Someone hit my parked rental car. Police won’t help.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Someone hit my parked rental car. Police won’t help.

I was visiting Montgomery, AL for a family function and while my car was parked in a hotel lot someone hit it. I was not in the car when it happened. The hotel has the incident on their security camera footage and know the identity of the person who did it. The police were also called and saw the damage to the vehicle and reviewed camera footage but no official report was filed and I still haven’t gotten a straight answer as to why. No one from the hotel or Montgomery PD will get back to me. I live in PA so it’s not like I can just show up. I am at a loss here and need some advice on what my next step should be because otherwise I am responsible for

paying for the damage.

Asked on December 6, 2018 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can file a lawsuit against a "fictitious person"--e.g. "John Doe"--who hit your car, then in the course of the lawsuit, issue a subpoena to the hotel to get the security camera footage. When you have that footage, if you can identify the perpetrator, such as from his license place (it may take another subpoena to the DMV with the license plate number to get the information), you can then sue the person who hit your car (i.e. amend the complaint which started the case to replace "John Doe" with the person's actual name/identity and serve it on that person). This is a complicated, multi-step process, but would the only way to force cooperation, possibly find out who hit your car, and potentially sue them for compensation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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