What to do if my son hit a parked car with his bicycle and caused a minor scratch?

UPDATED: Jun 10, 2014

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What to do if my son hit a parked car with his bicycle and caused a minor scratch?

He was visibly injured. Now the car owner wants to charge me for $768 in damages with no concern for my son’s well being; he is only 8 years old. We had a friend estimate the damage at about $200 tops. I feel as if I am being taken advantage of. What is my legal recourse for this situation?

Asked on June 10, 2014 under Accident Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The driver of the parked car did nothing wrong--the car was parked and not moving. You son hit it, which is careless or  negligent (either for your son, to hit a stationary vehicle; or for you, to not supervise your child while he was riding the bike, if he could not ride it safely); therefore, the car's owner is entitled to recover the cost to repair the car and has no obligation to take into account or pay for your son's injuries. It's the at-fault party which bears the liability and costs in cases like this.

If you don't believe his cost to repair, you may offer to pay only what you think is appropriate or fair; if he does not accept that, he may try to sue you, at which time he can try to prove in court that the damages are what he says they are.

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