Question: Kid hits my car and takes off immediately, should I report it to the police? I have the license plate.


Question:  a Kid hits my car and takes off immediately. Should I report it to the police?   I have the license plate.  There was not a ton of damage done to my car, but there was some damage and I am pretty ticked off that the kid did not pull over to take any responsibility for it.  I want to know what my options are at this point if you can help me with that.

Answer: You should go to or call the police to report it, and your insurance company as well. Additionally, you can have a civil claim against the suspect for monetary damages.  A civil attorney can help you with the civil portion of it. To bring criminal charges against someone, you report it to the police, and the District Attorney or City Attorney presses charges.   If there are criminal charges brought against the alleged person that hit your vehicle, and that person is convicted, there will be what is called a “restitution hearing”.

In short a restitution hearing is basically a hearing that is quasi-civil in nature, but happens in the criminal court after a criminal conviction.  The purpose of that hearing is to basically cover out of pocket costs the victim may have incurred.  This can include for property damage, and personal injury, to cover things like hospital bills.  If you were injured in the accident, then you would likely want to pursue a civil case against the person who hit your car, or his/her insurance company, to potentially collect damages, including potential punitive damages (ie.  money to compensate for pain and suffering).

Please note that this is not legal advice, and there is no Attorney/client privilege established by this communication.  Best of luck with your situation, whatever you decide to do.


Phil Hache
DUI & Criminal Defense