Hi all, I need some legal and practical advice regarding an incident that effectively ruined my bike.
A few weeks back, while running errands, I left my bike locked to a signpost near the driveway of a parking garage in downtown Toronto. When I got back, the bike was mangled. A witness told me that a courier van (North American company, name shall remain nameless...for now) had sideswiped it, and then took off without leaving a note or anything. Luckily, the witness jotted down the driver's plates and truck #, so I was able to contact the company. It gets trickier from here.
Apparently, this company doesn't hire drivers as outright employees -- they're contracted to operate under the company name, but they have their own insurance, vehicles, etc. So, I finally get the driver's first name and cell phone number, and even though he admitted to both myself and the company manager that he did in fact hit my bike, he (a) claims he caused NO damage; and (b) just won't give me his insurance info.
(1) Anybody out there know if there is possible criminal liability here, and if so, where it gets reported? I've called the police, but they can't seem to decide amongst themselves whether, because the bike was locked up and nobody was riding it at the time, this constitutes a failure to remain at the scene of an accident (criminal offense, according to both the Ontario Highway Traffic Act and the Canadian Criminal Code) -- in which case I have to go to the collision reporting centre -- or if it's merely a civil damages claim. The way I see it, bikes are legally classified as vehicles, and my "vehicle" was legally parked, so this is the same is if the driver hit a parked car.
(2) Is there any other way to get a driver's insurance info, if he's refusing to provide it. The cops I've spoken with so far don't seem to have this high up on their priority list (understandable, I suppose, given nobody was physically hurt here, but still, the injustice of it all...).
I'm not holding my breathe in terms of getting my money back, but it feels nice to vent a bit (it was my first ever bike, and I only learned to ride a year ago, at the ripe old age of 25).