What Should You Do If Someone Breaks Your Windshield?
Someone breaking your windshield is an annoying and awkward experience. The best thing to do is to calm down, remind yourself that things like this in life happen and keep a level head. In this post, we walk you through a few things you should think about and how to handle the situation.
1. Call A Windshield Repair Service As Soon As Possible
We say this not because we want your business, but because we care about your safety. A broken windshield can be dangerous for the following reasons:
- Shattered windshield glass and cracks impair visibility.
- The structural soundness of your windshield has been compromised.
- Newer cars that have forward collision, lane assist, and other ADAS technologies may have those features disabled or even worse, they could be operating incorrectly which can put you in danger.
You don’t have to call Alfa Auto Glass. As a matter of fact, if you’re not in Southern California, we can’t service you. Whatever you do, get a hold of a professional windshield repair business ASAP.
If you’re in the LA or OC area, please call (714) 323-2672 to schedule an appointment with Alfa Auto Glass.
2. Gather Documentation
Depending on how and why someone broke your windshield, it can never hurt to get as much documentation compiled as possible.
- Note the date, time and location that the windshield damage occurred.
- Collect contact information – if the person gives you permission to take a photo of their ID, that’d be best. Also, ask for their phone number.
- Get the other person’s insurance information if possible.
- Take photographs of the damage.
- Collect witness testimony if possible. If someone saw the event occur, then record their account of the event and collect their contact information.
Note: If the person who broke your windshield acts hostile towards you, your safety is more important. Don’t engage with the person. A windshield repair is extremely cheap compared to your safety and well-being.
3. Does Your Car Have ADAS Technologies?
ADAS stands for: Advanced Driver-Assistance System. Most windshield repair outfits like to know if your car is equipped with either:
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
- Lane Departure Warning System (LDW)
If your automobile is equipped with either of these features, then be sure to tell your windshield repair service. This information is important in case extra windshield parts need to be ordered AND it will let them know if they need to calibrate these systems after your new windshield is installed.
4. Check Your Insurance
Sometimes you can have your auto insurance pay for windshield repairs, however, you will most likely have to pay a deductible. Now, as windshields get more expensive, your car insurance will become pretty helpful when a glass repair is needed. New cars and high-end car brands can have pretty expensive replacement costs, so definitely talk to your insurance agent or broker.
5. If Someone Breaks Your Windshield In Anger
Once in a while, people will get into altercations, arguments, passionate break-ups, car accidents and other scenarios which causes people to act emotionally and with “furious anger” (cue Samuel L. Jackson!).
The most important thing is to remain calm and not lash out or react impulsively.
If you feel like you are in danger or there is a possibility the person is going to harm you, then it’s best to leave the scene immediately. Windshield damage is a minor event relative to one’s entire life, so it’s not worth putting yourself in harm’s way over it.
However, if you or someone has documented the event where someone has broken your windshield in anger, you do have legal recourse to have your windshield replacement costs paid by them. Hopefully, after emotions have died down, the person will become rational and be willing to work with you on getting your windshield repaired in a timely manner.
6. Who Should Pay?
This is a good question. If the person who broke your windshield will take responsibility for the damage, hopefully, they will offer to pay for the damage. People of good character will naturally do this.
If the person who broke your windshield doesn’t have the money to cover the cost at the moment, you can structure a payment plan where they pay you back in increments. Most of the time, these sorts of agreements aren’t written down and it’s just of matter of trust between you and the other person.
You can have a formally written agreement drafted between you and the other party. This generally helps ensure you get paid back because there’s documentation of the agreement. However, we urge you to seek professional legal help in this case since we are not attorneys.
Finally, there’s small claims court. Again, we’re not entirely sure how this will pan out for you. Most people find the time and the trouble too much effort to go through the small claims court process. However, you might want to give it a shot, because some people learn the small claims court process and find it useful later on in life!
This video has a few good tips on how to act in small claims court and how to prepare for it.
7. What If It Was A Minor That Broke Your Windshield?
Hopefully, kids are still playing baseball outside these days and are getting some exercise instead of being plopped down in front of a TV screen! But maybe these active kids broke your windshield with that baseball. In this case, you can contact their parents and ask for reimbursement. We don’t recommend dealing with the minor directly as laws related to children and minors have become increasingly stringent over the years.
On the bright side, sometimes these neighborhood “events” become a good way to get to know your neighbors and you’re going to be glad that the neighbor’s kids broke your windshield! You may make lifelong friends this way!
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