's Forum Archives - General

Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )

Man Bites Dog - I gotta pay for hitting a car(44 posts)

Man Bites Dog - I gotta pay for hitting a carMeDotOrg
Aug 3, 2001 7:25 AM
I was riding north on the Great Highway by the beach in San Francisco. There is a section where a metal plate covers some road work, the pavement had been cut so that the plate lays flush in the roadway. I wasn't paying attention, my front wheel got caught in the groove between the plate and the roadway, and my bike started to go down to my left side. I yanked up on the handlebars, and the bike came free, but my momentum carried me into traffic. I hit the back of an Infinity going somewhere around 16-19 mph.

I got 10 stiches in my chin, my frame is toast (bent), and on top of it all, the guy whose car I hit calls me and says the bill is $1400! One of those deals where I cracked the tail light lens, and the lens is one unit, plus two dents, above and below the light. It still sounds a bit expensive to me.

Just to make things perfect, I was layed off this week. (Actually I got a 6-month severance package, so I can't complain too much).
not your faultDog
Aug 3, 2001 7:28 AM
It's the City's fault for maintaining defective property - the road with the plate/crack in it. It doesn't appear that you were negligent. Tell him to send his bill to the City.

Aug 3, 2001 7:37 AM
Don't bring up the "I wasn't paying attention" part!
Good thing it wasn't IllinoisGadfly
Aug 3, 2001 7:44 AM
Similar case resulted in our state Supreme Court ruling that bicycles are not "intended users" and that governments/municipalities are under no obligation to make road conditions amenable to bicycles.
Really?mike mcmahon
Aug 3, 2001 8:36 AM
That's crazy. I would imagine, then, that bicycles aren't considered "vehicles" under Illinois Vehicle Code as they are under the CA Code. I'm pretty sure CA also has a law stating that when placing or replacing grates on public roads, public entities must use grates with cross-bars that will not allow a bicycle tire to enter the grate. I was recently involved in a case where a cyclist went down when his tire became stuck in a seam in the road that was approximately 1.5" wide and 2" deep. A city road inspector testified that he was responsible for the area but that he never inspected for hazards to cyclists because he thought you'd have to be a "damn fool" to ride a bike on this road. Despite this belief, he never suggested to anyone at the city that cyclists be banned from this road or warned of its condition. The city is like to get hammered at trial, based largely on the testimony of this inspector.
just because....Rusty McNasty
Aug 3, 2001 8:51 AM
...some idiot judge made a ruling, that doesn't mean that it will stand up on appeal. Most judges are elected (Illinois actually allows coroners to be elected), which is no guarantor of judicial competance. My guess is that the judge's ruling will fall on it's first appeal.
Is the Supreme Court the high court of Illinois?mike mcmahon
Aug 3, 2001 9:03 AM
If so, there is no avenue of appeal. Maybe the best hope is the state legislature.
two decisions, here's oneDog
Aug 3, 2001 9:14 AM
This one is actually decided by the intermediate court of appeals, and rests upon very technical statutory interpretation:

DONNITA LATIMER, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. THE CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT, a Municipal Corporation, Defendant (The City of Chicago, A Municipal Corporation, Defendant-Appellee). NO. 1-99-0781


2001 Ill. App. LEXIS 432

June 12, 2001, Decided
June 12, 2001, Filed


PRIOR HISTORY: Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 94 L 7968. Honorable Sophia H. Hall, Judge Presiding.



PROCEDURAL POSTURE: Plaintiff appealed Cook County Circuit Court (Illinois) summary judgment for defendant city in action to recover for injuries suffered in a cycling accident. She argued trial court error in holding defendant immune under the Illinois Local and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act, 745 Ill. Comp. Stat. 10/3-101 et seq.

OVERVIEW: Plaintiff suffered injuries in a bicycle accident. She sued defendant city of Chicago, arguing that it owed her a duty to maintain its streets in a safe condition for cyclists. The appellate court agreed that defendant was immune from liability under the Illinois Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Liability Act, 745 Ill. Comp. Stat. 10/3-101. While § 3-102 of that statute provided an exception to immunity where a public entity assumed a duty to permitted and intended users, plaintiff failed to prove, under case law, state statutes, or municipal ordinances that she was an intended user. Use of Chicago streets by cyclists was certainly permitted, but defendant assumed a duty of care toward cyclists only on those streets designated as bicycle routes by special markings or restricted lanes.

