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Topic - Car damaged my bike - making a Civil claim for compensation?

mountain_stephen - on 04 Dec 2012
My bike was locked up against the railings outside our flat. One of our neighbours swiped it on the way into her parking spot, causing about 150 worth of damage (ripping of a pedal, bending handle bars). The incident was recorded on my cctv camera and showed her car causing the damage and going into her space as she returned home from work at her usual time. I also recorded the damage to her car in the daylight the next day and the scratches etc match up. Unfortunately, the camera was mounted inside and the window was a little steamed up at the time and you can only see the registration plate clearly the next morning when the car reverses out of the space. However, the only other way out of the space would require a gravity defying magic trick.

Unfortunately, the driver has been extremely unhelpful, would not provide any information about herself and denying all knowledge, and when I eventually pointed out my cctv she became aggressive, didn't want to see the cctv footage and said "I pay for my parking space, you pay nothing to lock up your bike" and so on. She then told me to make a report to the police and see what they do.

So I did, unfortunately the Police won't take action as it doesn't reach the criminal burden of proof (beyond all reasonable doubt) because they can't see the number plate during the actual incident. I'm not keen to prosecute her, I just want her to pay for the damage she caused. I'm looking to make a small claim in the civil courts as the evidence should be sufficient on the balance of probabilities. However, I'm struggling to find any advice on how to make a claim where I know only the details of the vehicle and not the driver (although I know her address) for damage to property.

Has anyone had any experience of making such a claim?

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