Ask Kim – April 10

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Dear Kim,

My neighbor was mowing their yard for the first time this year.  While trimming with the weed eater, they hit a rock which flew across the street knocking out the back window of my vehicle.  Who do you think is responsible and how should I approach the subject with them?


Silver Lake

Dear Gene,

First question, did you hear or see it happen?  If so, clearly, the operator of the weed eater is responsible for any damage caused.  A good neighbor would have immediately come over to claim that responsibility.  Yours didn’t and that doesn’t seem right to me.  Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and pretend they didn’t hear or see shattering glass. 

Now, If you didn’t witness it by sight or sound, how do you know it was the weed eating that broke the window?  Could have been another passing vehicle that kicked up a rock.  Maybe a random squirrel attack with pine cones like they show on tv.

Seriously though, if you are truly able to say this happened while the neighbor was working in the yard a simple conversation will probably get this resolved peacefully.  I would start with, “You didn’t notice but while you were trimming, my window was broken.”  If you’re homeowners, you can then ask if they’d like to file an insurance claim.  In my experience, both homeowners and renters will simply pay for the replacement.  Depending on the cost, some folks may need some time to gather the cash if they’re not insured.  Work out a compromise.  You might need to be out of pocket until they can pay you.  Effort to make it right on their part is the important thing.  I know how you feel, kids playing in my yard have caused a few broken windows for me.  This might take a bit to get settled, but considerate neighborly action is necessary.  I know, it’s a pain (get it!? Lol) but this too shall pass.

Have a question?  Ask Kim!

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