take a payoff?
July 18, 2009 5:50 PM   Subscribe

I got hit by a car while I was cycling, and reported it to the police. Now the other party is offering to "settle it personally", leaving insurance companies and police out. Is this legal, and is it advisable?

Here are the details:
I was hit by a car that was cutting across my lane to turn left. I was not badly injured, but had quite a number of big bruises and lots of soreness. My bike was slightly scratched up and the chain got knocked off and tangled in the gears.

At the scene the guy who hit me gave me his first name and phone number. I took out my mobile and snapped some photos of him, and his number plate. We parted ways without anything else, but I told him that I was going to report the accident. The reason I decided to report the accident was because
- it doesn't seem fair that just because I'm on a bike, he gets to drive away without bringing insurance/police into it the way one normally would with a collision with a car
- I feel he should get points on his license or whatever happens to people who cause accidents - it was a really stupid, unsafe maneuver he pulled, and it was only sheer luck that I wasn't really badly injured or worse.
- I thought I might get some small amount of money to get some general repairs on my bike.

Now, after I filed the report (which is simply a collision report), the wife of the man who hit me has phoned to ask if we can "settle it ourselves". I'm not too sure what they have in mind, but I assume it's some amount of money.

I have to admit I'm tempted to go for it, but I'm not sure. First, is this legal? And if I were to take them up, how would I go about canceling a police report - is that even possible?
Finally, how much do they have to gain by avoiding a police report, and by extension how much bargaining power would that give me? I wouldn't be tempted to let him "get away with is" legally for £50, but £500 on the other hand..
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (31 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
No, it's not advisable. At least ask the advice of a lawyer first, but to me this screams shady.
posted by axiom at 6:01 PM on July 18, 2009

Don't go for it. Settling without the involvement of the cops and/or an insurance company is something you do only when the other party is well-known to you and you agree as to the amount of compensation up front.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:07 PM on July 18, 2009

Happens all the time with two cars.

It's really up to you and 1. how much it will cost to fix the damages to you and the bike and 2. how much you think he should have to pay for causing you a big hassle/driving like a dick/whatever else you think of.

If you think it might have some long term thing that doesn't show up till later, then it's not really a good idea.

I in fact just did this last week with someone who backed into my wife's car. She just gave us some cash and we didn't involve anyone else. Now we have a little dent we don't care about and some money. And she is out a bit of cash but doesn't have to worry about her insurance going up or anything. It was win/win.
posted by teishu at 6:09 PM on July 18, 2009

I don't understand why the police were not called to the scene, immediately. Here in the U.S., it would have been a crime for him to leave the scene before the police arrived.

You definitely need to check with an attorney.
posted by jayder at 6:10 PM on July 18, 2009 [2 favorites]

Ask what they are offering -- theres little benefit in it going through formal recourses. Sure -- he was a jackass and hit you -- and your pissed.

Figure out your costs, and what will make you feel better about this. Whats the damage to your bike (and keep in mind, depending on how you got hit, there might be residual damage you dont know about -- steel bikes will take quite a bit of deformation and look ok.. but be damaged). Take it to a bikeshop, get a written estimate of any "damages" and keep the receipt and the written damage report. If they dont find anything -- get the price for just a good tune up (new chain, etc). Its entirely possible a derailer got knocked well enough to put it out of true, or a wheel.

What has the accident done to you? Have you lost any tangible time from work, or activities you enjoy? Has there been pain? What is the "value" of this to you.

Would $400 (or that funky E symbol) make you feel better? Would $500? Then be clear.. "I'll keep it between you and I for $500. This is legal in the US, but im not sure where you are.

Good luck -- and do what makes you happy. If thats formal recourse -- go for it. If its $500, go for that.
posted by SirStan at 6:16 PM on July 18, 2009

Insurance is expensive, either they don't have it or don't want it to go up. I once paid a dude 200.00 bucks for sideswiping his POS car in a parking lot with my POS van. He was ecstatic, my premiums didn't go up. Your situation may be different.