OUTCOME: The court affirmed judgment for defendant. Plaintiff was a permitted user of the street, but in absence of bicycle route markings, she failed to show that she was an intended user for purposes of the tort immunity statute.

CORE TERMS: bicyclist, street, bicycle, user, ordinance, municipality, sidewalk, ride, traffic, riding, roadway, Tort Immunity Act, pedestrian, markings, bridge, amici, duty, pavement, happened, adult, reasonably safe condition, duty of care, travel, marked, lake, feet, public way, circulation, type of harm, water skiing

CORE CONCEPTS - Show Concepts

COUNSEL: For Appellant, Clifford Law Offices, of Chicago, IL (Robert A. Clifford, Timothy P. Rhatigan and Robert P. Sheridan, of Counsel).

For Appellee, Mara S. Georges, Corporation Counsel of the City of Chicago, of Chicago, IL (Lawrence Rosenthal, Deputy Corporation Counsel, Benna Ruth Solomon, Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel, and Joseph H. Kim, Assistant Corporation Counsel, of Counsel).

JUDGES: PRESIDING JUSTICE CAHILL delivered the Opinion of the court. WOLFSON and BURKE, JJ., concur.


OPINION: PRESIDING JUSTICE CAHILL delivered the Opinion of the court.

Plaintiff Donnita Latimer brought this negligence action against defendant, the City of Chicago, seeking damages for injuries she sustained in a bicycle accident on a Chicago street. The circuit court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment, finding that plaintiff was a permitted but not intended user of the street. On appeal, plaintiff contends that the trial court erred in ruling that defendant was immune [*2] from liability under section 3-102 of the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act (Tort Immunity Act) ( 745 ILCS 10/3-101 et seq. (West 1998)).

The complaint alleged that on October 7, 1993, plaintiff was injured when she fell from her bicycle on a part of Clyde Avenue where the pavement was broken and uneven. Plaintiff alleged that
oops, cut off - decisions on websiteDog
Aug 3, 2001 9:18 AM

One is the Ill. Supreme Court, highest court, and another the intermediate court of appeals.

Aug 3, 2001 9:28 AM
Doug, thanks for posting that. Very informative and good to know as a Chicagoan. Does it ever pay to sue local government?
pay to sue?Dog
Aug 3, 2001 9:33 AM
I hope not. I represent the City of Fresno. :-)

Illinois law may not be the same as the rest of the country, though. Usually, sovereign immunity is waived for defects in public property that cause damages. This "intended" vs. "permissive" user distinction I've not seen in some of the states I've looked at.

I Illinois, if you are going to get hurt on a bike, make sure it's on a street designated for bike travel. Lobby for more designated routes with your councilmembers.

That came out wrong...Kristin
Aug 3, 2001 10:24 AM
Suing anyone is too stressful to be desirable. But I was thinking that sueing the local government would be a complete waste of time and money (at least around here). Unless it was a painfully obvious wrong on thier part, the government would likely win. Alas, this is Illinios and corruption is almost an art here. Something to muse over, the next time I visit Honest Abe's homestead. :)

LOL about falling only on designated roads. I'll try to make a mental note of that!
What a horrible decisionmike mcmahon
Aug 3, 2001 9:36 AM
This is a case where the dissent got it right. One thing I found interesting is the the majority seems concerned only with the intent of the public entity at the time the road was built:

"That the township, after the plaintiff's accident, later erected signs-a bicycle symbol and the legend, "Slippery when wet"-at the approaches to the bridge does not signify to us the township's intent before the accident here. Subsequent remedial measures or warnings, of course, may not be used as evidence of negligence. Herzog v. [**540] Lexington Township, 167 Ill. 2d 288, 300-01, 212 Ill. Dec. 581, 657 N.E.2d 926 (1995). Similarly, we do not believe that Wayne Township's subsequent placement of signs, installed after the accident, is indicative of the township's prior intent."

