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Old 26th September 2018, 12:52   #1
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Default The Accident Victim's dilemma - Drunk biker rams into my car

Hi,
Last week while I was waiting with my brother at a red light junction for the signal to turn green, a bike (200cc+ category) rammed into the stationary car from behind, denting the bumper and damaging the lights and parking sensors. The offending party consisted of 3 youths, 18-20 years old, without helmet, riding on high speed and under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The impact was such that the front portion of the bike got damaged seriously. They all fell down but lucking there were no injuries. The boy who was driving fled while the owner of the bike and the other remained. It was 9 pm in the night.

We called the police and reported the incident. They recorded everything and left and will be calling us for the next steps in a day or two. The boys can be put into jail for multiple offences and their life can be jeopardized. Needless to say they are from poor strata of society and not well off. The owners father is paralyzed and mother is the only bread winner. Typical case of youth gone awry and getting influenced by movies and other stuff.

My damage is only the damage to the car. I would like to punish them and make them feel sorry for what they were doing but taking a human view do not want to send them to jail as any case against them will be a life long blot on their life. Their families are sorry but are unable to pay for damages. Police is all ready to book them under offences and send them to jail.

Should I take a hard view and let them suffer for their misdeed and spoil their life with a police case which will make it difficult for them to get a job, a passport and stop many avenues in life or should I take a lenient view considering that there is no injury and there is only damage to the car and let them leave for their karma to act out itself. I am in a dilemma. What would you do if you were in this situation?

Last edited by moralfibre : 27th September 2018 at 12:51. Reason: Typo
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Old 26th September 2018, 12:55   #2
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Default re: The Accident Victim's dilemma - Drunk biker rams into my car

Would have been ok to let them off the hook if they were sober. But drugs/alcohol? What happens if they repeat it and end up killing themselves or others?

Tough choices
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Old 26th September 2018, 13:02   #3
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Default re: The Accident Victim's dilemma - Drunk biker rams into my car

Since you stated the 'owner of the bike and the other remained' on the spot, I can deduce that at least they are not that poor as either you think/ your post makes out to be; since they have the money to buy that 200+ cc motorcycle, and feed it with Rs. 90/ ltr petrol, and do alcohol and drugs at the same time.

I too feel for this half-wit's mother, but the law should take its own course. You are not pressing for the damages, that should be kindness enough. A short stay behind the bars should knock some sense in the heads. If not, then they are destined to become what one should not and you can't help it!

Regards,
Saket.
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Old 26th September 2018, 13:15   #4
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Red face re: The Accident Victim's dilemma - Drunk biker rams into my car

Reading the post, it was quite clear that the offending party needs to be punished for multiple issues. For no fault of yours the car has been damaged and surely it will incur a cost. You could do that favour by getting it repaired but IMHO the youths need to be punished for their multiple offences.

Just thinking loud, what would have been the scenario had the offending party and victim been reversed? Would law let off the offending party then or law would take its course of action?
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Old 26th September 2018, 13:20   #5
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Default re: The Accident Victim's dilemma - Drunk biker rams into my car

Difficult choice, but letting them get away scot-free is the worst case scenario. If there is a forced "community service" type of punishment, that would be a good thing. Even if they are poor, you should insist on some token payment for the damages (which you can pass it off to some charity). I understand there are so many layers to this issue, but it is your duty to make them realise their mistake and have them incur some sort of cost/inconvenience so they are deterred from repeating the same. Tough call.
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Old 26th September 2018, 13:20   #6
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Default re: The Accident Victim's dilemma - Drunk biker rams into my car

Choices have consequences, and in the long run, the truly humane thing to do would be to drive home that lesson. How and to what extent, is upto you and the authorities to figure out.
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Old 26th September 2018, 13:28   #7
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Default re: The Accident Victim's dilemma - Drunk biker rams into my car

Quite the dilemma, indeed.

If let off scot free, there are chances they'll boast about this rather than take it as a generous wake up call. Luckily, the only damage they've caused here is something to a car that can be easily fixed.

Unfortunately, I don't have a suggestion for you on the course of action.

Good you have this incident reported to the cops. Regardless of what you do, please consult a lawyer and check if it suffices to absolve you of all liability. If you decide to let them off, would the FIR have to be discarded? In that case, get a signed confession from them that it was their fault and they banged your car while riding three-on-a-bike and under influence. You wouldn't want these clowns to claim anything otherwise. It'll be your word against theirs, assuming you don't have proof (blood test for DUI, video evidence of the accident).

The other thing: if you do take action, would you have to worry about retaliation?