If anyone had been injured, though, I would have felt too guilty to pay the guy off, and it kind of skeeves me that this dude doesn't seem to care that he could have killed you. Be aware that you may not get much compensation if you do go to his insurance/through an attorney; or you may get more than 500--but that either way it will go on his record, and if he's taking out cyclists, this may be a good thing. It's not black and white, though.
posted by emjaybee at 6:35 PM on July 18, 2009

If you are 100% sure that you didn't receive any injuries that will come back later to haunt you, then maybe this is the easier way. Of course he should pay whatever amount for the bike. If you explain exactly what you did in this post, he should kick in a bit for you not forcing him to go through insurance, loss of points, etc. That has value. You can milk it, or not.

But absolutely number one most important: make sure you don't have injuries. If that comes back to you later, he'll be totally off the hook.

Wait a minute, you're in the UK. You wouldn't have to pay much for a hospital visit anyway!
posted by zardoz at 6:35 PM on July 18, 2009

You should have encouraged them to make an offer that you'd "think about." I'd suggest that as a next step. It's non-committal on your part and gives you more concrete facts to consider. Don't dilly-dally too much though otherwise filing that report will only get harder.

Not sure about all this "lawyer" advice. It seems you're in the UK and you know as well as I do that's not how we do things here. Go with your gut instinct.
posted by wackybrit at 7:08 PM on July 18, 2009

Once again, hal_c_on_ chimes in with terrible legal advice.

1) You may or may not get more money if you get a lawyer involved. Yes, if the case goes to trial, the loser will pay the winner's attorney's fees (assuming you are in fact in the UK, as suggested by your currency denomination), but this will be largely limited to actual expenses arising from your injuries and the damage to your bike. As it doesn't sound like this is going to cost you much of anything, your potential award at law may wind up being a rather trivial amount.

2) Using litigation is no more likely to affect this driver's future behavior on the road than taking a check from him. Unless the police are actively pursuing criminal charges, which does not appear to be the case, his ability to drive recklessly will be completely unimpaired.

The question you need to ask yourself here is what amount you're willing to accept in exchange for walking away from this. The "settle this ourselves" move is basically an offer to pay you a negotiated sum of money in exchange for you not filing either a claim against his insurance or a lawsuit. Ultimately, only you can come up with what you're willing to accept, but the basic equation for settlement amounts is as follows:

([Total provable injury] x [likelihood of award]) - ([value to you of not having to litigate + [value to opponent of not having to litigate]) = settlement amount

So figure out exactly how much this accident cost you, multiply that by how confident you are that you're going to win, subtract how much you're willing to knock off for having a check in your hand without having to jump through any bureaucratic of legal hoops to get it, then add back an amount for how much your opponent is willing to pay for the same thing. This last factor is not insignificant: litigating this could conceivably take months, even years. From your perspective, money now is always better than then an equal amount of money later. From the defendant's perspective, if he's going to lose anyways, it might be worth paying slightly more now than having to spend months in litigation and days in court. No one but lawyers thinks that's fun, and that's due in no small part to the fact that we get paid to do it.

But most importantly: retaining a lawyer does not mean filing a claim or a lawsuit! You can talk to a lawyer to help you settle this thing. You probably should. Most people don't have a very good grasp of how likely they are to prevail on the merits, or how much they're likely to recover even if they did. More to the point, a lawyer will be able to help you figure how much it's worth to you and your opponent not to have to deal with this beyond settlement.

My advice: get a lawyer, and do everything you can to have a check in your hand by the end of next week without going through either an insurance company or the courts.

A word about police reports: these don't actually initiate legal proceedings most of the time. They simply serve as an officially recorded exhibit which can be used to establish the basic facts of an accident in civil litigation. No one is being charged with a crime here. It doesn't even sound like the driver received a citation. But even if he did, there isn't anything you can do about it. The other driver is just trying to avoid having to file a claim with his insurance.
posted by valkyryn at 7:23 PM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

I am not the OP's lawyer. If you're willing to settle it for just £500, I don't see why you need a lawyer. Tell the guy what you want to make it go away and see if he bites. If you think he's likely to negotiate, then pick a starting number higher than what you're willing to settle for so that you wind up somewhere around what you want.

As for "cancelling a police report," I don't see how you could do such a thing, and I certainly wouldn't even dare to try. I know little about UK law, but here in the US, the police might get suspicious and think you had originally tried to file a false report, or something along those lines. I'd be surprised if UK police would be any less suspicious.

