no reimursement is offered, the file a lawsuit for the repair, etc. cost. File it against both the pool company and the contractor: one or both should be liable based on what you write, so you can name them both and let the court figure out which (or both) have to pay.


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