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Help Reckless driver files "higaitodoke" against me after I road raged back. Other's experiences?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Rothkored, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. Rothkored

    Rothkored Cruising

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    Hello, I haven't been on this site for a while as I haven't lived in Kanto for many years now, but a recent event found me asking a fellow cyclist friend who suggested I post here to ask if anyone has been in a similar position and could possibly offer any advice.

    Last Sunday, on the way to work, the latest in a long, and continuous line of idiots pulled some reckless driving on me; namely, as I was overtaking a bus, he thought it'd be acceptable driving to overtake me too, but passed way too close.
    I'm ashamed to say, as it spooked the bejeezus out of me, the adrenaline shot up, and I lost it a bit, and ended up getting a bit kicky and punchy on his car. For me, that was the end of it - He'd done me wrong, I reciprocated, a cosmic balance restored; but he wasn't having that, and began chasing me - Through 2 sets of red lights and the wrong way down a one-way street, so that in the end I stopped just so he wouldn't end up injuring/killing someone else.
    Police arrive - There was no evidence of his dangerous driving both before and after my outburst, but there was physical evidence that I'd hit his car, so it was me who got hauled away.

    He filed a "higaitodoke" (damages claim) against me, which I'm told everything now hinges on.
    If he's calmed down, and can be persuaded to settle out of court with me (Me paying his repairs, and probably a few other things to push up the price), I may get out of this OK, but if he decides he wants an example being made of me, then I'm up the proverbial creek.

    I'm just wondering if anyone has had a similar experience and could perhaps offer some advice.

    Much obliged.
     
    #1 Rothkored, Apr 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
  2. luka

    luka Maximum Pace

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    Can't help you there but would be interested to hear how this develops/resolves...
     
  3. George5

    George5 Maximum Pace

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    wait a minute. Get your lawyer to ask the cops to ask the cocksucker how he got
    Do you have GPS data of your ride? that is the proof you need that he attempted vehicular homicide against you and your initial act was self defense. Lawyer up and go after him. Remember you can plead self defence, he can't. Again get solid legal advice.BTW in future, it's better to just flip the bird. I hope so. Good luck. The bus company may well have a drive recorder of the day so again you need representation.
     
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  4. Tanki

    Tanki Maximum Pace

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    I will post again tomorrow as I have just got in and am a couple of tankaris over the tonic.
    However I have some experience of fuckwits filing victim reports. You say you were hauled away? But have the police actually charged you with anything? I think not.
    They have to do the paperwork when a fuckwit makes a complaint. Then they have to decide if it is a criminal complaint that has to be investigated and submitted to the prosecutor. Then the prosecutor has to decide if he thinks this is a load of shit and it needs to be settled out of court.

    Or, the fuckwit uses the official record of the complaint in evidence in a civil complaint.

    These he can use in the lower level civil courts. He can just make a complaint and ask for damages. You have the hassle of employing someone to contest the complaint or do it yourself , or it goes against you. However we are not at that stage yet I hope.

    I am not sure when you had your incident. In one of my cases there was a 10 month gap between the incident, the first complaint, the second complaint with doctors report and the criminal investigation, then the prosecutor told us to settle out of court. There is a minor court recipe of damages that are not so expensive.

    For the sake of repetition, not sure from your post when this incident occurred, but if it is recent calm down and relate events again.
     
  5. TokyoLiving

    TokyoLiving Maximum Pace

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    Foreigner losing it, car damage, not a good scenario. I'd say chalk it up to experience.
     
  6. dastott

    dastott Speeding Up

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    Fukuoka drivers are notorious. I try and avoid certain roads in the city as they are a recipe for disaster.
     
  7. Tanki

    Tanki Maximum Pace

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    I have read your post again. Even if the driver is really pissed off and wants you prosecuted it isn't his call. The police haven't submitted a criminal report to the prosecutor. Even if they did, the prosecutor would tell you to settle out of court.

    The driver can however make a claim against you in the lower court with the damage report he has filed. He can make the claim himself or lawyer up which will cost him money. It can be a reasonable claim or a bullshit attempt at extortion. You will find out when a copy of the claim and a court date get sent to you. The bullshit part of a claim won't impress the court. A lot of claims that are made are withdrawn when the parties involved make a settlement before the case goes to court.

    At the moment we are second guessing the drivers state of mind. I would try to get a mediator to give him a deep bow, bowl of fruit and your humble apology, and go from there. What is the timeline on this incident?

    The claim route won't get the driver more than you are already prepared to settle for, but he might enjoy the hassle it causes a foreigner if he has got really pissed off.

    At the moment George's counter claim idea might just escalate things.

    Let us know how it goes.

    Also you don't need a lawyer to make a legally binding out of court settlement in Japan. Your mediator and his mediator write the terms of the settlement, sign it as witnesses and you and the driver sign off on it.

