Automotive

Hit and run in parking lot - Ontario

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 10th, 2017 7:48 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 4, 2017
33 posts
6 upvotes

Hit and run in parking lot - Ontario

Hello. The most recent post I could find about a similar topic was from 2ish years ago and wanted to get some more recent info. My car was recently hit in a parking lot (more like sideswiped) with the estimated damage of over $2000. The damage isn't extensive but because more than one panel of the car got scraped, almost the entire side of the car needs to be repainted.

There was a witness who provided the license plate number and description of vehicle, a police report filed, and insurance company notified. I wanted to know what kind of legal reprecautions might there be for the other driver. I don't have their personal info to contact them to discuss not going through insurance (if anyone is able and willing to look that up for me based on license plate number then I would be very grateful). As per the police officer: the other driver did not have to remain at the scene because my vehicle was unoccupied and thus no one was injured. Insurance company besically told me that their investigation would be notifying the other driver and insurance company but if that driver denies hitting my car then I'm on the hook for the deductible (even with a witness and a police report).

Insurance aside, what avenues can I pursue via either the criminal code or the HTA so that this person doesn't get away without any consequences?

TIA
40 replies
Deal Addict
Oct 13, 2014
1023 posts
452 upvotes
Somewhere, ON
Short answer - There are no other avenues for you to pursue. (Do not take my long answer as personal, it is just calling a spade a spade)

There are 10 provinces and 3 territories all with their own traffic laws which may or may not apply to private property. We have no idea where this occurred so no accurate answer can be given, especially with regard to what the police told you. However, I venture a guess that this was an attempt to tell you not much can be done without hurting a person's feelings or having to fully explain the system.

As for what you can do via the C.C. or H.T.A., there are provisions in the C.C. whereby a private citizen can take matters to court. However you have neither the knowledge or experience to do so on your own with regard to just the procedures required, let alone the gathering of sufficient evidence for any conviction.
“When you marry the right woman, you are ‘complete.’ If you marry the wrong woman, you are ‘finished.’ And, if the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are ‘completely finished.'"
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 4, 2017
33 posts
6 upvotes
I appreciate the blunt answer. This occurred I. Ontario (I put it in the title of the post).

What I am gathering from this is that if you hit a parked car, as long as it is empty, you are pretty safe to drive away as there is no potential injured person to render assistance to so it is not "technically" a hit and run.

Also:
1) there may not be witnesses and that's the end of that
2) if there are witnesses and even a police report filed, you will not be criminally charged
3) even if the owner of the car that you hit goes through insurance and provides your description and plate number you simply have to deny any involvement. As long as you don't "accept fault" (as was phrased to me by the claims individual) then there is nothing they can do.

Feel free to add do your previous experiences from Ontario. Curious to hear if any one else has had similar occurrences.
Deal Addict
Feb 24, 2007
3567 posts
545 upvotes
This is usually happen when an inexperienced driver trying to back out and just checking/looking the rear while turning the wheel.

This is a joke. No wonder there are many hit and runs because they are not heavily punished. And with the no fault insurance they are not going to fight for you since they can save on the deductible.
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[OP]
Newbie
Dec 4, 2017
33 posts
6 upvotes
Avatar wrote:
Dec 7th, 2017 6:46 am
This is a joke. No wonder there are many hit and runs because they are not heavily punished. And with the no fault insurance they are not going to fight for you since they can save on the deductible.
Completely agree. The guy from insurance was so lazy he couldn't even be bothered to send me an email so I can only imagine him arguing on my behalf with another company. It's also a joke that there are literally zero consequences for someone who hits a parked car. If you are lucky to get a witness, you are almost better off to wait till the witness leaves, call the cops and tell them you were sitting in the car when it got hit because they will take it more seriously (maybe). I also tried getting in touch with the cop who is "investigating" my case...no response.
Sr. Member
Dec 24, 2009
543 posts
191 upvotes
Ontario laws around this basically encourage you to become a vigilante, you have the plates, track them down, take your vengeance.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 4, 2017
33 posts
6 upvotes
I have the plate but no way of finding out any info. I would love to call the person up and threaten them that "I will press charges" and "go through insurance" because odds are they are in the same boat as me and think that our legal system will pull their thumb out of their ass.

Anyone know how I can track down any info from a plate number?
Deal Addict
Oct 13, 2014
1023 posts
452 upvotes
Somewhere, ON
Zoinkk540 wrote:
Dec 6th, 2017 10:46 pm
I appreciate the blunt answer. This occurred I. Ontario (I put it in the title of the post).

What I am gathering from this is that if you hit a parked car, as long as it is empty, you are pretty safe to drive away as there is no potential injured person to render assistance to so it is not "technically" a hit and run.

Also:
1) there may not be witnesses and that's the end of that
2) if there are witnesses and even a police report filed, you will not be criminally charged
3) even if the owner of the car that you hit goes through insurance and provides your description and plate number you simply have to deny any involvement. As long as you don't "accept fault" (as was phrased to me by the claims individual) then there is nothing they can do.

Feel free to add do your previous experiences from Ontario. Curious to hear if any one else has had similar occurrences.
Missed the "Ontario" in the title, however to answer your additional questions in an absolute legal perspective:
1) That is partially correct. Depending on the severity of the damage, evidence collected at the scene, case load of the investigator, etc there may eventually be a successful conclusion. I have investigated many H&R, even on private property where I have successfully convicted the offender. My time was in Alberta.

2) Again this depends greatly on the investigator and the case load. I would imagine that a small municipality, either policed by the O.P.P. or a small force may have the time to do such an extensive investigation.

