Parenting & Family

Son scratched a car by accident

  • Last Updated:
  • May 24th, 2017 9:24 am
Deal Addict
Dec 31, 2007
3678 posts
470 upvotes
Richmond Hill
RBosche wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 10:41 am
So not so much there are several things wrong with my post as you needing clarification...I have other concerns but my reason for coming on this forum is to determine if I should be paying for damage that my son 'may have' done to the car. Excuse me for not disclosing everything in fine detail.

So...here r ur answers

1) My son and his friends are 13/14yr olds in a school yard...no parent supervision. Two boys brought the tree from one of their yards and dumped it in the parking lot prior to my son ariving. When my son was leaving with a couple other boys, he opted to drag the tree over to the grass but dropped it when the older boy chased after him

2) Not my concern where the tree came from ( a lazy homeowner who couldn't be bothered to get rid of it?) but answered in #1

3) I have little concern about what transpired with the boys providing it stays as a one off

4) The parents whose care supposedly got damaged are also the parents of the boy who chased my son away
Not much you can do about this, but sounds a bit scammy.

IMO sounds like a primitive version of the reverse car scam (parents get the kids to chase your kid, and hope the tree damages their car and you pay $$). And without dashcam evidence, the courts most often favour the scammers.

But again, this is all circumstantial.

Chalk one up for an unfortunate event I suppose. :\
Deal Addict
Aug 19, 2013
2297 posts
863 upvotes
RBosche wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 10:41 am
So not so much there are several things wrong with my post as you needing clarification...I have other concerns but my reason for coming on this forum is to determine if I should be paying for damage that my son 'may have' done to the car. Excuse me for not disclosing everything in fine detail.

So...here r ur answers

1) My son and his friends are 13/14yr olds in a school yard...no parent supervision. Two boys brought the tree from one of their yards and dumped it in the parking lot prior to my son ariving. When my son was leaving with a couple other boys, he opted to drag the tree over to the grass but dropped it when the older boy chased after him

2) Not my concern where the tree came from ( a lazy homeowner who couldn't be bothered to get rid of it?) but answered in #1

3) I have little concern about what transpired with the boys providing it stays as a one off

4) The parents whose care supposedly got damaged are also the parents of the boy who chased my son away
Did you ever stop to think that the kids were goofing around near the car with the tree (cause seriously what 13 year old decidesa to just clean up a parking lot). The 18 year old sees them goofing around and tells them to get lost and chases them away. Cause he doesn't want your kid scratching the car.

It sounds like your son and his friends wee likely responsible for the scratches and the 18 year old was trying to get them away from the car. And yes that makes you responsible to pay for the damages. How about teaching your son a lesson about responsibility. If it were my son I would pay and he would pay me back.
Deal Addict
Aug 19, 2013
2297 posts
863 upvotes
enwhyRFD wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 2:16 pm
Not much you can do about this, but sounds a bit scammy.

IMO sounds like a primitive version of the reverse car scam (parents get the kids to chase your kid, and hope the tree damages their car and you pay $$). And without dashcam evidence, the courts most often favour the scammers.

But again, this is all circumstantial.

