Parked Car Window Shattered by Stone Thrown by Lawn Mower - Can Blame Be Apportioned?

A car is parked beside a road. A person starts to mow the grass adjacent to the car. The car owner asks the mower if the car should be moved, the mower replies 'no'.
The next day, the car is noticed to have a smashed window. There are a few stones (~ 3cm diameter) on the road, adjacent to where the strip of grass was mowed.
This occurred ~ 300m away from a pub, people often walk after closing time, along the path which was mowed.
Is there any fault here - or is it a good reason to insure a car?
The car belongs to a neighbour. The mower was working for a member of my family. Looking forward to your input, cheers

Comments

  • +14 votes

    If the car is of sufficient value to make insurance worthwhile for the owner, yes - it should be insured.

    In this instance, no-one knows how the window was smashed. Either claim on own insurance or pay to get it fixed.

  • The mower should have public liability insurance. Not your problem, the mower and the neighbour can sort it out between themselves.

    • But what if the mower is just mowing their own lawn?
      In that case they wouldn't have public liability insurance.

      • I guess if you received a bill from the car owner's insurance and weren't able to successfully dispute it you'd have to pay out of your pocket? Not sure if any kind of house insurance covers things like that

        • The insurance can send all the letters of intent they want. If they have no evidence then there's no case.
          Yes the mower would be negligent for not asking the person to move the car, but without witnesses you just have circumstantial evidence which unfortunately would get thrown out.

          • @Drakesy: Surely all non private parking is at the parking parties own risk? Obviously nothing can be proved, its just an unfortunate accident for the parker.

            • @havabeer: I dont think it would be correct to phrase it that way. But yes, without evidence of how the window was broken, ultimately I dont think the car owner has much of a case against anyone. It could have been a passerby, it could have been the mower. I guess the mower would know, but if he denies it then i think the owner is out of luck.

              That being said, i dont think its just a risk you accept for parking on the road, if someone deliberately or accidentally damges your property they are responsible. Just practically, as in a case like this, proving it would be difficult.

    • No one said the mower threw stones that smashed the window.

  • +27 votes

    Got proof or witnesses? Good luck proving it was the person mowing the lawn and not something else.

  • My mower man smashed a window in the Patrol, called him he asked his offsider who said 'oh yea i did that this morning'…. No note or message letting me know

    They paid up and didnt get the mowing gig anymore.

    • They paid up and didnt get the mowing gig anymore.

      I agree that you probably shouldn't have had to ask, but give them credit for the fact that they did admit to the damage and paid for it. If they wanted to, they could've just said that they knew nothing about it and then it would've been up to you to prove it.

  • it seems like there is reasonable doubt as to whether or not the mower was responsible ….

    • More than reasonable.

    • Not criminal so reasonable doubt isn't the threshold. Civil dispute so the threshold is balance of probabilities.

      • Living down the road from a pub, I would think that alone casts doubt as to who may have been the guilty party.

    • The stones either do or do not have cut marks on them from the blades. The mower man should have cleared the grass for stones before cutting.

  • +2 votes

    Hey folks thanks for your input.

    • Curious as to why the mower should be the one to stop or adjust. They were clearly there first mowing the lawn when the car approached. If it's a concern why shouldn't the car turn around or wait? Half the time when I'm mowing I don't even notice a car approaching as I can't hear it over the mower.

      • Curious as to why the mower should be the one to stop or adjust.

        Why should the person mowing get priority of the road over multiple car drivers?

        If you live on a busy road, you should be aware of your surroundings and maintain your house accordingly.

        • Why should the person mowing get priority of the road over multiple car drivers?

          Pedestrians do. Pushbikes just about do

        • They're not getting priority. They're not using or blocking the road in any way. We're talking about a motorist that's concerned with the small chance of a rock being thrown. There's as much if not more chance of a rock being thrown by other traffic. Should all traffic come to a stop and never pass one another either? Don't get me wrong, I don't like it either and always take a wide line if I can but I don't see why it's up to the mower to stop due to a motorists concern that something may happen. If a motorist is that concerned they can take action themselves by turning around or waiting rather than expecting another to change their behaviour.

