My question involves insurance law for the state of: Mass
I'm a bit stressed right now due to a small incident that happened in a parking lot 1 day ago.
As I was leaving and getting ready to pay the parking lot fee, I was listening to music.
I remember driving and noticed I was very close to this car and had to backup a little in order to avoid it when turning towards the pay booth.
So I put the car in reverse, made a sharp turn and drove towards the booth to pay. Pulled down the window, turned the volume several notches down, and paid the booth employee.
No one was in the car with me and right after I paid, I heard a man walking towards the entrance of the parking lot and he said "Hey you just hit that car". I noticed and I was bedazzled and asked him "who me?" and he said Yes you. I took a look behind to the car that I had to reverse to avoid and noticed there was a scratches (not a dent, but the type of scratches that someone can easily paint over and fix vs. having a shop do it or even filing a claim)---it was that small.
Now at that time I really didn't know I hit the car and next thing you know the booth guy heard it as well and stepped out to take a look. The guy walking who notified me was walking towards the booth guy as the booth guy was asking which car it was.
Then I took off. It was a unattended car inside a parking lot and there was two things that made me take off. 1, I have an expired license and didn't want the cops involved or any security to come and realize I had an expired license. I was in a panic mode and didn't know what to do but to take off. Do I regret it? Yes because if I did stay and waited I could've probably talked to the owner of the car to not have any cops involve and pay out of my own pocket for the scratches (there was not real dent or anything like that, the scratches were on the bumper). But what I did is done and I can't do anything about it. Now what do I do? Should I go back to the parking lot and turn myself in to try to talk to the person. Not only that but theres two witnesses that could have easily taken down my plate no. I really think there's probably a good 70% chance they could have taken a look and rememberd it to leave for the owner of the car. This is also making me real scared as if the cops come to my house looking for the owner, they would find out I had an expired license while doing it.
The other thing was that I was in a rush to go babysit my two cousins. That day I promised my aunt I would help her up and If I stayed and waited, I would have been late. Now this was in broad daylight around 2PM. It takes a good 40 mins to get back to my cousins place and had to make it to pick them up at school at 3. But I don't know why I'm continuing to explain the second situation as I don't want to use it as a excuse as the real reason why I really thought I took off was because 1st situation. But its these two elements going on in my head that made just decide to take off and try to get away with it.
Now, I'm pretty sure in the next day to week, I can easily be tracked down and contacted (two witnesses, unbelievable chance that they got my plate number?..i'm driving a SUV and the plates are pretty noticeable )
So as I type this, I'm looking for advice on what I should do? Should I be really worried right now? What if the person's car doesn't want to make a small claim to their car insurance as it may be less cheaper for them to repair the scratches themselves?
When hitting the car I had no clue...my music was on pretty loud and I turned as if it was normal, hearing nothing or feeling nothing. This is probably why there was no dent even though my car was a SUV.
What can happen to me? Should I turn myself in? Can I goto jail for this? I'm already in debt and really would hate to be charged a huge fine (huge to me would be $1000 or more). I would rather love to pay the owner of the car for the scratches I caused..and do regret not leaving any contact info for him to reach me.
This guilt I'm having now is driving me nuts. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.