    Also be very frugal with what you are offering to settle for, don't get played. Car damage costs and a token for the inconvenience.

    Just for reference, a criminal report was sent to the public prosecutor for an incident in which I inadvertently made contact with the injured party. (The police did not charge me and reluctantly made the report because the the injured party returned with a doctor's note). The prosecutor agreed to the matter being settled out of court, and I had to pay 5man for his broken nose. Without the doctors note it would have been 3man. In this case I needed a lawyer and that was far more expensive than the damages.
    Flesh is cheap but that car bodywork might be a bit dearer.
     
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  8. Rothkored

    Rothkored Cruising

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    Thanks so much for your in-depth information and advice Tanki; most appreciated.

    This happened a week ago, and as you correctly suggest, I haven't been charged, yet. It was made clear that I could be arrested at a later date though.

    The driver seemed pretty pissed; he didn't seem to think that he'd done anything wrong, and his frame of mind was no doubt backed up by the police letting him go on his merry way despite what I informed them about his driving before, and after my unfortunate outburst, and he's yet to remove the victim report (Higaitodoke).

    The wife is looking into lawyer options. First one we visited quoted ¥250,000 up front, and a further ¥250,000 for a successful outcome; that's even before I pay repair fees to the plaintiff too.
    So, would you be kind enough to offer any more information regarding the mediators you mentioned? By this I mean - Can it be a trusted friend, or would it need to be someone with a responsible role in society (Doctor, clergy-type, etc.)

    I'll be sure to update as events unfold, and thank you once again. I really do appreciate you taking the time to write and provide advice/things to be careful of.
     
  9. Rothkored

    Rothkored Cruising

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    Thanks for the post George.
    Unfortunately, I was just on my commute to work, so didn't have the GPS on. In any event, it's not going to show that the lights were red at the time.

    The bus would have had a camera, but he overtook me on the side of the bus, so that wouldn't be seen, whereas my lashing out at his car after would be. This thought did occur to me as I was being questioned at the police station, but I thought it'd actually make the plaintiff's case stronger, so I didn't mention it.
     
  10. theBlob

    theBlob Bokeh master

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    @Rothkored Good luck mate, there is no joy dealing with the legal system here so all the best and I hope it works out well for you.

    All great info, thanks for posting tanki. I couldn't help chuckling at the below... classic!:warau:

     
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  11. bawbag

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    Oof. Sorry to hear that. I find it hard to control my rage in those situations, too. An open-palmed slap on the window seems to do the trick without causing any damage.

    Yeah I'd go for the tatemae approach to see if that works first. Better to explore the easiest options before you move onto the more bridge-burning ones.

    Almost got hoofed off my bike from some mental person in a black Nissan Skyline the other day. I'm guessing the two(!) yapping dogs sat on the driver's lap and licking his face weren't exactly helping with his concentration.

    Stay safe, all.
     
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  12. Tanki

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    Anybody is ok. Trusted friend is good. If your wife is Japanese she could try a sob story to him or his wife and ask him to accept mediation. Do you know anything about him, where he works, family, neighbours?

    It is also standard for the police to say you could be arrested at a later date. They are following routine. In my own case they had me in 10 months after their initial report. This time I had the super special gaijin detective make a report that was submitted to the prosecutor. I wasn't charged or arrested and he said they were obliged to make a criminal investigation because the injured party hadn't gone away but had been back with the doctor's notes. The day they submitted the report they called my employer and told them to tell me to get a lawyer to make an out of court settlement. The lawyer went to the prosecutor the next day and got the go ahead, the prosecutor had the report and had to decide if I was going to be charged, he preferred an out of court settlement.

    If you cannot get the driver to withdraw, the wheels of justice will turn pretty slowly. Having that cloud over you can take a bit of toll if you let it. So keep us posted here. I will stand corrected but the only cyclist road rage arrest I have ever heard of was that of a sumo wrestler a few years ago, but he had battered the driver not the car.

    From where I am looking you will only need to fork out for the lawyer if you are arrested, or a report is sent to the prosecutor. Neither has happened.

    However this is random advice on that there t'internet. I would consult with the foreign residents association, local international volunteer association or foreign residents section at your city hall. Often somewhere on a given day every month or fortnight local law society offer a free consultation service to foreign residents.

    Also you need to make a judgement call about who you let know about this incident. Some employers can be very iffy about the image of their workforce. After my stalker and yob incidents I was let go.
     
  13. Forsbrook

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    Good luck with everything.
     
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  14. Tanki

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    @theBlob
    "I inadvertently made contact with the injured party"


    The super special gaijin detective worded it that way in his report. But he let me know all the witness statements said they had seen a right jab followed by the Gorbals kiss. He was very sympathetic towards me and was surprised I hadn't been able to recognise the injured party as a wrong-un. The witnesses were wrong of course. It was a left jab, I was holding my wallet in my right at the time.
     