      • If it's a concern why shouldn't the car turn around or wait?

        Imagine doing a 180 handbrake turn as soon as you see someone mowing their lawn! Hahahaha

      • If not a car then the stones could have hit a passing child or elderly person.

    • Mandatory guards is a bit ridiculous. If someone parks their car next to the nature strip when I am mowing, then I have no problem covering their car in grass.

      All part of the risks of parking on a public road. If that concerns you then get comprehensive insurance.

  • Unless you saw the damage at the time it was caused, then there really isn't a link between the damage and the mower.

  • If the car owner was concerned enough to ask, why not just move the car in the first place? Anyway, without proof you don't actually know it was the mower, you're just assuming.

  • I usually now the council strip outside my neighbours house as it joins up with mine but I won't do it when their car is parked on the road or outside of their driveway, it's just not worth the risk.

  • The next day, the car is noticed to have a smashed window.

    A bit too late then, could have been kids walking past later that day or someone from the pub throwing stones.

    OP has no way to prove it was a mower that did it unless the mower operator admits it - they may be unaware they even did the damage.

  • Is there evidence that the mower caused the stone to fly into the window and as a result the window broke? There may be a case against the person/company doing the mowing.

    No evidence? No possible case.

  • Do you have a photo of the smashed window? or an MSpaint of the centre with angle of the mowing area to the parked car.

    A mower rock might put a crack or impact point into a car window but I doubt it would smash it - that sounds more like a "post pub" incident.

  • Dashcam recording or it didn't happen.

  • Nil continuity. /thread

  • Unless there is a witness or recording it is just speculation. If you think about how much grass there is in this country and the amount of mowing going on you'd think this would have happened and if often enough it would be a policy exclusion just like flood prone areas.

  • Is there any fault here

    Yes, why didn't you move the car if someone was mowing around it? Stones can go flying, car gets covered in grass etc.

    is it a good reason to insure a car?

    You don't need a 'good' reason to insure your car. Just do it.

    The next day, the car is noticed to have a smashed window

    It is all hearsay then if it wasn't seen happening. Could have been the mower person, a pub person, a wild glass hating cat, ex lover. Who really knows.

    Get the car repaired, move on.

    • I agree with most of what you said, but not this.

      Is there any fault here

      Yes, why didn't you move the car if someone was mowing around it? Stones can go flying

      No, you don't get to flick stones around and then blame people for not moving their stuff out of the way.

      • No, you don't get to flick stones around and then blame people for not moving their stuff out of the way.

        Yes you do. Its the joys of parking in a public space. Don't like it, park on your own land.

  • Champion bunch or responses to the query. However, nobody raised the propect of alien intrusion…

  • I had a windscreen cracked by a council appointed private contractor mowing a verge a few years ago right outside my office, the council were unhelpful but provided me the name of the contractor mowing for them, I had my windscreen replaced before they returned my call but happily accepted liability, and mentioned it’s unavoidable and happens on a regular basis (they just grizzled that I should have got a better deal on the windscreen, it was something like $270). Moral of the story, they knew that they were liable for the repair or wouldn’t have paid. If I were you I would find out the repair cost and if you deem it reasonable just pay up and move on.

  • No dash cam? Shieeet outta luck pal!

  • is it a good reason to insure a car?

    No, saving us from another "I don't have insurance" posts is a good reason.

  • If the window is fully smashed, then if it was vandalism you'd probably expect to find a rock etc large enough to smash it inside the car?

  • Yes, most certainly. You do have photos of the culprit mowing, don't you?

  • Was it a Victor, Honda, Rover, Briggs and Stratton?

  • Is there any PROOF that the mower did it???

  • Of the mower did flick stones that smashed the window…
    Contents insurance comes with a liability benefit as standard. It will cover the liability of what happened. Be dependent on whether you have contents insurance and whether you want to make a claim or settle privately.

  • From Denzel Washington in Training Day - "It's Not What You Know, It's What You Can Prove…"

  • If it can be proved the mower is responsible for the damage then yes.

    People need to be accountable for their actions, even if there was no intent.

  • There is fault of course, windows don't break themselves.

    But without an admission or a witness you won't be able to prove anything.