The laws of every state are different in what you need to do when there is a property damage collision. Since the other owner was not present, it is a good idea to get the police involved just to take down a report and get everyone's information in one place. As far as insurance, most policies (yours) require you to file a claim with them. If you don't start a claim, you may be in breach of your contract which could give them a way out of paying and make you responsible. So, if you are looking to do the right thing. Call the police, start a report, and file a claim with your insurance company.
licensed attorney in Montana. Your specific state laws may be different.
It would have been best to call the police to make a report. I am assuming that it is too late to locate the car you hit to let them know what happened. You are obligated to contact your insurance company whenever you are involved in an accident. You will have to weigh the option of using your collision coverage to fix your car as you will have to pay your deductible or if it would be more cost effective to pay for it yourself.
May be too late to make a police report but you should notify your insurance carrier as you are required to do so in the terms of your agreement with them.
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I don't mean to be condescending, but even if you couldn't see any damage to the truck you should have left a note for them just as a courtesy (you can't turn back the clock but if it happens in the future - do it).
As for your property damage claim, if you have minor damages it is MUCH smarter to go ahead and pay out of pocket to fix your car. You probably have a deductible to pay before your insurance kicks in and once you file a claim your insurance premiums will go up due to you being at-fault for the damage. Indeed, when I or a family member has been at-fault in a small fender bender, I will go ahead and pay for the other person's vehicle repair out of pocket. Over the long term, depending on how many cars you have insured and your insurance limits, you save money by paying out of pocket in that your insurance premiums aren't hiked as a result of your insurer paying a minimal amount to repaint scratches.
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