Isn't the real issue whether the cyclist was an intended user on the day of the accident? If so, it would seem the the installation of warning signs for cyclists is a clear indication of intent at that time. The reference to the subsequent remedial measures rule seems clearly misplaced here. The way I read it, plaintiff is attempting to use placement of signs to show that the cyclists were intended users, not that the city was negligent in its maintenance of the road. The majority really seems to be bending over backwards to reach a decision that will limit municipal liability.
I agree, they are wrongDog
Aug 3, 2001 9:42 AM
I think that cyclists were no doubt "intended" users, just maybe not the only or primary intended users. The decisions are purely result oriented.

Change the law through the legislature.

Another thoughtmike mcmahon
Aug 3, 2001 10:35 AM
If I were an enterprising risk manager for a city in Illinois, I would go to the city council armed with this opinion and suggest that we immediately de-designate all designated bicycle routes, making it clear that cyclists are permitted but not intended users of our streets. My city would instantly be immune from all claims by injured cyclists alleging dangerous conditions on public highways in my jurisdiction. Then, when a cyclist breaks his neck after going into a grate or pothole, I'd be a hero.

I mean, as long as the court is considering all of the possible liability scenarios, isn't this one as likely as any raised by the majority? Clearly, this is something that should be addressed by the leglislature.
yup, subject to outraged cyclistsDog
Aug 3, 2001 10:49 AM
That might draw some attention. At some point, the cyclists may throw a fit.

Even better, why not outright BAN cycling from the public roads?

the unfortunate end result:4bykn
Aug 3, 2001 11:24 AM
Now most if not all municipalities, when planning new construction/upgrading old roads, will not designate ANY bicycle routes/lanes. This removes any liability for them since the Supreme court ruling. There is some info regarding the original accident/lawsuit that brought about this decision along with some of the attempts to right this wrong at the League of Illinois Bicyclists web site,
I think that's a great ideacyclopathic
Aug 3, 2001 11:35 AM
At least it works with mntbike trails!

read this:

and this:

I guess that's what's gonna happen to "outraged cyclists"
Really?Patrick McCauley
Aug 5, 2001 5:10 PM
Bicycles are condidered vehicles in Maryland, too. There are stated duties in the MD Annot. Vehicle Code, however, there is no language regarding "intended" or "permitted" that i have seen.
disagreeNo WAY
Aug 3, 2001 7:48 AM
the guy did the damage he pays... if it's the city's fault then the city owes him a new bike, etc. and as i recall that didn't happen. take responsibility, man- if you still have a beef then go after the city for a new bike, the car repair, damages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, etc. by doing so, you will also help feed the out-of-control legal profession
Aug 3, 2001 7:59 AM
The guy didn't "do" the damage. (The "not paying attention" part could be a problem, though.)

What if the City had left a 4 foot keep excavation in the road, unmarked, such that the cyclist had to swerve around it and hit the car? Same scenario, just more extreme. The City was the fundamental cause of the collision and damage.

I'd describe the facts to the guy's insurer and tell them to go after the City. This is not a matter of shirking responsibility, it's a matter of placing the blame, if at all, where it belongs.

agree with Dougpeloton
Aug 3, 2001 8:12 AM
I have a riding buddy who hit a huge, unmarked pothole a couple of years ago when on his bike. The impact destroyed a nice, new wheelset. He went to town hall and complained, and the city paid for a new wheelset for him. The blame lies in the town, not the rider here.
Aug 3, 2001 7:15 PM
This may be some thing you could offer help with. There are three main roads traveling to my job for a commute. All three are signed and designated for street usage. In a single summer I've managed to go through well over 300.00 in tubes and tires. After a month of use a tire looks like it's been totally slashed due to the excessive amount of glass. On one street in and attempt to cut costs they have managed to actually get the sewer grates between 3-8(measured) inches below the surface of the pavement, the rest of the covers are all grates almost always set to suck in a wheel. During the spring the pot holes can be so big that I've seen drivers that weren't looking literally loose a wheel. The questoin is can the city be made at least partially responsible for the frequently replaced tires, tubes, and occasional wheels. Wasn't planning a suit but was thinking of sending in a dozen tires with a bill attached. Thanx in advance. TTFN
you're F'ing joking, right???nm
Aug 6, 2001 4:43 AM
doubtful, but maybe a ban on glass containers?Dog
Aug 6, 2001 5:31 AM
I feel your pain. I got 3 flats in 75 miles yesterday. I burn through tires and tubes at the rate of at least one tire and 2 tubes per week. Many of the flats are from glass, and I'd hate to think of all the additional flats I'd get from glass if I didn't watch the road more carefully.