If the guy who hit you insists that you have to go back to the police and tell them "oh, it was all just a mistake," I definitely would not do that. At that point, you might need a lawyer if you hope to collect money from the guy... but the amounts are so small that, unless things operate very differently in the UK, you'd probably have a hard time finding anyone to represent you unless you have a friend who would do it for free.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:03 PM on July 18, 2009

Honesty is the best policy.
posted by Max Power at 9:22 PM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

not all (costly) injuries are immediately apparent. File.
posted by OrangeDrink at 9:42 PM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

DEFINITELY file a report. Follow your instinct and do not let this guy get away with it. Your report may not result in prosecution, but it will build a body of evidence that will benefit other cyclists in similar circumstances.
- the intersection may be poorly designed or lit in a way that endangers cyclists.
- the driver may have (in the past or future) another incident involving a cyclist.

As an example, in this case the defendant's first 'accident' with a cyclist was not prosecuted because, in part, the police did not take the complaint seriously. But because a complaint was filed, there was evidence of prior reckless behavior that supported the second complaint.

In the US, many police jurisdictions do not support the legal rights of cyclists, regardless of the law. It's important that cyclists DEMAND their legal protections through strength in numbers.
posted by TDIpod at 10:11 PM on July 18, 2009 [6 favorites]

The driver who hit you may figure that your costs are going to come in under his excess and that as he'll have to pay all of them our of his own pocket there's no point in having a ding on his insurance record for a claim his insurer isn't going to pay. As far as I'm aware, having insurance doesn't obligate you to claim on it - it's just often more convenient if the amount involved is more than your excess.

It's unlikely you can "cancel a police report", but it's also unlikely that the police are going to take any further action on the initial report.

There's every chance that if the amount of compensation you're seeking is small, you'll get it a whole lot quicker by not going through an insurance company. Just don't sign any waivers against future liability on the other party's part (not sure they'd even hold up in a Commonwealth country, but why risk it).
posted by Lolie at 11:03 PM on July 18, 2009

It's not uncommon that people get injured in a seemingly minor accident, then discover some time later that the effects were more serious than they had initially believed.

It's also not uncommon for people to underestimate the "value" of their claim against someone who harmed them.

Handling the claim by oneself is certainly legal, but it is not prudent. A good attorney is someone trained and experienced in valuing claims against tortfeasors. It may be that you could get full value for your claim by accepting whatever they offer --- perhaps the speed and certainty of such a settlement appeals to you.

But keep in mind that by accepting such a quick, self-negotiated settlement, you may be foregoing a much larger settlement that could be possible if you were represented by an attorney, and you may be settling all claims against this person without being sure whether there will be future effects of the accident that you should be compensated for, but won't be, since you are settling it quickly.
posted by jayder at 11:50 PM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

"I feel he should get points on his license or whatever happens to people who cause accidents - it was a really stupid, unsafe maneuver he pulled, and it was only sheer luck that I wasn't really badly injured or worse."

... don't let greed get in the way, imho.
posted by titanium_geek at 1:01 AM on July 19, 2009

With regards legality in the UK, in anyone was injured, or you damaged someone else's property (car, bike, wall) you need to wait a reasonable period at the scene in order to exchange contact details. Once this is done, and both parties can leave safely, you do not need to call the police to scene, though it is advisable, and the police have been known to add a charge of leaving the scene of an accident if you don't, especially if you do not report the incident in person at a station within 24 hours.

Given you were injured, he was required by law to allow you to record the details of his insurance certificate if he had it with him; if not, he HAS to report the accident to a police station in person within 24 hours, and should do it as soon as possible. If he does not have his documentation with him when reporting it, he HAS to produce his insurance document at the station with 7 days. It's good that you have done so yourself already.

Now you've made a police accident report, the rest of what happens to him is out of your hands. They will no doubt be calling him in for interview with the next few months, and may well pass the details to the CPS for prosecution. While not a solicitor, I have been involved in a couple of car accidents in various capacities, and I wouldn't be at all surprised for a charge of driving without due and attention against him (and possibly even dangerous driving depending upon the circumstances), and if he's failed to report to a police station with his insurance and other documents, he'll likely be prosecuted for that too. Penalties will range from a fine and points on his licence, to a possible suspension of his licence. Assuming that happens, you'll be called as a witness, and the photos you took will prove useful.

