(WSVN) - A video showed a truck hitting her mailbox, so she assumed the driver would have to pay for it. But that driver says he didn’t do it, and his boss won’t pay up either. So who has to pay for it? The answer in tonight’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
If you are lucky, you live in a neighborhood where everyone maintains their houses. In Frances’ case, they are also improving them.
Frances Salazar, who has to pay?: “Everything is great, and the neighbors are all trying to fix up their houses.”
One of Frances’ neighbors was getting a new roof, which, of course, meant a delivery of materials.
Frances Salazar: “But when the people came to drop off his materials, that’s when everything went the wrong way.”
When Frances came home, her mail was spread out in the yard. Her mailbox had been busted.
Frances Salazar: “We contacted another one of our neighbors to see if they had video.”
Watch the delivery truck drive into Frances’ yard and over the mailbox, and while you can’t see it hit the mailbox, you can hear it.
Frances Salazar: “The audio speaks more than the actual video because you can hear the thump. [The driver] was driving on the wrong side of the road. Never stopped. Never came back to see what had happened.”
Frances contacted the driver.
Frances Salazar: “He said, ‘It wasn’t me. I didn’t do that.’ We said, ‘We have it on video that you did!'”
The truck driver refused to pay and passed the buck to the owner of the delivery company.
He didn’t pay.
Frances and her husband contacted the roofing company, and they said, “We don’t own the truck. We’re not responsible.”
Frances Salazar: “I’m fuming about this whole situation. I’m at my wits’ end. The damage has been done, and nothing has been fixed.”
The mailbox isn’t expensive, but Frances said, “That’s not the point.”
Frances Salazar: “It’s a matter of principle. It’s a matter of responsibility. Of being accountable for our actions.”
The video clearly shows who ran over the mailbox.
What’s not clear is who has to pay for the damage.
Frances Salazar: “So who do I turn to next? Help Me Howard.”
Well, Howard, your turn. Frances asked three people to pay, and three people passed the buck. Legally, where does the buck stop?
Howard Finkelstein, 7 News Legal Expert: “You don’t need a law degree to answer this one. It’s common sense. The driver who hit the mailbox has to pay for it. If he won’t, the owner of the company he drives for has to pay. It’s that simple.”
We contacted the delivery company. They didn’t respond.
We called the driver. He must have lost our number and never responded.
We then talked to the roofing company. They told us they were not responsible, but they would pay for the mailbox, and they sent Frances a check.
Howard Finkelstein: “Give the roofer credit for paying for the mailbox when, legally, they were not required to, and if I were them, I would never hire the delivery company, and tell others not to, until they return the money for the mailbox.”
Frances and her husband got their check and their new mailbox.
Frances Salazar: “Same quality. Same material. Thank you, Help Me Howard.”
Glad we were able to help them get that money.
Now, if you have someone who owes you and won’t pay, the only thing to do is sue them in small claims court. If you win, you get whatever they owe you plus your court costs, assuming they follow the judge’s order to pay you. Meaning, you have to decide if it’s worth the aggravation to go to court. If it’s not, call us, and let us try to resolve it.
Hit the roof trying to solve a problem? Unable to deliver a solution? Try to run it over to us, ’cause we won’t mail it in. We will do our best to make you happy.
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