Posted 12-22-2004 at 14:37:57
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You may want to consider filing a small claims court suit against the dumptruck driver and his company. Most small claims courts are run like "The People's Court" on TV and require no lawyers. They also don't cost much to file.
A damaged windshield is probably not worth enough to get an attorney involved, especially if no one was injured. Lawyers cost big bucks and your case is not a sure winner. It would probably be cheaper to just pay for the windshield out of pocket than to pay for a lawyer to handle the matter.....
For the case to be heard in most criminal courts, you would have to show something like negligence or intent to injure and there would have to be a criminal law about securing loads. Since I doubt that you saw exactly where the rock came from off the truck, I would guess that you would lose a criminal case, where guilt must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. The officers are right--you probably do not have a winnable criminal case.
The dump truck driver or his company would probably turn over the matter to their insurance company. Or they might just decide to settle with you rather than tie up the driver's time to go to court. Or you might have to spend the time to go to court, tell your story and then live with the decision the judge comes up with.
Broken windshields are a hassle. I have had about 10 over the last 25 years, and one of them was 4 days after I had the windshield replaced! In that situation, I was able to contact the driver of the 4 wheel drive truck with huge tires and no mudflaps that kicked up a rock the size of a large egg that almost came through my windshield. I got her insurance information, but her insurance refused to pay. I ended up deciding that it was not worth my time to sue her, and paid to replace the windshield myself. Grrrr!
Good luck in your situation.