The police also regularly report RTA's to the insurance companies and DVLA, so if he does not report the incident himself to his insurance company in a timely fashion, he may well have his policy invalidated, and if he hasn't been keeping up with his other paperwork (tax disc, MOT, log book) the DVLA will be wanting a word with him too.

So I would not accept any offer of private personal compensation, which is sometimes appropriate where there are no injuries and minor damage, though it's often against the terms of an insurance policy not to report all accidents. Note, your insurance won't generally go up if neither party actually claims on your insurance. Now you've submitted an accident report as you're supposed to, it's simply too late for that. And he's legally required to so anyway. I would not contact them yourself again, and do not accept any incoming cal from them - more why in a moment.

I would see your GP at the earliest opportunity, and explain you've been in a road traffic accident. They'll check you don't have any injuries you're not aware of (whiplash, internal injuires) that might take a couple of days to manifest. The records may also be relevent to any later claim you have for compensation, and possibly even the trial.

You also have a good claim against his insurance company for damage to your bike, and quite possibly personal injury. While I don't know what your compensation will be, I've seen awards in the low thousands for whiplash. They'll probably want to be contacting you too anyway - they are the appropriate people to settle with if you wish to do so. I've done this personally through my own insurance company (they provided legal assistance as part of the package), but since you're a cyclist you probably don't have one. I would contact your local citizens advice bureau, they should be able to point you in the direction of some solicitors who will give you a free consultation so you can decide how to proceed on this front. You may want to setup a no-win no-fee agreement, so he will do the running with his insurance company, and will just take a slice of the settlement. There are companies that specialise in this sort of thing, such as Accidents Direct, but they do have a reputation of keeping most of the award for themself, so you may be better off with a personal solicitor.

I would also make a folder of documentation, to keep everything together. Even as just a witness, you'll be filling in forms for a while. I would include as much of the following as possible:

* The date and time that the accident took place
* Vehicle details - registration number, make and model of car, colour, any distinguishing features, how many passengers were travelling in the vehicles involved
* Weather, light conditions and visibility, anything that may have affected driving ability.
* damage to all vehicles, including your bike
* any damage to third-party property, such as a stormdrain or wall
* Injuries to any people, and details of your own post-injury care (including doctor's visit and any medication prescribed)
* Place and date of when you reported it to the police station.
* Copies of any documents given to you by the police, you give to the police, or the insurance companies.

If there were any third party witnesses, especially anyone who was living where the accident happened, or who stopped to assist, you should get their details at the scene too. Since you don't mention it, I assume you didn't, but it may be worth returning and knocking on doors if it was in an urban area to see if anyone saw the accident.
posted by ArkhanJG at 1:01 AM on July 19, 2009 [12 favorites]

Oh, and assuming you still have the bruises and scratches, get some photos of those too, just in case.
posted by ArkhanJG at 1:10 AM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Also record any details and times of all coversations you had with him, and his wife up to now. Merely by making the offer of personal compensation to you may be taken as an admission of guilt, and that may be relevent to both the court case and your own dealings with his insurance company. I would definitely advise having all further conversations (such as to get details of his insurance, which you're entitled to know) via your solicitor.

What happens to him is between him and the state now; what happens to you and your compensation is between you, your solicitor and his insurance company.
posted by ArkhanJG at 1:33 AM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

As a fellow cyclist, I strongly encourage you to report the incident. As TDIPod said, documenting incidents like this is the only way to create the kind of paper trail that can prompt changes that will make your city safer for cyclists, such as additions of signs or creations of bike lanes along especially dangerous roads, or -- should this type of behavior be a pattern on the part of the driver -- revoking or limiting the driving privileges of reckless individuals.

I'm not sure how insurance policies work in the UK, but I believe his insurance should cover damages sustained to your bike. I'd recommend a comprehensive check-up from your local shop, since there are some kinds of damages that are hard to catch at first glance -- your frame may be bent and/or your wheels may need to be re-trued. They can assess the damage and give you an estimate for repairs.

