I was finally able to speak with a detective from Chicago Police after three days in a row of calling and asking about our case. I was essentially told that CPD get hundreds of these types of cases a day. The detective was surprised when I mentioned we have a picture of the license plate. It was not even written down on our original police report! Grrrrr! After giving the plate number, I received the same response as I had the night it happen; “oh out of state plates; we won’t be able to trace those”. I was given further explanation that they don’t have the resources or authority to go out of state to arrest someone.
However, we are left with two options:
1. If we see the guy and/or car in person; we can called 911 and the police will immediately come and arrest him.
2. If we happened to get the information of the driver, we could go to the CPD and file a summons. Basically, we and he would have a court date assigned and appear in front of a judge to discuss what happened. If he was a no-show, then a warrant for his arrest will be made. The police wouldn’t actively pursue him; but if he got caught speeding, etc; he’d be taken to jail because of the warrant.
Here’s where it gets interesting…we do have the name, DOB, out of state address and local address of the driver. A friend of a friend pulled the information for us. The ironic thing? His condo is literally within a block of where we spent 5 hours in the ER. It’s near enough our apartment I’ve run by a few times; hoping to see him in his car. I confirmed the name on his mailbox matches the name registered to the plates and it does.
In addition to the police, we’re lucky enough to have some connections to civil suite lawyers. The first I talked to told me it wouldn’t be worth the time and money to go after the guy, basically because the medical damages were so minor.
However, the second lawyer said we could certainly have a case. He recommended we call the information into the police. From there we’d mostly likely have to identify the guy from a line up and the problem is; we can’t. It happened so fast and we were caught so off guard that we don’t think we’d know him if we saw him L. The best we could probably hope for is a confession.
At that point, knowing from trusty Google that his vehicle is a 2012 model and he purchased his local condo a year ago for a decent price; we know he has money that we go sue in civil court…but at the same time; it’s all so much energy, time and maybe money to put into this. Really we just need some type of closure and are still trying to decide what that is.
The good news is that we have two years from the date we filed the report to decide. The hard thing is that Ben keeps his emotions tucked away. It can be challenging to get him to open up. Saturday night after a few beers, when some friends asked about it; he definitely opened up. I can tell he’s still upset about it and it’s so hard to see that; especially when he is typically this happy-go-lucky guy.
What would you do?