RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A man is dealing with thousands of dollars in damage after his car was hit by a fire truck responding to a call.
Jacob Dandridge’s car has been in the shop for over two months and he does not believe he should have to pay to fix the damages on his car.
According to Dandridge, on the night of Sunday, June 12, a fire truck hit his car which was parked on the street. He said he came home and decided to hang out with his partner. He then saw lights coming from outside through the window.
“Next thing I know, a knock came on my door and it was my neighbor telling me that the fire department hit my car,” Dandridge said.
Dandridge recalled that when he first came outside the truck was nowhere to be seen. However, the truck soon circled back around and crew members helped fill out a crash information form. He was told to file a claim against the City of Richmond.
The truck knocked his rear-view mirror completely off and it was on the ground. Part of his bumper was also off.
8News obtained the original exchange of crash information form. The Richmond Fire Department also confirmed the incident with 8News. The initial damage to the fire truck was estimated to be $300. The damage estimated on Dandridge’s car was $500.
He filed a claim the next day and took his car to a body shop in Richmond. The shop gave him a quote for more than triple what was estimated. They wanted $2,000 for repairs.
Dandridge received letters on June 13 and June 14 that acknowledged the claim and they said that PMA Management Corp. was handling the claim. The company is a third-party administrator for the city.
“For the past two months, I have been calling them,” Dandridge said. “My insurance provider has been calling them. My partner has been calling them. We’ve all left voicemails and none of us have heard anything back until this previous weekend. I got a letter in the mail.”
That letter said that an investigation had been completed and his claim for damages was denied.
The city is protected from liability for civil damage from responders responding to an emergency call.
The collision occurred when the Fire Truck involved turned right with emergency lights activated and was responding to a call. We must advise you that the City of Richmond is protected under the Doctrine of Sovereign Immunity from liability for civil damage claims that are the result of responders responding to emergency call/situation. Based on the above, we are unable to offer any voluntary payments on this claim.PMA Companies
However, Dandridge told 8News that his home is located right in the middle of the street where the truck was responding, nowhere near the intersection.
“I live in the middle of the street, so there’s no way they would have turned and then hit my car. It’s a straight shot to my car,” Dandridge said. “I believe the city is trying to brush damages that they have caused under a rug and that they are just trying to go day by day and not pay for the damages they caused. I just would like to see them be held accountable.”
After being denied help, Dandridge reached out to the City Attorney’s Office a second time leading him to the Bureau of Risk Management.
Donnell Stewart, the Risk Coordinator for the City of Richmond, told 8News that they’ve been in communication with Dandridge. His appeal is currently being reviewed and he should be receiving an update soon.
Stewart said his office, along with PMA Management Corp., are looking into his appeal and are working to put together a solidified status update.