It's a relief to know that you're mostly ok, body-wise. Good luck resolving this.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 2:08 AM on July 19, 2009

Arkhan gives excellent, and importantly, UK-specific advice.
posted by i_cola at 2:17 AM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

What are your long term injuries damages. If everything on your body will heal and a bike repair or new bike will make you whole than skipping insurance is the humane way to go. I would leave it up to him how to play it as long as you remain whole. If one the other hand you have a really expensive bike destroyed or some potential long term medical issue then for both of you it is better to go to the insurance company.
posted by caddis at 2:25 AM on July 19, 2009

Arkhan gives good details, but I would just add that you should contact the UK Cycle Touring Club (CTC) for legal advice by clicking the link below, even if you are not a member they will be able to offer you great advice on how to proceed.

CTC Accident Line is : 0844 736 8452
posted by munchbunch at 4:42 AM on July 19, 2009

It's never, never, never ever, ever never a good idea to settle a car accident "personally" without a police report. "Personally" is another way of saying that they'll promise up and down to buy you a new bike or whatever and then you never hear from them again. If you file a police report then they're going to have to pay for any damages they caused you, whereas if you don't then they won't have to pay for anything. Even if they mean it when they say they'll pay without the report, they'll reconsider once the specter of police intervention is no longer casting its shadow over them.

File the police report and contact their insurance company.
posted by Quizicalcoatl at 6:17 AM on July 19, 2009

Seconding Quizicalcoatl's advice and others upthread.

"Personally" is another way of saying that they'll promise up and down to buy you a new bike or whatever and then you never hear from them again.

This same sort of situation happened to my S.O. last year, and the above quote pretty much sums up the end result of resolving it "personally".
posted by mezamashii at 6:48 AM on July 19, 2009

I'm sorry to hear about your accident and I'm glad you're (mostly) OK.

I say, do not settle. NAIL HIM any way you can. I would go so far as to say it's your duty.

I want to LOUDLY add my voice to the chorus that effects of injury are not always immediately apparent, and that it's important that this accident shows up on record (city records, this guy's driving/insurance records).

It may be that the full understanding of what's happened to you hasn't sunk in. That has been my experience in cases like this. I've been involved in two car accidents, neither of which were my fault. In both cases I was so shocked immediately afterward, and shaken up days afterward, that the severity of the situation didn't really sink in until later. A week, maybe more. Both times I could have been killed or severely injured if just a few things had happened to go differently. The second time, which just happened a few weeks ago, my kids could have been killed or severely injured if they'd been in the car. Like I said, in the immediate aftermath I was too shaken to really process this--in the fullness of time I became FURIOUS that those irresponsible fuckers dared to drive the way they did.

We are not talking about fender-benders here. We are talking about nearly killing you. When people fuck up on this scale, they are WRONG and they need to be made to pay, using every mechanism society has (not just money), to make sure they don't do it again.
I'm sure it was an accident and he regrets having done it, etc, etc, but he did it and has to live with the consequences.

Because YOU WILL LIVE WITH THE CONSEQUENCES THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. It may feel like you have just bruises and soreness now, but it's really true that these things can come back to haunt you later, even much later in life. In the aftermath of my recent accident, I learned that insurance companies commonly accept injury claims up to THREE YEARS after the accident. I have to imagine this policy evolved because that's a common experience, not due to the innate generosity of insurance companies.

I walked out of the accident a month ago with a laceration on my leg and a week's worth of colorful bruises. Now my laceration is healed but I've got a weird bump in the musculature of my shin that shows no sign of going away. Doesn't hurt now, doesn't seem to impair function at all, but when I'm 20 years older and things are starting to break down, what's going to happen at the site of that old injury?

I did not initially file an injury claim related to this accident. A week later my leg began to swell, which it hadn't before. I went to a doctor to make sure I didn't have a deep vein thrombosis. I was about to go on a trip and be away from serious medical facilities for a week--not a time to have a major blockage. Turned out to be OK, but this is an example of a delayed concern.

I hope no complications arise from your accident, but you sure as hell are paying now for this man's mistake in your bodily injuries, and you just have no way of knowing how it will affect you in the future. If things had gone just a little bit differently, right now you could have had a broken leg. Been a quadriplegic. Died. This is NOT A JOKE.

