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Victim of hit & run - Input appreciated.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by 619Tacoma, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. Aug 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM
    #1
    619Tacoma

    619Tacoma [OP] Baja bound

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    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.


    Damage:
    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?:mad:


    UPDATE:

    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.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Aug 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM
    #2
    DeeKay21

    DeeKay21 Lieutenant Dan.

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    Sorry to hear the bad news. Hopefully the driver confesses or enough neighbors saw that it was his vehicle for sure and can testify against him. I swear, its people like that who piss me off!!! Doing something wrong and then not taking responsibility for it and just driving off!! Like you said, you guys are barely making it so now what?:mad:
     
  3. Aug 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM
    #3
    619Tacoma

    619Tacoma [OP] Baja bound

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    I was reading online that in some states, the owner of the vehicle is held liable for any damage that is caused by his vehicle - even if he was not the driver. I just don't know if California is that way.

    WW - Thanks man. He was obviously drunk. They had a party at that house the night of the incident... witnesses said they heard lots of revving, tires screeching repeatedly & a vehicle stalling & being turned back on. Guy was probably drunk as hell, couldn't get it in gear right & gave it too much gas which caused him to fishtail.
     
  4. Aug 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM
    #4
    chadderkdawg

    chadderkdawg Don't ask questions you don't want the answer to..

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    Learn your lesson and get full coverage with under/uninsured coverage.
     
  5. Aug 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM
    #5
    jjew18

    jjew18 the Nightman cometh!

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    Added extra awesomeness to its original awesomeness.
    The owner of the vehicle is liable.

    More importantly, do you know the owner of the white/light colored Tacoma and do you know their user name?
     
  6. Aug 13, 2012 at 12:33 PM
    #6
    Ryan DCFS

    Ryan DCFS New guy

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    I may be wrong, but if the investigation does indeed determine that the impounded truck was the one that hit your vehicle, the Owner of the vehicle, or the owner's insurance, should be responsible/liable for your damages. In my experience, even if the driver of the vehicle is someone other than the owner, the bottom line falls back onto the owner if the driver's insurance doesn't cover it.

    Also, you say you were at your parents house, so you may be entitled to some compensation through their homeowners insurance.

    I may be wrong, but I don't see any harm into looking into it.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Aug 13, 2012 at 12:35 PM
    #7
    jjew18

    jjew18 the Nightman cometh!

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    Added extra awesomeness to its original awesomeness.
    I have full coverage, but if someone hits me I 'm still pursuing their insurance.
     
  8. Aug 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM
    #8
    619Tacoma

    619Tacoma [OP] Baja bound

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    Geee, thanks Chad.
    I'll make sure and learn my lesson. Thanks for commenting.
     
  9. Aug 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM
    #9
    Tacoma Mike

    Tacoma Mike 41 Year Toyota/Chrysler Tech/ASE Master

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    The owner can be held responsible I believe in Maine. I could be wrong but you know what flows downhill. I am sorry and like you I was in the same situation years ago. Never did find out who and my truck wore the scar for 10 years.
    Don't give up and just keep after the police for information. I would be asking someone that knows the local laws regarding this. Information is your tool to get through this.
     
  10. Aug 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM
    #10
    619Tacoma

    619Tacoma [OP] Baja bound

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    I don't know what kind of truck it was. I never saw it & nobody was able to tell me for sure. I doubt it was a Tacoma because i'm sure they would have been able to point out it was a Tacoma since I own one myself
     
  11. Aug 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM
    #11
    chadderkdawg

    chadderkdawg Don't ask questions you don't want the answer to..

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    What if that truck never came back and they never found it? Then you would be SOL, I choose to cover my own ass in the event that something like that happens. Sounds to me like you will be able to sue for damages, so in this case you got lucky. Idk, maybe I'm wrong, but that's how I choose to handle it.
     
  12. Aug 13, 2012 at 12:40 PM
    #12
    MightyMouse-SCT

    MightyMouse-SCT Well-Known Member

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    If that was the truck who actually hit you the will know easily and will be charged from there . Sounds like the guy came home drunk and crashed into you . Later went home and passed out .
     
  13. Aug 13, 2012 at 12:47 PM
    #13
    StAndrew

    StAndrew Wait for it...

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    Just b/c he is liable, doesnt mean automatic payment. If neither insurance companies cover the cost, you will have to file a lawsuite.

    I would try to settle out of court first. It will probably be cheaper for him to pay for repairs than hire a lawyer. If that doesnt work, hire a lawyer and take him to court.

    Most law offices offer free consultatoins so try that and see what they say.
     
  14. Aug 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM
    #14
    jjew18

    jjew18 the Nightman cometh!

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    Good insurance lesson, now what about the answer to his question?
     
  15. Aug 13, 2012 at 12:49 PM
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    619Tacoma

    619Tacoma [OP] Baja bound

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    The police officer that took the report said that "she knew" it was them that caused it but since she can't assume - the detectives will have to determine that it was in fact that truck they impounded.

    I mean come one, if the police is towing your vehicle & you did not do anything wrong then one would reasonably go out there and try and argue your case. Instead, they harassed the police to leave the truck there but the other people in the house told the harasser to get back in the house. He was obviously either drunk or drugged (likely both) & instead of facing hit and run + driving drunk, their best option was to let them tow the truck & deal with a hit and run alone.
     
  16. Aug 13, 2012 at 12:52 PM
    #16
    MightyMouse-SCT

    MightyMouse-SCT Well-Known Member

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    The way they decide in if he hit you is by comparing both vehicles visably then taking measurements on various body parts and damage .
     
  17. Aug 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM
    #17
    619Tacoma

    619Tacoma [OP] Baja bound

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    Thanks for the comment. That is a good point. I will look around and get a free consultation.

    I also agree that it would be cheaper for them to settle out of court with me - and frankly I would prefer that as well. We'll see if they go over to my parent's house & try and settle it before getting the insurances involved.

    Yes, I would be SOL. Luckily in this case, it appears that the vehicle responsible for the damage was located & hopefully I am lucky enough not to have to pay for the damage myself.
     
  18. Aug 13, 2012 at 12:56 PM
    #18
    newertoy

    newertoy Well-Known Member

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    "Hit and run" is a SERIOUS OFFENCE-If the police IMPOUNDED his auto--they are pretty sure that it was involved.
    Similar stituation happened to me a long time ago-
    This was before everyone had cell phones--
    Guy sideswiped me--we both stopped--looked at autos--I walked down the road to call the cops( I am NOT STUPID--Got his tag #) He left the scene--cops arrested him.
    It was my choice to press charges. My reply--Stay in jail OR pay for repairs.
    I am sure he left the scene because of alcohol.
    Bring charges or make him pay--get it in writing!
    The owner of the auto is responsible.
    Give him a chance to make restitution
     
  19. Aug 13, 2012 at 1:28 PM
    #19
    DeeKay21

    DeeKay21 Lieutenant Dan.

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    Oh so not only did he hit & run he was drunk to huh?!?! Figures. I hope he gets charged and get whats coming to him.
     
  20. Aug 13, 2012 at 1:38 PM
    #20
    kellybig

    kellybig Well-Known Member

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    only apply to bodily injury not property damage with the exception of a few states; in iowa it does not chad
     
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