Readers’ Scoop: Who’s Going To Pay Me For The Damage?

Dear neighbors/friends, I know it was a very windy night Wednesday, and though I didn’t really know about it beforehand, I don’t have to worry about what you should now be paying for.

My car received a nice dent from your child’s toy that was left outside and flew into it. No, I’m not going to approach you and ask you to pay (though you should) but who will pay for the $800 damage?

Yes, I know that sounds steep, but after an estimate with a shop who is known to be reasonable gave me, it is clear that even small damages can cost a lot to repair. And yes, I know who you are, it says your address on the toy that was lying there in the street by the damage. My car is leased and I will have to pay this upon lease end.

Oh, and what about your son’s electric razor that crashed into my trunk and made a nice $400 gash that I told him please be more careful, which I never told you about.

Point is, if we would be more careful and not just let our kids toys and our belongings be strewn all over the place and have a designated safe spot where to put them, these things wouldn’t happen. You make sure all your kids are home tucked into bed nicely each night, do the same with your belongings outside. Even regular garbage should be picked up from around your house. It does not have to look like a slum house from the outside and be an eyesore. It won’t kill you to clean up the wrappers, papers and boxes flying around once in a while. Why before Sandy hit did I have to see a few nice people clean up your stuff that was left lying outside because you don’t care.

So now that I will be left at lease end with a $1,500 bill to pay (from other damages as well not caused by me) with no damage waiver, from damage that I didn’t cause & that could have been avoided who will pay it? Just because I lease a car doesn’t mean I’m loaded! Yes, I can afford the lease, but why do I have to incur extra avoidable costs?? And why do I have to drive around a car that is dented and scratched because you are inconsiderate and don’t care what your car looks like.

Please be more considerate with your neighbors here on.

Thank you

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  1. Stop fuming on the inside,and speak to your neighbor nicely.
    To constantly give her the evil eye and harbor such animosity is not good for you.
    Garbage cans blew all over the place,signs got uprooted,things banged against cars,that’s what happens with wind.
    Your insurance will cover your dents.

  2. I thought I remember a prominent posek in town (don’t want to put a name down just in case I heard incorrectly) say that any toy (or other item left out) that is mazik a car (even if the car smashes in to it) on a public street – the owner of the toy is mechuyiv to pay.

    I think the psak was given/re-acknowledged by last years storm – To let everyone know to tie up their garbage cans and bring their toys inside.

    As far as the write of this letter… go ask a sheila and then approach the owner of the toy who it seems was “poshea” over here.

  3. I happen to agree with you it’s crazy how ppl live, but unfortunately I once had damage on my property from someone’s kid and I asked a rav if I’m allowed to hold the parents responsible and he said no. If you would like when the child reaches adulthood you can go after the money then otherwise it’s your prov

  4. the writer off this letter brings up a situation that happens everyday in this town with people only caring about themselves.
    Here are a few examples: last night i was at a grocery store and people are parked in two spots, people when finished with wagon leave it in middle of parking lot or worse behind someones car. it only takes a few seconds to return wagon. even if you have kids in car its still possible.
    People drive around on cell phone not even paying attention to road.

    common courteous has gone out the window….pretty sad

  5. I feel bad for u but a child under 13 is not responsible it may be nice of the parants to pay but they don’t have to and uu can’t make them pay, yes go ask your prominent posek while I ddo feel bad for u but nothing u ccan do

  6. And what about the garbage cans on Ridge street that are left all day or days after pickup that i lost a mirror to? pls take your cans back home right after pickup.

  7. Its time for you to start checking out places like pine river village or country place. Sounds from your tone like you would be a perfect candidate for a kid-free environment.

  8. You blamed the wind. Which everyone in town knows was a “ruach she’aino motzuy” an unusual wind.

    As you freely admit you have previously warned your neighbors they probably listened to you as it seems you never incurred damage before and your warnings must have paid off.

    I suppose you should take it up with the one who caused that wind. After all, what did your neighbor do wrong? Ultimatly, the wind caused the damage. Otherwise it would be a daily occurrence and their wouldn’t be $1500 of damage left to be done to your vehicle.

    Yes. Sounds like you urgently need to be in touch with the one who caused that wind.

  9. אבנו סכניו ומשאו שהניחן בראש גגו ונפלו ברוח מצויה והזיקו פטור It’s a פשוטה גמרה in בבא קמא דף ו

  10. Obviously you are not speaking (writing) with any “daas Torah” at all…

    Did you ever hear of being “poshea”. It’s not as simple as an “unlearned” person like yourself makes it sound.

    I’m not paskening but you certainly are unqualified to do so.

  11. These are really very normal challenges – chalk it up to living with all types of people who have different priorities about how to get through the day – Thanks for posting and bringing these things to people’s attention – we can all use some reminders about appropriate behavior.