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  15. Rothkored

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    Thanks again for this invaluable information Tanki; so many good bits of advice to look into further, and as I said before, I massively appreciate you taking the time to share your experience and advice here.

    The wife contacted the police yesterday, but they weren't prepared to divulge any of the plaintiff's details citing privacy concerns. To be expected I suppose.

    Yes, I've already noticed a toll it's taking on me; my appetite has nosedived since last week, and I've already lost a couple of kilos. Pretty depressing and frustrating too that the cops seem to be focussing none of their attention on the driver's transgressions. He not only overtook when it wasn't safe, he also crossed the yellow line, which runs the whole length of the road I was on. All they simply have to do is ask him if he overtook the bus/me, and there's a fine and bust down on the license for him right there. By letting him go despite his subsequent red light running, and not even investigating why I ended up lashing out at his car, etc. as well, it seems to condone dangerous driving (so long as nobody gets hurt). It was also depressing frustration at Fukuoka police's lack of sufficient enforcement, despite being top of the league of Japan's worst drivers year in, year out, that eventually played a role in last week's, what was I suppose, vigilantism.

    When the police came, they asked me why I'd done it. When I explained, they told me that I should have contacted them, but I pointed out they they don't do anything, unless seen with their own eyes.
    But even then, they're useless - A few years ago I was riding my motorbike, and got pushed out of my lane by some **** who neither used his mirrors, nor indicated, and despite my horn use to to let him know I was there. When I pulled up alongside him to remonstrate, he was on his phone too, and rather than apologise, he simply looked at me like something he'd found on the underside of his shoe. All this was captured on a GoPro, the footage of which I submitted to the police - Never heard any more about it. Cheeky fuckers also had the audacity to chastise me for crossing the yellow line, even when I pointed out that it was a result of him forcing me out of my lane.
    Despite the negative toll, I'm hoping some good will eventually come of this too in terms of lessons learnt; All this simply hasn't been worth it.

    The incident made me over three hours late, so I've had to tell my employer what is going on, though I've obviously been a little economical with the truth; I said I'd only kicked the car as it passed me to let the driver know he was way too close, and that I didn't use my hands as that could have meant losing control of the bike, and that he's claiming I damaged his car; basically painting myself in as sympathetic a light as possible.
    Work wise, the only problem from here on in will be if subsequent visits to the police station cause further interference with work; I believe I'm pretty much at the police's mercy with regard to when they want me to attend. I only started at the beginning of the month, so I'm a bit fearful of things going pear-shaped with work for sure.

    Super special gaijin detective? Sounds intriguing.
     
  16. theBlob

    theBlob Bokeh master

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    Try not to worry. In the grand scheme of things it isn't a serious incident. It will cost you some money and that is all. So just pretend you lost it or spent it on a holiday to some crappy resort that, despite the pictures, turned out to be a 70s era dump that serves up snails from the ocean and various other salty crustaceans and charges you like you are at a Michelin star place in Paris...
    At least you got to kick some dickheads car for your money.

    Does that help?
     
  17. Rothkored

    Rothkored Cruising

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    I appreciate the good vibes and pep talk theBlob. Thanks
     
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  18. Tanki

    Tanki Maximum Pace

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    Regarding lawyers look for the subsidised office. In my city there is a building provided by city hall full of lawyers. They are a lot cheaper than private offices and the lawyers tend to be good sorts, human rights committee, labour law types. Look for something like city or district name bengoshi goudo jimusho. Perhaps 福岡弁護士合同事務所。
    Also you will meet the super special gaijin detective if they charge you, or make a report to send to the prosecutor. He has had more experience working with foreigners and translators. What to expect. The first part of the report is all about you, your CV, your education, your qualifications, commendations, civil awards, military service, drinking habits, lifestyle. It is very Japanese style so remember every year of your work record. I am a bit long in the tooth and it was a big hassle to recall. That will be the morning, then a break for lunch. Afternoon it is the incident, he writes it up and you sign off on it. I think it is better to have a translator even if you really rate your own Japanese.
     
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  19. Forsbrook

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    Great post.
     
  20. Rothkored

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    As always, great advice from you Tanki. If I'm ever in your neck of the woods (wherever that is), I'd very much like to buy you a drink by way of thanks.
    Speaking of neck of the woods, I wonder if it's a thing to have a Gaijin liaison type officer in every prefecture...
    The wife spoke with a lawyer who's a friend of a friend in an "off the record" capacity yesterday, and they suggested an outcome similar to what you and most other people above have. They also mentioned that it could take months before I can/can't breathe a sigh of relief; again, much like what you reported of your own experience. On the plus side, that gives me time to save for whatever invoices are coming my way.

    Have a great Golden Week.
     

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