Report him, sue him, MAKE THE MOTHERFUCKER PAY. Mark his record, jack his insurance rates, brand him with "DANGEROUS DRIVER" on his goddamn forehead. He nearly killed you. DON'T LET HIM WEASEL OUT OF IT.
posted by Sublimity at 7:47 AM on July 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

I've seen people pose this question in various ways which almost always ignore why people don't want accidents they caused to be reported to their insurance carrier: their underwriter may well increase their premiums. That's certainly not pleasant for the at-fault driver, but the insurance companies do this for a really good reason. The fact that someone has caused an accident is a fabulous predictor that they'll cause another - perhaps worse - one.

Since insurance works on a pooled-risk for low likelihood events, as an insured driver yourself, you want the underwriter to have accurate information on all their customers so that customers are charged according to the risk they bring to the pool. Letting an at-fault driver deceive their underwriter is fraud and indirectly harms all other customers through higher premiums.

I don't know about UK insurance, and insurance in the US is mostly regulated state-by-state, but every insurance contract I've ever seen has said that it is the insured's obligation to report all moving violations and accidents and that failure to do so is breach of contract. Sure, people do get away with this fraud all the time, but that doesn't mean they ought.
posted by fydfyd at 9:43 AM on July 19, 2009

I understand the argument for going at this through the legal system, and I would file a police report without a second thought, but I wouldn't jump straight to suing him for damages. If you sue him, you're going to end up settling out of court anyway. I would go see a GP, get checked out, tally up all of my damages, double that number, and ask him for that.
posted by craven_morhead at 9:57 AM on July 19, 2009

I'd ask them what they have in mind and then consider it, but I would not allow any unreasonable delays on their part to hold up my report to insurance or police.

The other party may wish to go this route for several reasons, including:

- they don't have proper insurance or a current registration
- they think their premiums will go up if they go through insurance
- they're on probation for DUI
- they are self-insured
- they have no insurance or have some irregularity with their car registration
- for some other reason, they think this is cheaper or easier for them

You are in the strong position here, and do not have to accept any offer they make, so it's all up to you. You would in effect be doing a favor for them, and so should only go ahead if it is absolutely no hassle to you, the offer seems fair, and you are certain that you do not have any long-term injury resulting from this accident. If you find out a week later that you got whiplash or need physical therapy, you will regret having gone DIY here.

And if you go this route, do not consider the deal done until you have a check from them that has cleared.
posted by zippy at 1:40 PM on July 19, 2009

Oh, forgot to add, if this is in the US and they didn't give you their registration and insurance info, what they did borders on hit and run. Especially since you were injured as a result of the accident. In the few states I'm familiar with, injury means both parties must wait for the police to arrive on scene.
posted by zippy at 1:42 PM on July 19, 2009

One other thing; if you decide to file against his insurance company yourself, you can do that in small claims county court without needing a solicitor with just a few forms and a small filing fee - you can even file online. If it was just your bike, I'd probably go that route as you can take it to a shop and get a concrete figure for how much it'll cost to repair, such as frame damage; the insurance company would probably make a lower counter offer to settle it quickly, and you go from there. If you don't already have his insurance details, you should be able to get them from the police; as as stated, he is legally required to hand them over to the police within 7 days of the accident if he didn't give them to you at the scene.

Given it's also personal injury though, the figures there vary wildly from a few hundred to the several thousand, depending upon how much it affected your work, whether it then gives you a fear about cycling again (a common symptom of PTSD after an accident), how long lasting the muscle injuries you sustained were etc etc. If it just was a few bruises, you may not get anything at all, though given the stiffness of your muscles, I suspect you'd be able to claim something. Given that, I'd definitely seek legal advice upon the best way to proceed. munchbunch's link to the CTC accident line looks a great place to start.

In case I wasn't clear earlier, you cannot withdraw the police accident report now; so while you can sort out the compensation directly with him if you wanted to skip the effort of dealing with the insurance company, there's nothing you can do about any police investigation now, which is what I suspect he's really trying to avoid, as the way you've presented it he's stone-cold guilty of an offence - and depending upon your county, they do love going after cases like this as it's a public service, quick, and conviction rates are high - especially when somebody got injured. And if he's in the habit of careless driving, and has some previous convictions...

And for the sake of filling in some forms, and making a few phone calls, you'll probably get substantially more than he's willing to cough up directly, especially if you get competent legal advice first, and more importantly you'll actually get it.
posted by ArkhanJG at 3:01 PM on July 19, 2009

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