  12. From this article it appears that this neighbor leaves things around his house all the time. This time it happened to have caused damage. However, in general, it’s really an eyesore when people leave their toys, strollers, etc. outside. Also, the items themselves become damaged and don’t last very long. For all these reasons, it would be nice if homeowners and tenants kept their properties clean and neat.

  13. fuming – first of all if a child left it outside, the parent is patur. soi calm down
    #2 it was an act of g-d, what are you fuming about
    # 3 if you had a simple ar you would not be fuming מרבה נכסים מרבה דאגה

  14. I work in a large development which looks like a slum. There are always toys, bikes and strollers lying all around, some are definitely abandoned as they have been there for years literally. I personally think it is terrible.

  15. to the Poster and #3.
    Cheresh Shotah V’Katan Pegioson rah, that said should a 12 year old boy take a key and scratch your car up all over and no father does NOT have to pay. Same goes for taking bricks and smashing it thru your windshield. Though some Poskim say that when they become a gadol they have to pay for it.
    With that in mind. in the case of the toy left outside, since it was a rucah sheino metzuah, they are not mechuav to pay, even if it was a gadol that left it out.

  16. Here is an idea you can do put up a fence between your yard and your neighbors yard. Here is an idea for your neighbor and anyone else with the massive amount of little tikes play toys. Put them in your backyard to keep the neighborhood nicer looking and less damage to the neighbors.

  17. Did anyone think before commenting that maybe the shulchan aruch does not apply to this person rather dine d’malchusei.
    Some of us are governed solely by the laws of the land.

  18. To: “by Anonymous on 2013-02-01 at 1:43 pm
    If the weather man said there would be a ruach sheinoy
    metzuya there is no ptur of oynes.”

    Really, so if the weather calls for 50mph winds and you sukkah can only hold 49mph wind is it pasul?

  19. Lamdin: בגמרא בבא קמא מבואר להיפך! עיין שם!!
    Fuming: אע”ג שהבן השאיר את החפץ על הגג מ”מ מכיוון שהחפץ שייך להאב הרי הוא חייב לוודא שחפציו אינם מצויים במקום שע”י רוח מצויה יכול להזיק. ואע”פ שבמרה זה לה היה רו”מ מ”מ כיון שידע שיבוא הרוח ה”ה חייב.

    Anon 2:50PM: אין קשר. לגבי סוכה הנידון היא אם נקרא מחיצה וסיכוך או לא.

  20. I just love all the comments where everyone seems to THINK they know the halacha. What happened to basic “mentshlichkeit”(decency)? In short, it is utterly disgusting how many people let their front yards look. And it has nothing to do with the kids, the parents do the same thing with their wagons in the supermarket lot. What are they thinking?! Don’t they realize wagons have wheels on bottom and roll easily?

  21. 1) pashtus it was a ruach sheainah metzuyah (gale force).2) if the owners heard the weather report or saw with their own eyes how the wind was picking up, im unsure if that would qualify as a peshiah.

  22. After reading so many posts by self proclaimed poskim on this site, somebody has to correct this tipshus.
    1)As far as ruach sheaino metzuya is concerned, that goes out the window after the first 5 minutes of the wind blowing. Once everyone sees that the wind is howling and is not dying down anytime soon, its probably considered a ruach metzuya. This is besides for the fact that there were numerous warnings on the news.
    2) As far as a katon not being mechuyav. The parents own the toy- not the katon. Its the parents’ achrayus to bring their toys & all other items in- not the childrens’.

    Bottom line- ask a posek. Don’t rely on a commentator who learned a mishna in bava kama when he was a kid to try to patur yourself up from paying damages.

  23. For all of the things that are easily preventable, most notably exposed medal on bike and scooter handles, I can’t imagine that after 120 a person won’t have to give a din vcheshbon. You simply don’t have the excuse of saying that your lifestyle is to busy or whatever, people need to pay attention to their surroundings and educate their children to respect other people and their property. It’s really sad that this is such a problem here in Lakewood, it just shows how much distance we have between ourselfs.

  24. I second the exposed handlebars comment. After being gifted a used minivan in mint condition my mother in law was not pleased to see it all scratched up 6 months later from my neighbors scooters. My children were shown the damage and educated to walk carefully around cars. As a side point, i do not allow my children to ride things with exposed handlebars…they are a laceration risk should they take a spill.

  25. Everyone has their own hang ups. What you think is dumb may be very important to your neighbor. Respect your neighbors feelings and try to keep your place as tidy as possible. It is tough living in a development but at the same time very rewarding. We all have to learn how to respect other people’s feelings and not cause any bad feelings w neighbors. Be open with your neighbors but don’t say too much…

  26. I wonder if there is knowledge that a ruach sheino metzuyah is coming AFTER you put it there, if that would be enough to be mechayiv..rashi says its tchilaas asyasan lenezek, in this case you don’t have that
    .Also would this be velo shor bor since the father didn’t PUT it in a place where it would get blown, just wondering ?? Please reply

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