To sue the City, you'll at least have to prove the City maintained a "dangerous and defective condition of public property." Glass on the road probably won't cut it. ;-)

We really should ban glass drink containers, say under 750 ml (so wine bottles would be excepted). It seems the vast majority of glass on the road is from beer bottles, likely thrown out by some teenager so as not to be caught with an open container at 1 a.m., on Saturday morning. It's ridiculous. Aluminum containers could suffice.

So, ban the glass.

it's also...Hank
Aug 3, 2001 7:50 AM
Infiniti's fault for making such cheezy cars. You wouln't have put a scratch on my old 1970 Plymouth Fury or my 1985 Volvo. Our insurance rates are going up as a result of these soft plasticky cars, painted bumpers, etc. The repair bills on these cars for minor scuffs is silly.

But I agree with Doug - try the the city first.

Sorry you got hurt. I know that stretch of road.
thread drift...why are car parts so expensive?ColnagoFE
Aug 3, 2001 8:28 AM
ripped off the side mirror--drivers side backing out of my garage. a new one cost something like $250! It's non-powered and nothing fancy. just some plastic and a cheap adjustable mirror inside. talk about markup.
Infiniti cheezy cars?Spokeman
Aug 3, 2001 9:16 AM
Not to knock your cars but I'll take a modern car over an older one any day. I don't miss sitting in the driveway waiting for the motor to warm up, I don't miss long stopping distances, I don't miss poor handling, I don't miss engines that burn oil after 60K. I don't miss questionable electronics. I don't miss engines overheating while I sit in traffic. My Infiniti is the best car I have ever owned, bar none.

Oh, did I forget to mention emissions? Your Fury puts out more emissions sitting in the driveway than my car does at full throttle.

Sure, modern cars have more plastic but they are a hell of a lot more durable than anything made 20-30 years ago, including getting in a crash. If I had to ram a car into a brick wall, I'll take my G20 with air bags and crumple zones over a big steel box that just transfers the energy to your body.

It does cost a lot to repair a car these days. Labor in the bay area is around $100.00 an hour and modern automotive paint is very technical.

Don't get me wrong, I love classic rides, I hope to get my hands on a clean Datsun 510 2-door in a few months, but for daily drivers new cars are light-years ahead of anything made 20 years ago.

I'll shut up now. :}~

agree, Infinitis are very well made.railer
Aug 3, 2001 12:27 PM
One of the best.

The plastics make them lighter, faster, more efficent, quicker stoppers, quicker turners, etc, etc.

Plus like Spokeman said, theyre even safer due to engineered absorption or crumple zones.
agree with you guys but...Hank
Aug 3, 2001 5:31 PM
I think the manufacturers could do something to bring the cost of very minor fenders benders down. It is messing up our insurance rates. I also like modern cars but I don't drive very much - makes more sense for me to drive old reliable cars that don't depreciate. And my old 240 still holds the all-time safety record with the real world statistic of fewest deaths per 1000 vehicles.
not your faultdavidl
Aug 3, 2001 9:15 AM
'curbstone opinion' fwiw :

Don't pay for something you did not cause and was not your fault. You did everything you could do under all the circumstances to avoid the wreck. Stick to your guns!

Don't give the insurer any statements - tape recorded or otherwise. But if you say anything, blame the city. Don't ignore any letters or papers served on you. If Infinity's insurer sues you, bring in the City with your own action against them. The city's negligence in failing to alert traffic, warning of a dangerous condition - it's own work, caused your wreck.

It would be a good idea to go out and photograph the offending road, plate, crack, groove, etc. from your direction of travel so that if the matter does go to court, you will have evidence of the road conditions that caused the wreck. Take pictures before the city fixes it or puts up warnings. By the time you need the evidence the road will probably be repaired and all you'll have is testimony - from you. "A picture is worth a 1000 words..."

I don't know where you are, but many states have tort claims acts designed to protect city governments. Make sure you preserve your claim against the city so it's not history later on. Have a Dr. document your personal injuries, if any.

