So who pays for the damages if you get hit by a stolen car? An experienced attorney can help find the best avenues to seek compensation for your losses.
You should recoup medical bills, car damages, lost wages, pain, and suffering. Here’s an overview of how courts, insurance carriers, and lawyers determine fault and compensation for damages caused by a stolen car:
Determining Liability for Harm
When filing a claim for damages caused by a stolen car, you need someone to blame for the accident. As the victim, you should recoup damages from the at-fault party or their insurance company. If the car is stolen, neither the owner nor their insurance company can be found liable for the damages.
Most drivers of stolen cars flee the scene to avoid dealing with police and getting booked for theft. If they don’t flee, you can file a claim against them if they are at fault. The court’s interest is to determine who’s at fault for the accident. If your negligence played a part, you might be liable for the damages.
Some states allow for scenarios where the owner of the stolen car can be found liable for damages caused by an accident. The stolen car’s owner can be held responsible if the theft incident is foreseeable. An example is if the owner knew another person took the vehicle without permission but did nothing to prevent it.
Auto Insurance for Stolen Car
Your insurance policy may cover the damages and injuries in incidents where the at-fault driver of a stolen car flees. Tracking a thieving, at-fault driver may take some time, and when you catch them, they may not have the funds to compensate your damages. No insurance policy covers accidents caused while committing a crime, so the at-fault driver will pay from pocket.
Your best option is filing for compensation from your insurance company if your policy allows it. Various auto insurance policies cover such incidents, and some even replace the vehicle if the policyholder’s car is stolen. There are two types of auto policies car owners can use to protect their investment in case of an incident: comprehensive and specified perils.
Comprehensive insurance covers various damages, including the cost of replacing the car in case of theft, vandalism, or fire. If your vehicle is stolen or damaged by a stolen car, you can recoup losses up to your policy’s limit.
Specified perils are add-ons you can purchase to protect a vehicle from specific damages or incidents. You need an attorney to claim from the right party.
Compensation for Damages Caused By Stolen Car
Accidents involving a stolen car or one taken without permission are prevalent in the US. The innocent driver, motorist, cyclist, or pedestrian probably won’t know if a burglar or known family member stole the vehicle. Working with a lawyer can help you recoup medical bills, car repairs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. Here’s what you should do:
1. Report the Incident to Police
If you get hit by a stolen car, seek medical help immediately to rule out serious injuries. Assess your condition to determine whether you can stand and walk. If you are okay, check if other injured people are well and seek necessary help.
Next up should be a call to the police dispatch. You should also report a stolen car to the police as soon as possible.
As the innocent driver, you need to report the accident to the police to begin an investigation. They’ll take your statement, report the incident, and provide the records if required by the court. Some people flee the scene of the accident for medical assistance or when threatened by the at-fault driver. Make sure you inform the police about your reasons for leaving.
2. Call Your Auto Accident Lawyer
You need an experienced auto accident lawyer to help claim compensation for damage caused by a stolen car. Involving a lawyer early can result in better evidence gathering, increasing your likelihood of getting compensated.
Accidents can leave you startled and needing time to reflect and calm down. There’s no need to undergo more pressure at this time.
Lawyers allow you to rest and focus on recovery. They can help you assess the case and determine the best course of action. You should call a lawyer soon after the incident to prepare the case. Some at-fault drivers may offer cash at the accident scene to avoid the legal system, but you shouldn’t take it. An attorney will get you the compensation you deserve.
Inform Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company is likely to cover damages caused by a stolen car. Owners of stolen cars can also recoup damages if they have a comprehensive policy or unique coverage addressing such situations. You should inform your insurance company about an accident, especially if the at-fault driver flees and you learn the car was stolen.
Insurance companies won’t issue compensation right away because you can track stolen cars and identify the negligent driver. You’ll still need to prove innocence and take no fault for the accident. Failing to report the issue to your insurance company can result in problems when claiming compensation. You can read the policy concerning accident reporting time limits.
Hire an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
A stolen car accident may leave you injured or even disabled. You have the legal right to claim compensation for the damages. In some cases, the at-fault party is found and held liable for the damages. Other times you have to file through your insurance company. You may also qualify for worker’s compensation if you were driving at work when the accident occurred.
Claiming compensation from an individual, group, or insurance company is daunting. Insurance carriers will investigate the issue thoroughly before issuing any payments. You may also need legal representation if the case goes to trial or when settling out of court. At Ping an Attorney, we connect injured parties to lawyers to recoup all legitimate damages.