Chalk one up for an unfortunate event I suppose. :\
Seriously? It was at a school yard. The 18 year old probably drove the car there. He was likely trying to get the kids away from the car so they wouldn't scratch it.
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2001
13485 posts
4116 upvotes
RBosche wrote:
Apr 4th, 2017 10:43 am
I have had so many peope and kids scratch and dent my cars by accident...I can't be bothered pursueing them looking for $. I have no intention of paying. My son was trying to remove the tree from a school parking lot that other kids dumped there and because these people's 18yr old opted to chase after my son, he dropped the tree and run. Perhaps if he did not run after my 13yr old, the tree would not have been dropped.
You should be setting a better example for your child about responsibility. The fact that others damage your property does not give your child a free pass to damage other people's property. You do not choose to proceed against others for small damage - which is fine, that's your choice. That does not mean when you (or those in your care) cause damage you should expect others to just walk away.
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 30, 2017
6 posts
6 upvotes
Stolen xmas tree in the end of March? Christmas was 3 months ago. The tree was on the front yard of one of the 2 boys who carried it to the parking lot. My son when he was leaving opted to drag it onto the grass to get it off the parking lot. He heard the 20yr old boy was running after him and his friend so he dropped the tree and ran. He doesn't even think it hit the car and he was holding the top about 24" off the ground with the stump and wide part of the tree on the ground... There is no way it could dent the car like they were claiming. I don't mind paying to help repair the car if I knew my son caused any damage BUT in this case no proof he actually did scratch it and no way he dented their car. I say the 20yr old did the damage himself to his mom's car and blaming it on my son to spare himself getting in trouble.
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 30, 2017
6 posts
6 upvotes
You are forgetting the part where they claim the tree dented the car. The top of the tree dropping from 24" when it was lengthwise with the car cannot dent it. The bottom and fat part of the tree would have slowed the fall to much to barely even scratch and that is assuming it did touch the car. I don't mind paying for scratches if my kid did it but no one there at the time aside from their 20yr old son can say the tree hit the car. Prior to chasing my son and his friends the 20yr old and his friends were swearing at our boys because they wanted them to leave the area. My son and his friends had no idea what car was even theirs or if they even had a car there.
Had they not stated the car was dented and threatened to call the police on my son, I would have worked something out. Based on their approach, I challenged them to call the police and let me talk to them.
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 30, 2017
6 posts
6 upvotes
You can set a better example if you choose. I will set the example of supporting my kid and not being scammed by a couple idiot scammers. With the info I have there is no way the tree even if it did hit the car could dent it. He was holding the top of the tree with the bottom on the ground and dropped it when the 20yr old came after them...No one can say if the tree even hit but if it did, no way it could dent it and my son is too small to throw a 7ft tree.
Had they said the tree caused a couple scratches, that is one thing and I may have worked something out. Since they're claiming something that could not have happened, leads me to believe either their kid or themselves damaged the car elsewhere and looking for someone to pay for it. They can call the police and I will gladly deal with that.
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2001
13485 posts
4116 upvotes
RBosche wrote:
Apr 5th, 2017 9:44 pm
You can set a better example if you choose. I will set the example of supporting my kid and not being scammed by a couple idiot scammers. With the info I have there is no way the tree even if it did hit the car could dent it. He was holding the top of the tree with the bottom on the ground and dropped it when the 20yr old came after them...No one can say if the tree even hit but if it did, no way it could dent it and my son is too small to throw a 7ft tree.
Had they said the tree caused a couple scratches, that is one thing and I may have worked something out. Since they're claiming something that could not have happened, leads me to believe either their kid or themselves damaged the car elsewhere and looking for someone to pay for it. They can call the police and I will gladly deal with that.
You have one side of the story - the side you have openly admits to playing with a Christmas tree near someone's car. This is the absolutely best case scenario.

Don't you think you should investigate both sides? It is rather presumptuous to just assume that your child is telling the truth - especially when your child seems to admit it is possible the tree they were moving around touched the car.


As a parent you need to also be objective rather than just blindly believing what your child tells you. Go see the damage for yourself at least before you draw any conclusions, otherwise you are just sticking your head in the sand and ignoring that there are two sides to every story.
Newbie
Aug 5, 2008
66 posts
53 upvotes
What was the point of your original post, if you already have your mind made up? Also, it wouldn't hurt to go see the damage and draw conclusions from actual evidence like the other posters said.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jul 27, 2006
10326 posts
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Let them prove they have a case.

You don't have much to lose. You either pay up now, or pay up later, might as well wait to see how things lay out.

People keep saying this and that about who's responsible. Yes, if your son did cause some damage by dropping the tree after he was chased, then he should be partially liable. Of course, these 20 years old were swearing and then chased your son and his kids. Thats not assault but those kids could have felt their life was threatened in that situation, so the 20 year old should be partially liable as well. Instead of chasing kids, they could have approached things differently. Based on the story, you do have a lesson to tell your son but I think backing him up is appropriate as well.
Sr. Member
May 12, 2014
832 posts
313 upvotes
Montreal
thechampion116 wrote:
Apr 6th, 2017 12:36 am
Let them prove they have a case.
I think that's spot on.
thechampion116 wrote:
Apr 6th, 2017 12:36 am
..., these 20 years old were swearing and then chased your son and his kids. Thats not assault...
Actually, that is assault. You don't have to touch someone to assault them. Trying is enough. Canada Crim. Code: "Assault 265 (1) A person commits an assault when [...] (b) he attempts or threatens, by an act or a gesture, to apply force to another person, if he has, or causes that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present ability to effect his purpose; [...] "

If two 20 year olds caused my 13 year old son to run away to protect his safety, the 20 year old is responsible for any damage that results.

A 20 year old has no business "chasing" a 13 year old unless that kid is armed or in the middle of vandalizing or stealing something or committing some crime.

