Ms. Demeanor's Vertical Etiquette

Dear Ms. Demeanor: My super hurt my car while parking it. Who pays?

By Jamie Lauren Sutton  | December 8, 2010 - 7:11AM

Dear Ms. Demeanor,

I work full-time and I park on the street near my building - 'nuff said?  Seriously though, I pay my super $150/month to move my car, and he recently got in a fender bender.  Since he is not on my insurance I have to pay out of pocket and I think he should really be the one paying.  I want to get my money but I want to do it in a way that will avoid bad blood.

If you have any ideas I would love to hear them.

Pissed-Off About Parking

Dear Pissed-Off,

Having a car in this city is both a  tremendous luxury and a tremendous burden, particularly if you choose or are forced to park on the streets.  I myself adore watching the literal street theater of people waiting in cars, looking at watches, moving cars...  (When NY1's Pat Kiernan says, "Alternative side parking rules are suspended," I could swear I hear a large collective sigh of relief.)

How lucky you are to (a) have a car and (b) have a reasonaby-priced alternative to giving your firstborn to one of the city's exorbitantly-priced garages.  Garaged or not, however, it is almost impossible in New York City to maintain a pristine vehicle, free of bumps and scratches, PERIOD. 

Depending on the extent of the damage to your car and whether or not it is still driveable, you may need to count yourself lucky and chalk up the damage to one of the costs of doing business in the Big Apple.  It sounds like you have/had a trusting relationship with your super in the past and it would be a shame to risk that over something that was almost certainly an accident and very probably no more his fault than yours. 

You were taking this risk an uninsured person drive your car for your own convenience; pay for the damage and get over it.  In the future, either take the risk and hope it doesn't happen again, add your super to your policy, or move your own car.

Happy Parking,

Ms. Demeanor 

Ms. Demeanor is channeled by a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur who writes under the pen name Jamie Lauren Sutton. She is here to commiserate, calm and correct. Please email your quandaries to [email protected] and put "Dear Ms. Demeanor" in the subject line.

See all of Ms. Demeanor's advice here.


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