When a neighbor damages your property, you need to take action right away if you want to protect your finances. Even if the damage was accidental, these situations can escalate into major legal battles in the blink of an eye.
Document the Damage
The first thing that you need to do is collect as much information as possible about the incident. That includes taking pictures of the damage from multiple angles and contacting anyone who witnessed the situation. You should also write down information such as when the damage occurred, any past interactions that you have had with your neighbor, and how much the window cost to install. All of that information will be invaluable if you end up filing an insurance claim or taking your neighbor to court.
Contact the Police If the Damage Was Malicious
If the damage was an accident, then you probably don’t need to call the police. A kid playing rough and an adult with a grudge are different ways to approach this situation That being said, you must immediately contact a local law enforcement agency if you believe that your neighbor broke your window on purpose. Depending on the circumstances, your neighbor might be charged with a crime. At the very least, your neighbor could be fined for criminal mischief or vandalism.
Consider Filing an Insurance Claim
Accidents happen, and it might be easier to simply file a claim with your home insurance provider. Maintaining a healthy relationship with your neighbor can be very beneficial, but you should take a close look at your deductible. Your neighbor might offer to cover the deductible or pay for a new home window with cash. Whatever you decide to do with your neighbor, you must get the agreement down in writing. A signed contract is going to strengthen your case if the neighbor changes their mind.
Speak With an Attorney
It is an unfortunate fact that these cases sometimes result in time-consuming legal battles, and a single broken window could end up costing you more than you realize. These types of cases are especially common when neighbors have been arguing with one another for quite some time. Even if your case seems straightforward, you must still contact an attorney to discuss all of your legal options. In these situations, many attorneys won’t charge any fees unless they win the case. An experienced attorney can also help you get additional compensation if your neighbor has threatened you or impacted your quality of life.
The most important thing to remember in these scenarios is that your family’s safety always comes first. If you ever feel threatened by a neighbor, then you must immediately contact the police.