Try to get legal counsel - and representation - through a local or national cycling organization. You should consider getting your claim started against the city as soon as possible. There are always time limits on these claims and in many states the time limits are short where gov't. entities are concerned.

Good luck !
Although it really goes in the sh*t happens, nobody's faultbill
Aug 3, 2001 8:26 AM
bin, look at it from the car's point of view. He wasn't doing anything wrong, and a cyclist hit his car. I'm not sure that you can avoid all blame, as a practical matter if nothing else. Typically, inability to avoid all blame means that you get the blame, and it would be up to you to bring in the city.
Can it be blamed on the city? Well, first of all, whether it could or it couldn't, good luck, because municipalities everywhere are slow pay to no pay. You'll get nowhere with the city informally is my bet -- you'd have to take him to court (and there usually are strict and narrow notice requirements if you intend to try, much shorter than the usual statutes of limitation). The car's insurance company has lawyers on retainer that do nothing but collect property damage. You'll be facing the guy's insurance company in court long before you got anywhwere with the city, and I suspect you'd lose. I understand why and how it happened; I just don't think that anyone else will. The loss has to fall on somebody.
Can it be efficiently fought? Well, you've got six months to work on it.
not unless you ARE a lawyer alreadyColnagoFE
Aug 3, 2001 8:31 AM
this kind of case will drag on forever and you'll probably spend more fighting the city than just ponying up the $1400 now and forgetting it IMHO. sure it could be their fault, but the time and $ you'll lose is just not worth the hassle here.
Have you thought about...Greg Taylor
Aug 3, 2001 8:38 AM the League of American Cyclists a call? it is a long shot, but they may be interested in your case (or at least give you some direction). I understand that they were active in the Illinois litigation that resulted in the ruling that the state's obligation to maintain roads so as to be fit for their "proper and intended use" did not require them to forsee that they would be used by bicycles.

Sorry about the lay-off.
my perspectiveharper
Aug 3, 2001 8:55 AM
As an attorney who represents four different municipalities, I think I have an answer for you: it depends.

City's are creatures of the state, and state law mostly defines their responsibilities and liabilities. So, the first maybe is what does your state's law say about this.

Second, you would have to prove the street was somehow deficient or the city was negligent. Not easy either. Moreover, to the attentive cyclist, this road was fine. Only the inattentive user had a problem. But I recall from school that you take your victims as they come, "eggshell skull" rule or something like that.

City's carry insurance. Now, a few of mine would send a file such as this one to my office for review and the others would send it straight to the insurance company. This one could possibly go to the city attorney's office b/c the dollar amounts are not high (what was your bike worth -- replacement cost, not new either) plus $1,400.00. If it goes to a city attorney for review, your chances of settlement are greater than if it gets shipped to an insurance company.

If I were you, I would not hesitate to get the City involved. It's an avenue to receive some if not all of your damages and the drivers. If you do not, it's all out of your pocket. You really do not have much to lose. Cities settle matters like this all the time. Try it and see what happens. Like I said, it all depends.
Doesn't Infinity guy have insurance?bianchi boy
Aug 3, 2001 10:32 AM
At least where I live, we have no-fault. In case like this, his insurance would pay for it. I would just refuse to pay and tell the guy to work it out with his insurance company. Believe me, a guy driving an Infinity has insurance. At most, you could offer to pay the deductible. I think he's trying to rip you off.
Body repair charge is excessive!!!Michael Y.
Aug 3, 2001 11:04 AM
I remember a recent case in my city where a woman received a few thousand dollarin a settlement for twisting her ankle in a pothole!!! I would contact city hall or even contact a personal injury lawyer. Nobody likes to contact lawyers but you were injured and I think the road work is as much to blame as anything for the accident. It does not cost anything to talk to them and they will go after the city for you.

It also sounds like the clown with the car is jacking up the price on you for the repair. I had simular damage to my car and the repair with a new lens, repair the dent and paint cost less than $400. While I am sure the lens on an Infinity is more than my Geo, I do not think the lens is a $1000 part!!! My guess is that he has a friend who owns a body shop and is trying to take advantage of you. They will say they need to replace a body part then just pull the dents out and split the difference.