Sorry I sound a cynic, also being pragmatic.
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Old 26th September 2018, 13:41   #8
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Default re: The Accident Victim's dilemma - Drunk biker rams into my car

Hi autobahnjpr - I think these offenders need to be punished. While sending them to jail would be a bit on the harsher side, you can make them pay for the entire repair of the vehicle's bumper etc. If they have to sell of the damn bike to pay for the repairs, so be it. Why should you suffer for no fault of yours? I faced a similar thing 3-4 years back when a "youth" tried to break a signal on LBS road in Kurla, Mumbai and banged into my car from behind, lost control and went on to bang into my colleague's car who was riding slightly ahead of me. He and his elder brother first pleaded to ignore the damage, then threatened us to do whatever we could, but seeing that we were cool and said we'll go to the cops, got the damage repaired from one of their known garages on CST road in Kurla. So it turned out, neither was that "youth" poor, nor sorry for his action. As ghodlur has pointed out, if the situation would have been reverse, you'd have had to pay through your nose to get out of this situation.
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Old 26th September 2018, 14:09   #9
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Default re: The Accident Victim's dilemma - Drunk biker rams into my car

With due respects to your thoughts, factually seeing there are multiple offences in this -

- Simple being riding without helmet
- Riding on high speed
- Riding under the influence of alcohol and drugs
- Riding 3 people on bike
- Causing accident to your car and thereby damages
- Also need to see if he has a valid DL

If you ever wish and being softer you can only absolve him from taking any damages for the accident he has caused (and claim insurance for repairs and taking hit of NCB), but should not and cannot absolve him from the other offences he has caused (you are not the authority) and law should take its own course for those offences.

Also as suggested above take a written letter from them of the facts before letting him go off accidental damages.

KK

Last edited by KK_HakunaMatata : 26th September 2018 at 14:11.
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Old 26th September 2018, 14:09   #10
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Default re: The Accident Victim's dilemma - Drunk biker rams into my car

No dilemma whatsoever.
Press all criminal charges.
If the bike had insurance (I'm willing to bet it didn't), claim damages too - otherwise let the monetary damages be.

My unequivocal view of it has a number of facets, but I'll only put one of them here:
If you do decide not to press charges on "humanitarian grounds" (pause as I vomit), I hold you as guilty as these three offenders, as wrong side drivers, as indiscriminate high beam users etc. I would view it as a contribution from you towards the lack of respect and complete absence of even a shred of understanding of safety precautions/measures that plague our "society".

Not having a go at you at all, sir - pardon the bluntness above. Clearly you're a compassionate gentleman and are torn between "right" and "right". But I must say I could only ever look at it as one more (set of) offender(s) going free - whether it's because of their poverty, lack of education, the system or whatever reason one can think up to paint them in a light good/bad/pity-inspiring is immaterial. One can always think of mitigating factors/extenuating circumstances and/or be soft-hearted. In my view though, it is only letting drunken, careless scum (not youth) go free, and tacitly encouraging the scourge that is "chalta hai".

Again, my apologies for the (relatively) harsh words. But I feel strongly about every drop that falls in the festering cesspool of the ocean of our "society", and I believe that the only way forward (however futile) is to be as righteous as we can - every small, arguably inconsequential step of the way.

I implore you to understand the seriousness of this - the cascading effect every action has, how an infinitesimal series of acts have led us to where we are. The simplest, most direct extrapolation I can give you is, imagine if this was a big-wig's rig that rear-ended you. If today, you let the law be unequal, you cannot complain of the big-wig's drunk, underage son going scot free in my hypothetical. The law cannot be equal and unequal as per convenience (if that makes sense).

Quote:
Originally Posted by KK_HakunaMatata View Post
but should not and cannot absolve him from the other offences he has caused (you are not the authority) and law should take its own course for those offences.
Well said sir!

Last edited by Mu009 : 26th September 2018 at 14:19. Reason: Correction(s)
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Old 26th September 2018, 14:26   #11
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Default re: The Accident Victim's dilemma - Drunk biker rams into my car

How you wish to react is based on multiple factors:
  1. Indemnity - bringing your car back to shape. You've already shown your generosity in terms of willing to fix the car out of your pocket/insurance.
  2. Revenge - "I'll teach them a lesson" - the very fact that you're level-headedly soliciting input here indicates this is not at all a factor.
  3. Punitive measures - driving the lesson home via a punishment.

This wasn't a distracted person riding a bike on a job (delivery, labourer going from site to site, etc.) that hit you. This was joyriding. Amplifying the magnitude of the crime was that they were doing so with reduced mental capacity (I mean the alcohol and drugs, not their poor decision making!). These are the two aspects that need to be punished.

Talk to a lawyer - and see if it is possible that the charges raised against them will be dropped only on condition of them going through community service (e.g. assisting police at a junction in the vicinity of their neighbourhood), or if the bike can be seized given the manner in which it was being ridden (or other violations against it), or if their driving licenses can be cancelled.

Drunk/drugged out kids without a vehicle are more a menace to themselves, so by trying to take their vehicle off the table, you would end up doing your civic duty. Cleaning up their lives is on their friends & family.

