Ok, so this is what happened:
a.) Tried to turn right into a parking spot and it was too tight. My front left bumper of my car clipped back right corner of the other car (car was to my left).
b.) I just received my G2 exactly a month ago so of course I panicked. I parked beside the other car and got out. My friend who was with me got out and told me I was lucky, felt the other car's bumper where I had clipped it, and could not feel or see any visible paint transfer or dents. I got out of the car, did the same thing and could not see or feel any dents/paint transfer. I rubbed the other car's bumper (my friend did too) to see if the salt was just covering up the damage but we did not see anything. However, there was damage to my car where it hit. We double-checked the other car..no damage.
c.) I noticed from the time I did hit the other car, there was a family of 4-5 ppl (2 adults, 3 or 4 children) staring at us. After they saw us get out of the car and look at the bumper...they went inside (to a taekwon-do place...they all had uniforms on). I assumed they were asking if it was anyone's car. No one came out.
d.) My friend and I went into the Shopper Drug Mart (for less than a minute) and came out. The family passed us by and did not say anything. We left without leaving information (I was driving a friend to work). From the time I hit the other car and left...it was roughly about 10 or so minutes (of us gawking at the other car and barely staying in Shoppers).
Well now today I get a call from police saying that the owners are stating they have paint transfer (on their dark blue, near black car) and a small dent to their bumper. I told the police officer everything above and stated that we did not think there was any damage to the other car. She said she would "give" me a failure to remain and told me to report to the police station so they can inspect and so that I can give a statement.
Is it correct that she gave me a "failure to remain" when I did not think I had done any damage but my own car. I have a witness (my friend) who can attest that we did not think there was any damage. Should it be "failure to report"? Did she officially charge me? Will it show up on my police record?
Will I be required to go to trial? What will happen? Please advise. TIA!!
It sounds like the accident is possibly a non reportable collision, meaning no injuries and less than $1,000 damage. Because of that, you wouldn't need to report the matter to police, so you wouldn't be charged with failing to report it (no requirement to do so). That still doesn't mean you don't have to contact the owner of the parked vehicle and provide your information upon request.
Based on your explanation of the accident, you really made no attempt to find the owner. You can't assume random witnesses in the area are looking for the owner, nor is waiting in the area for 10 minutes very reasonable. If you'd at least left a note with your name and contact information you could argue you'd made some effort to notify them.
What you're now possibly facing is a very serious charge. The officer telling you she'll charge you over the phone does NOT mean you've actually been charged yet. You'll most likely receive a summons when you attend the police station if they decide to proceed with it. You will need to attend Court for this charge, and the punishment consists of a $400-$2,000 fine, a possible licence suspension for up to two years and in extreme cases possible incarceration. You'll also be looking at a serious insurance rate hike.
If you actually are charged, I would strongly suggest hiring a paralegal to represent you.
So to clarify, is it up to the police to decide to charge me? Or is it dependant on the owner of the other car?
Is it possible to settle this with only the owner of the other car (without police)?
TBL wrote:So to clarify, is it up to the police to decide to charge me? Or is it dependant on the owner of the other car?
They may seek input from the other driver, but ultimately the police decide whether to lay a charge or not.
TBL wrote:Is it possible to settle this with only the owner of the other car (without police)?
No, not after the matter has been reported.
The same thing had just happened to me. I have only had my G2 for about 2 months. As i was backing out of a parking space, there was another car parked behind me, parallel to a building, so there was very little room for me to get out. As i put the car into drive, the passenger side of my vehicle scraped the front of the drivers side of the car that was parked to the left of me as i was leaving. I panicked and left. A number of people saw this happen.
When i got home, i called one of the persons that had seen this occur, (i knew them) and they said they checked the car and there was no damage to it.
What should i do now?
What should i do now?
Your legal obligation and report it. Or get a really good job to pay for sky high insurance premiums after you get charged with fail to remain.
Legal and moral obligation.
Report it to a collision reporting centre, or, if you don't have one, your local detachment/police station. With all those witnesses, someone probably has your plate. If the other driver already reported it, chances are you will be put in contact with each other to see if you can resolve it mutually. It's a much better option than having an officer show up at your door, and a fail to remain in this case would be a criminal charge as the HTA does not apply to private parking lots.
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