Tell him to go to his insurance company and let them come after you if he is going to try to pull that crap. I'll bet he comes back with a lower figure on the repair. He can claim he is not at fault and not pay his deductable and let his Insurance company come after you if they want to. My guess is they will not bother to do so for such a small repair.

Good luck!!!
Actually 1400 doesn't sound too far out of linePeetey
Aug 3, 2001 11:49 AM
I had a woman back into our Volvo -- not much damage; tail light, minor dent in quarterpanel and a scuff on the rubber of the bumper.

Grand total $1300!

Just hope he doesn't ask for reimbursement for a rental car while his is in the shop! You might want to check with your Homeowners/renters insurance and ask if it is covered under the general liability section. Good Luck.
was a police report filed?cyclopathic
Aug 3, 2001 11:53 AM
I was under assumption you're innocent until proven guilty
Proving you guilty would be hard unless there're witnesses and police report filled.

just send guy to his insurance and forget about it. Insurance wouldn't bother going after you this is not big claim

On other hand it would be hard for you to get anything from city.
Hope your frame has lifetime warranty and your LBS guys would warranty it (it pays to know 'em well) good luck
Aug 3, 2001 12:52 PM
Everybody may flame me for this, but here goes...

MORALLY, if I had to lay blame it would fall squarely on your shoulders. If a driver were not paying attention and ran into YOU at 16-19 mph, you would probably expect him to pay, right?

LEGALLY, I don't know. I would say that if you had a legally navigable path around the obstruction and didn't take it, that's not the fault of any government agency. Anyway, this is Doug's ball of wax, so I won't speculate any further.

REALISTICALLY, it's our responsibility to accept that cycling is dangerous, and do our best to minimize the danger. When bad things happen, I feel it's important to our image, as well as to society as a whole, that we think about what's really right or wrong. There's no way the guy in the car should have to pay. There's no way every road in the nation will ever be perfectly free of hazards to bikes. If this bit of construction is REALLY terrible, then I support you going after the government. But if it's not, and you could have gotten around it if you were paying attention - come on man. Don't sue. Don't be that guy.

This is in no way meant as a personal attack. You aren't the one who brought up sueing. What happened sucks, getting layed off, stacking up your bike and getting hurt really sucks. I hope everything works out for you, but please don't let anybody talk you into sueing unless it's really the right thing to do. Legal action should be about justice and morality, not about who we can foist the bill off on.
Aug 6, 2001 5:10 AM
me tooclimberted
Aug 3, 2001 1:58 PM
I didn't exactly hit a car but my tire too got caught in a crack in the pavement. Except, insted of hitting a car I hit the ground at about 25-30 mph. WICKED road rash, luckly the road I hit was "relatively" clean and didn't have glass rocks etc in my wounds. All in all I have really bad wounds on my right shoulder, forarm, right knee allthe way down to my ankle. To add insult to injury in was on my brand new bike, about 2 miles on it. No biggie the bike came away unscathed, but I'm out for a week or more. Any suggestions on healing roadrash faster?
Thank you one and allMeDotOrg
Aug 3, 2001 10:40 PM
...for your feedback. I never thought this post would end in a legal discussion, but the information given was very good and much appreciated.

After giving it some thought, I decided to pay the owner of the Infinity out of my own pocket. There are a couple of reasons:

1. There is a "multi-use path" which runs parallel to the road I was on that supports bicycle traffic. I think the city could make a pretty good argument that it had provided reasonable accomodation for bicycles. (I hate taking the multi-use trail when the wind is at my back though. You'd have to live in San Francisco to appreciate it, but the Great Highway is one of the few stretches of straight, flat road in the city!)

2. I just didn't want to go through the legal confrontation. There are pros and cons to going after the city, but in the end, I guess I felt like sometimes you have to beware. There are trolley tracks all over San Francisco, and I had a nasty bike accident on them once, but I don't think they are going to rip up all of the trolley tracks to accomodate cyclists.

I wish ALL cities did more to accomodate bicycles. I just would have felt uncomforatable making a stand on this particular point.
Thank you one and allpeloton
Aug 5, 2001 7:49 PM
I think this guy may just be telling you to pay so that he doesn't have to deal with his insurance company, and so that he doesn't have to pay the deductable. I would cut him a check for the deductable, and tell him to deal with the insurance company for the rest. I think he's taking you for a ride. Just my 2 cents.