I appreciate you wanting to do the humane thing, but I also think it important that these boys take away a lesson from the incident (instead of some bruises they only have a vague recollection of having earned). How far you wish to take this - and how much you want to go out of the way doing so - is a decision you'd having to make.
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Old 26th September 2018, 14:41   #12
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Default re: The Accident Victim's dilemma - Drunk biker rams into my car

Since this question is based on sentiments and not asking the opinion from legal angle, I would reply this from sentiment point of view only.

If you do not take legal actions on their public behavior, it will harm in two ways

1. Tomorrow, they will do the same thing for other innocent people and it becomes a habit
2. You are assuming that those drunkards who are already proven to be irresponsible through their driving behavior(3 of them on a bike + DUI + No Helmets + Accident on a stationary car) will become responsible citizens in future.

But, I have no hopes that, in future, they will work hard to fetch their mother and manage family with the money earned if you do not action on them. But, I clearly assume, they are currently dependent on their mother for their drinks + 90Rs per litre + bike and spoiling their mother's earnings(My assumption only)

So, in my opinion, if you really want to do good to the earning Mother, you should take legal action so that atleast it will avoid their mother not to be bothered to give money for their drinks and other illegal activities

Quote:
imagine if this was a big-wig's rig that rear-ended you. If today, you let the law be unequal, you cannot complain of the big-wig's drunk, underage son going scot free in my hypothetical. The law cannot be equal and unequal as per convenience
Super perspective

Last edited by gkveda : 26th September 2018 at 14:56.
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Old 26th September 2018, 14:50   #13
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Default re: The Accident Victim's dilemma - Drunk biker rams into my car

Quote:
Originally Posted by autobahnjpr View Post
Should I take a hard view and let them suffer for their misdeed and spoil their life with a police case which will make it difficult for them to get a job, a passport and stop many avenues in life or should I take a lenient view considering that there is no injury and there is only damage to the car and let them leave for their karma to act out itself. I am in a dilemma. What would you do if you were in this situation?
Would your decision differ if the person were A. Rich or B. Politically connected? If no, then let go of it. If yes, you need to get these chaps pay for their deeds. At most, you can waive off their liability towards damages caused by your car, but let them be charged for triple seat, helmet less riding and rash driving and others as per the provisions of the law.
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Old 26th September 2018, 15:18   #14
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Default re: The Accident Victim's dilemma - Drunk biker rams into my car

I can honestly say that you are not doing any good to "society" by letting these guys go Scott-free.

I had a similar experience in 2009 when my new Swift was rear ended by two under aged youths. By the time I opened by door, the riding ran off with the Activa. As i walked back to check on the car, I saw the other guy struggling to get up. Few bikes stopped by and mentioned that these guys where joy riding and being general nuisance to the public. They over took a bus from the wrong side and ended by hitting my car. My car that a broken tail light, bumper hinges were gone and had a nasty dent above the tire well. These bikers very keen that I call the cops and book these guys for rash driving apart from the accident.

Now this boy wasn't ready to give up his bro code and rat out his "friend", who left him there without giving him a chance to flee! Needless to say couple of minutes of stern talk lead to this guy calling his friend on his mobile. This kid comes by with a sob story that the vehicle belongs to his dad and he has taken it out without asking his permission, along with crocodile tears that his dad will beat him black and blue if he finds out. He offered me his mobile phone, which may have been worth 4-5K second hand, to get away from the situation. He mentioned that he will lie to his dad that he lost the phone as that would mean less beatings for him.

I thought just like how you are thinking now. I took him to his dad, explained the issue, restrained him from hurting his child. His dad promised that he will pay for all expenses and not to report to cops. Weeks past by and dad never came good on the promise. Eventually he asked me to meet him where he offered me INR 500 as that is the best he can do coming from a lower income family.

Also, the location of the meet was suggested by the father, it was a place of worship, I didn't mind going there even though being of a different religion. It became clear in the first few minutes why I was asked to come there. His tone and language had changed completely, which made me instantly regret being kind to the guy. As furious I was at the time, I decided to let this go down as a life lesson and left after giving him a piece of my mind.

So, once again, I re-iterate that you are only helping offenders go free by not reporting them. These guys may end up doing the same thing again and endanger others lives, not to mention their own.

Last edited by mac187 : 26th September 2018 at 15:22.
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Old 26th September 2018, 15:20   #15
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Default re: The Accident Victim's dilemma - Drunk biker rams into my car

What happens to them is not a choice you can make. They have already made that choice. What would happen if you were on foot and the idiots crashed into you?

And if I understand correctly, they are not giving you any money either. So its all on you to suffer the financial losses and be a guardian angel for these people? I have literally no sympathy for drunk drivers.

Anyone's financial condition/family love etc doesn't matter POST accident. A person should consider this before acting rashly. The onus is NOT on the OP to be a saint.

Last edited by ani_meher : 26th September 2018 at 15:23.
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