3) See 1 & 2 above.

What I am gathering from this is that if you hit a parked car, as long as it is empty, you are pretty safe to drive away as there is no potential injured person to render assistance to so it is not "technically" a hit and run.

On the contrary, legally it is still a H&R pursuant to the Criminal Code:

Failure to stop at scene of accident
252 (1) Every person commits an offence who has the care, charge or control of a vehicle, vessel or aircraft that is involved in an accident with
(a) another person,
(b) a vehicle, vessel or aircraft, or
(c) in the case of a vehicle, cattle in the charge of another person,
and with intent to escape civil or criminal liability fails to stop the vehicle, vessel or, if possible, the aircraft, give his or her name and address and, where any person has been injured or appears to require assistance, offer assistance.
“When you marry the right woman, you are ‘complete.’ If you marry the wrong woman, you are ‘finished.’ And, if the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are ‘completely finished.'"
Deal Addict
Mar 10, 2006
2990 posts
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Zoinkk540 wrote:
Dec 7th, 2017 7:54 am
I have the plate but no way of finding out any info. I would love to call the person up and threaten them that "I will press charges" and "go through insurance" because odds are they are in the same boat as me and think that our legal system will pull their thumb out of their ass.

Anyone know how I can track down any info from a plate number?

ontario-license-plate-search-1992017/2/
Check the last posting.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 4, 2017
33 posts
6 upvotes
terry0703 wrote:
Dec 7th, 2017 8:50 am
ontario-license-plate-search-1992017/2/
Check the last posting.
You sir/madam are awesome. It is $18 and has to be mailed to you so a bit of a delay but well worth it for me to show up on their door step with a damage estimate. The link you provided just gives the idea but if you search "Ontario ministry of transportation registered owner search" it is the second search result. From the info provided it will give you their name and vehicle info (no address). From the witness statement the driver was in her 40s so probably still has a landline that is registered under that last name.

Thank you very much!
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 4, 2017
33 posts
6 upvotes
rcmpvet wrote:
Dec 7th, 2017 8:50 am
Missed the "Ontario" in the title, however to answer your additional questions in an absolute legal perspective:
1) That is partially correct. Depending on the severity of the damage, evidence collected at the scene, case load of the investigator, etc there may eventually be a successful conclusion. I have investigated many H&R, even on private property where I have successfully convicted the offender. My time was in Alberta.

2) Again this depends greatly on the investigator and the case load. I would imagine that a small municipality, either policed by the O.P.P. or a small force may have the time to do such an extensive investigation.

3) See 1 & 2 above.

What I am gathering from this is that if you hit a parked car, as long as it is empty, you are pretty safe to drive away as there is no potential injured person to render assistance to so it is not "technically" a hit and run.

On the contrary, legally it is still a H&R pursuant to the Criminal Code:

Failure to stop at scene of accident
252 (1) Every person commits an offence who has the care, charge or control of a vehicle, vessel or aircraft that is involved in an accident with
(a) another person,
(b) a vehicle, vessel or aircraft, or
(c) in the case of a vehicle, cattle in the charge of another person,
and with intent to escape civil or criminal liability fails to stop the vehicle, vessel or, if possible, the aircraft, give his or her name and address and, where any person has been injured or appears to require assistance, offer assistance.
The "case workload" amount is my concern. I do live in a larger city and the officer wasn't overly concerned plus I have not been able to get in touch with him to follow up despite reaching out to the local police HQ.
Deal Addict
Mar 10, 2006
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Zoinkk540 wrote:
Dec 7th, 2017 9:06 am
You sir/madam are awesome. It is $18 and has to be mailed to you so a bit of a delay but well worth it for me to show up on their door step with a damage estimate. The link you provided just gives the idea but if you search "Ontario ministry of transportation registered owner search" it is the second search result. From the info provided it will give you their name and vehicle info (no address). From the witness statement the driver was in her 40s so probably still has a landline that is registered under that last name.

Thank you very much!
Good to know, this should be some sticky information.
There are too many hit & run happening in parking lots.
The other day I was at a plaza parking, there was this lady looking at her Corolla not far from my car.
I asked if she would need any help, she said someone scratched her less-than-1-week-old car and ran away, the scratch was quite visible.
I don't understand why we pay so much tax and insurance, and are not protected for such things - sure no one died, but someone damaged my asset and ran away. The repair can cost easily $1K.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 4, 2017
33 posts
6 upvotes
This is also a reply I received from a friend who is a police officer:

"There is no criminal charge for a this scenario. There is a provincial charge under the HTA of fail to report damage ( on the other guy)". From a quick google sounds like its a fine and not a very hefty one (IF convicted) and 3 demerit points. So like I said...nothing happens.
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User avatar
Jul 12, 2003
7898 posts
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Markham
Zoinkk540 wrote:
Dec 7th, 2017 10:06 am
This is also a reply I received from a friend who is a police officer:

"There is no criminal charge for a this scenario. There is a provincial charge under the HTA of fail to report damage ( on the other guy)". From a quick google sounds like its a fine and not a very hefty one (IF convicted) and 3 demerit points. So like I said...nothing happens.
+ the driver needs to responsible to pay the damage of your car 100% I assume?
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[OP]
Newbie
Dec 4, 2017
33 posts
6 upvotes
MP3_SKY wrote:
Dec 7th, 2017 10:10 am
+ the driver needs to responsible to pay the damage of your car 100% I assume?
That I don't know. If convicted you could then maybe use that conviction to get the deductible waived through your insurance but I doubt they have to do it out of pocket. If not then you would have to go to court and thats a whole new can...

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