Two weeks ago as my Expedition was parked in front of our house, it was sideswiped by a car traveling up our street. I was home at the time but wasn’t aware of the incident until later in the day when a neighbor, who witnessed the whole thing, came over to see if the driver of the other vehicle had contacted me. The other driver had not contacted me – had not come to my front door to talk to me about the accident, nor left any contact information on my windshield so that I could contact her, but rather left the scene. Fortunately, my neighbor took down her license plate number. We filed a claim with our insurance company and obtained an estimate of the cost to repair the damage caused by the collision, which ended up being in the neighborhood of $2,000.
Yesterday evening while I was out at baseball practice with the twins and Michael was at baseball practice with Joey and Kevin was home with Finn and Lilah, a woman came to our front door looking for me (what possessed Kevin to answer the door to a stranger while his parents weren’t home I have no idea – I’m still upset about that). It was the woman who hit my truck. She asked for my phone number, which Kevin did not give to her, so she left her phone number and asked that he have me call her. Michael dialed her number when we got home, and then thinking better of it (really, it’s in the hands of the insurance company now), hung up, but by then our number was already on her Caller ID, so of course a little while later she called.
To make a long story short, she told Michael how she had just passed her driving test a couple days before the incident (!!), how a car was approaching from the other direction and in her nervousness she veered into my truck, and then “didn’t have the courage” to try to get in t0uch with me about damaging my truck, so left the scene. At the time of the incident, she was driving her cousin’s car, and her cousin, the owner of the car, was in the car with her. I would have to assume that he is at least a somewhat experienced driver, so there were two people there who understood that a car they were in had hit another vehicle, and they left the scene.
I’m not sure what she wanted from us. To handle the whole thing without involvement of insurance companies? To forgive her because she said she was “very sorry”? I don’t think she had any idea what the cost of the damage that she caused amounts to, because she was surprised when Michael told her. Anyway, the insurance claim is already in motion, a check is already being processed.
What I am kind of torn about at this point is: should I file a police report? The truth is, her cousin’s insurance will pay for the damage to my truck. And his insurance rates will certainly go up because of this whole thing, but I doubt he’ll ever have to pay an amount in increased premiums that will equal the cost of the damage to my truck. He will have to work out with his cousin, who was driving his car, how to get restitution from her – that’s between them. It’s sad that she had just gotten her driver’s license (though she was not a teenager – Kevin estimated her to be in her 20s or 30s), and I’m sure she was nervous, and maybe she is sorry – but the fact is, she left the scene. Hit and run! It seems that she was hoping to get away with it and is only sorry now to have been caught by way of our insurance company tracking her down via her license plate number. There’s a part of me that wants to make sure she is cited and fined for what she did. But is that just being unnecessarily vindictive? Is there a good enough reason to shake her life up a little over this, or should I just accept the check from the insurance company and let it go?
What would you do?