Far from paying the 20 year old's family, they would be lucky if I didn't press charges against their kid.

PS: regarding the damage to the car, that's a civil matter so their threat of calling the police is a bluff. Also, civil responsibility is a provincial jurisdiction, so it will matter what province you're in. Under Quebec's rules, I don't believe you would be responsible for your son's actions anyways.
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Jul 29, 2005
5790 posts
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Mississauga
You should not pay unless there is hard evidence your son caused the damage. And why were the two adults chasing the kids? You need to find that out from the other party.
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Jun 9, 2003
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Raggie wrote:
Apr 6th, 2017 6:48 am
You should not pay unless there is hard evidence your son caused the damage. And why were the two adults chasing the kids? You need to find that out from the other party.
probably because his son was up to no good by dragging a christmas tree and causing trouble.


Probably wouldnt be difficult to pull witness especially for small claims court. If the car is leased, im thinking the dent would need to be corrected...and its not free.

OP fails to understand that if the trunk of even a small tree makes contact with a car it will cause a dent. I assuming the son is dragging the tree by the end of the trunk and when release must have made contact with the car.

(how hard is it to find witnesses in a school parking lot?)
Deal Addict
Apr 28, 2004
1573 posts
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RBosche wrote:
Apr 5th, 2017 9:21 pm
I say the 20yr old did the damage himself to his mom's car and blaming it on my son to spare himself getting in trouble.
Let's get this conspiracy theory out of the way. Your possible "explanation" is so convoluted of a plan that it's ridiculous. Are you telling me these 20-yr olds dented their car and then drove to an EMPTY school parking lot just waiting for some random one-in-a-million chance that a kid would come close with an heavy object to blame the dent? Why even bother when they can just say they went to the shopping mall and somebody door dinged them - which happens all the time and not that unusual?
RBosche wrote:
Apr 5th, 2017 9:38 pm
You are forgetting the part where they claim the tree dented the car. The top of the tree dropping from 24" when it was lengthwise with the car cannot dent it. The bottom and fat part of the tree would have slowed the fall to much to barely even scratch and that is assuming it did touch the car. I don't mind paying for scratches if my kid did it but no one there at the time aside from their 20yr old son can say the tree hit the car. Prior to chasing my son and his friends the 20yr old and his friends were swearing at our boys because they wanted them to leave the area. My son and his friends had no idea what car was even theirs or if they even had a car there.
Had they not stated the car was dented and threatened to call the police on my son, I would have worked something out. Based on their approach, I challenged them to call the police and let me talk to them.
The point is that you weren't there to see the dead tree bounce. A slightly off-center tree trunk would definitely twist towards the side or if the tree was heavier on one side, it will roll. Considering the tree was lying on one side for 3 months, it's safe to assume the tree is no longer perfectly round and equally balanced, hence the roll when dropped.

Now, given how you've described the events, I seriously doubt the older boys were actually being bullies. Logic would suggest they were actually yelling at your kid to get away from their car, especially if your kid was dragging a heavy object near it. I certainly would be doing the same thing if I saw that happening. Serious, why would your kid even "opt" to drag something so close to a stranger's car in an empty parking lot?!? And since when did schoolyard bullies resort to threatening to call police?!? I wouldn't even describe it as a "chase" as they were running to their car to protect it from your son's irresponsibility.

Which brings to my final point. After your son dented their car, are you saying the older boys caught up with your kid and friends and were able to get your phone number? Or did they drive and follow your kid home? Instead of being bullies and knocking your kid out for damaging their car, they actually did the responsible thing and alerted you, the parent?? This sure doesn't sound like the action of punks swearing and chasing 13 yr olds. So yes, I am questioning if there's any truthfulness from your son's side of the story.
Deal Addict
Aug 19, 2013
2297 posts
863 upvotes
So first the person who chased your son was 18 and now they are 20. You seem to have a lot of facts about this tree including who put it there, where it came from, even exactly how far off the growing your son was carrying it. And of course 13 year old boys always tell the complete truth and never change the facts to keep themselves out of trouble. Funny how your "facts" keep changing to try and defend yourself.

And this 18 or 20 year old (I can't keep track) did nothing wrong. Your son was goofing around near his car and rightfully told him to get lost. I would have yelled at your kid to if I saw him dragging a tree beside my car. You kid probably knew he scratched the car, the older person yelled at him and he took off.

But go ahead and believe the bizzare story your son told you and let him get away with it. And just FYI when your son is a few years older and tells you it's a skunk you smell, really it's not. Lol
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