Based on a true story: Bob's car is parked in the street. Ted is driving down the street recklessly with Alan as a passenger. Ted sideswipes Bob's car doing quite a lot of damage, but takes off.
Next day, Alan shows up at Bob's doorstep saying, "You wanna get the guy who sideswiped your car last night? I was the passenger in that car and I was scared witless and I banged my head hard when he hit your car." Bob says, "Heck yes" and Alan takes him to Ted's house where Ted's vehicle is parked. Bob gets pictures of Ted's vehicle showing the damage and paint scrapings from Bob's car. He's got this evidence plus Alan as a witness.
Bob calls the Austin Police Department and after a couple minutes the cop says, "You know, we're not going to do anything about this." "Why not?" "Because we're losing 40 cops per month, and we can't hire more. We have only 3 cops for all of downtown Austin just not. Our response time for an active shooter is 18 minutes. We don't have the manpower for this."
Bob is lamenting about this to one of his friends. The friend says, "Why don't you engage The Hammer?" (The Hammer is a personal injury lawyer who has billboards all over Austin and commercials that run every 2 minutes on daytime TV.) He goes on: "Give the The Hammer all your evidence and let him treat it as a civil case. He can get to the court system, sue the pants off of Ted and you don't have to go through the police."
So my question is: Is Bob's friend on to something? If cops won't act in a criminal case, is possible and sensible to hire The Hammer to get restitution?
Additional information: Bob's car was a project car, and wasn't registered, licensed, or insured at the time.