It must have jumped right out in front of them.
November 5, 2007 9:08 AM   Subscribe

Someone hit my parked car on Friday night and I know who it is...

Sometime Friday evening someone hit my parked car, leaving several square inches of white paint and some pretty deep scratches in the bumper. I was pretty sure I knew who it was because there was a white car parked behind my car that evening (when I say parked behind I mean about 30 feet back). There was no note left.

On Sunday night I happened to find the car I suspected and there was a nice big dent on the right hand side with dark paint (my car is a dark green and it was too dark for me to see the exact color of the paint left on the white car) at about the same level as the damage on the left hand side my car.

I left a polite note on the white car stating that I believed they hit my car and to please call me, I also got their plate number.

Factors I am considering:

The person who hit my car is the friend of a neighbor, I have really never spoken to the neighbor.

The damage to the white car is probably going to be more expensive to repair than the damage to my car.

They didn't leave a note.

The general incompetence required to hit my parked car when it was in front of them and thirty feet away while they were at a complete stop.

Due to my work load I won't have any spare time on my hands for the next several weeks.

I plan on selling my car within the year.

I haven't heard back from them yet and am wondering if I should just call the police tomorrow if I don't hear back from them?

I am also wondering what would be a reasonable response to this if I do hear back from them?
posted by 517 to Law & Government (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You should contact your insurance company with all the evidence you've gathered. It's their job to then go after the other guy's insurance company (if such can be found) or pay for the damage to your car under your "uninsured / underinsured" motorist coverage. Basically, they know all the relevant laws and have people to help gather additional evidence. You've taken photos of all this, I trust?
posted by TeatimeGrommit at 9:12 AM on November 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

Yes indeed, I hope you took pictures last night.
posted by rhizome at 9:23 AM on November 5, 2007

This happened to me, some random people in the parking lot saw it happen though and left a note.

I filed a police and insurance report and dude ended up arrested for "fleeing the scene" but not before he was issued a bench warrant for not showing up at the hearing. I got no money out of the situation somehow and I did end up with a pile of vaguely threatening phone calls when he found my information on the police report.

I think if I had been more proactive in figuring out what was going on once I knew the police had decided to charge him it would have worked out better in my favor, but like you, I just didn't have time. I called and called and if the officer wasn't on duty, I was just out of luck. So its really up to you and how much time you want to invest in the situation.
posted by stormygrey at 9:24 AM on November 5, 2007

I was that jerk who hit a car and fled without leaving a note when I was young and stupider. They called the police, managed to figure out it was my car, and the police showed up to my economics class to have a "chat." If he doesn't call back and speaking from the perspective of the person who hit you, I'd say file a police report. It can be a very good and expensive lesson for them to learn not to do it again.
I also paid full restitution to the car owner.
posted by jmd82 at 10:23 AM on November 5, 2007

Did this happen in a private lot or on the city street? If it was in the street, the cops might be able to scare him. If it was in some lot, you're probably on your own.

My new-to-me car (owned it two weeks) was hit in my apartment complex's parking lot by the guy who parked next to me. Knocked my mirror off, dented and scuffed my door with his white paint. He parked elsewhere for a couple days but I saw him loading his car and confronted him. Said he didn't know anything about it, so I called the cops. Because it occured on private property, there was no crime committed (at least in that jurisdiction). The best I could do was take him to court. An 88 year-old lady with no business driving totalled my car the next week, so I never pursued it. That was an unlucky car.
posted by the christopher hundreds at 11:28 AM on November 5, 2007

2nding pictures of your car and the jerk's car as soon as possible.
posted by Pants! at 11:28 AM on November 5, 2007

So I just got a call from the neighbor, not the person with the white car, denying that the person person was in the area at the time.

Unfortunately, no, I did not have the presence of mind to get pictures the other night.
posted by 517 at 11:35 AM on November 5, 2007

I'm with Grommit. Call the insurance company if you want this fixed. They'll either take your info or tell you to call the cops.

Based on your description of the damage I'd personally just live with it, but I have a pretty lax definition of how nice a bumper should look - to my mind it's called a BUMPer for a reason. If it's the white paint that's causing you the biggest trauma you'll be able to get that off with some paint cleaner from the auto parts store.

I realize that doesn't address your resale value issue, but that's a year off and who knows what might happen between now and then. It sucks to take this on the chin but around here the cops wouldn't take the slightest interest in this matter.
posted by phearlez at 12:09 PM on November 5, 2007

[a few comments removed, please keep "revenge fantasy" suggestions off of AskMe]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:34 PM on November 5, 2007

At least you have a suspect. sigh.

If you can live with the damage to your bumper, I'd file a police report and not bother with the insurance claim, because every claim you make negatively affects your standing with the insurance company (so it's not worth making small claims). Since my car isn't drivable as it is, I had to call the insurance company first, and they had me file a police report too.
posted by fedward at 2:03 PM on November 5, 2007

Unless you either have a witness or can prove that the paint transfer (on his car and yours) match the respective cars, frankly I think you are SOL
posted by nax at 6:03 PM on November 5, 2007

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