I will not give all the details as to the incident at this time because it's still an ongoing investigation & in case the driver (or friends or family) of the owner/driver of the vehicle visit this site, I don't want to give them details as to what neighbors saw/heard & told police.
Situation: Our car was left overnight (parked on street) at my parent's house. Someone crashed into our car's driver's side rear wheel quarter panel. The vehicle took off but thanks to all the revving, tire screeching the vehicle made before the crash, neighbors & parent's woke up & police were able to gather that a white/light colored pick up truck was the perpetrator. Minutes before police showed up, a white pick up truck arrived and parked a few houses away. Police went and looked at said white pick up truck & it had fresh paint transfer in the corresponding front driver's side bumper with the correct color paint from our car. They knocked on house where truck was parked but the individuals there harassed the police & did not cooperate. Police had sufficient evidence & impounded the truck as evidence.
The damages appear to be cosmetic only. There's a good 3 ft wide x 1.5 in tall x 2" deep dent (rough estimates) on the rear wheel quarter panel. The impact pushed our car against the curb and the impact side wheel hubcap is sratched/damaged as well - possible damage to drive-train?
Our insurance is the absolute basic that the law allows- just liability for damage & medical expenses to the other vehicle in case of accident. That means that it does not offer un-insured motorist coverage nor damage to our own vehicle.
My Question to you all:
If the detectives prove this truck they impounded is the responsible vehicle, but no driver confesses, what are my options for reimbursement other than being SOL? Is the owner of the truck held liable? if not, can I sue him/her for reimbursement of the damages?
Once the investigation & all this is over, I'll give details as to the incident. This really sucks because we are barely making it - with my wife staying home with our 3 month old baby. The only reason we bought this car was to save money on gas & this s@it happens?
I finally heard back from the investigator regarding this case.
According to the registered owner of the vehicle, she was selling (or just sold) the vehicle but did not give the DMV the "transfer of liability". So she is liable. The lady was behind on her payments and the truck was about to get repo'd. Well neither the registered owner nor the "recent buyer" took the vehicle out of the impound - the repo company did. I'm waiting to hear back from the investigator to get more detailed information.
In my opinion, the lady let her son or nephew or some relative borrow it. When they knew it was impounded, they said screw it - it's going to get repo'd anyway.
I have the registered owner and her address now. Would it be legal for me to go to her place, or call her (I gathered her information from a website that provides peoples personal info) and tell her that she is held liable and that either she pays for the damages out of pocket or that i'm going to sue her? I doubt suing would be cost-effective but hopefully she will rather pay out of pocket and not get dragged into court.