If you are injured in a collision involving a stolen vehicle, you’ll probably have a lot of questions that need answers.
Did you know Missouri ranks number seven among the states with the highest number of motor vehicle thefts?
If you are injured in a collision involving a stolen vehicle, you’ll probably have a lot of questions that need answers. For example, who’ll pay for the injuries and damages? Can you still pursue a car injury claim? Is the vehicle’s owner liable for the accident? Here are a few things you need to know.
Who Will Pay for Your Injuries and Damages?
The vehicle owner can generally only be held responsible for the accident if they “knowingly” allowed the at-fault driver to drive their vehicle. However, if the car was stolen, the car owner’s liability for the accident may be waived because no permission was granted.
The thief, on the other hand, will be held liable for their negligent actions. However, the thief may not be insured, which means you may have to file an injury claim against your insurer under your uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage.
What if the Theft Was Foreseeable?
Car owners are expected to leave their vehicles in a safe and secured area from a societal standpoint. However, that doesn’t mean the car owner will be found liable if evidence shows they left their car unsecured. If anything, the court will generally view the theft as an unpredictable act for a law-abiding car owner who forgot to secure their vehicle.
That being said, the owner may be held responsible if they did not report their vehicle as stolen or lost. However, there must be strong evidence showing that the car owner had enough time to report the car theft but deliberately failed to do so.
What Should You Do After a Stole Vechile Accident?
After an accident, the first thing you should generally do is to ensure everyone involved is out of harm’s way, get medical attention, and immediately inform the police.
Next, document everything: jot down notes detailing how the accident happened, model of the stolen vehicle, vehicle license plate, and witness contacts. Also, don’t forget to ask for a copy of the police report, and be sure to take clear and detailed pictures of the collision scene and damages. This information will come in handy in tracking and finding the thief. Most importantly, you’ll use the information to back your claim and convince the insurance company or court you’re entitled to compensation.
Speak With an Experienced Attorney
No matter how strong you think your evidence is, it’s usually a bad idea to pursue a car injury claim without an experienced car accident attorney by your side. Your lawyer can help you file your claim correctly, gather evidence, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure you get fair compensation.
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If you are injured in an accident involving a stolen car, contact The Hoffmann Law Firm. Our experienced team can help you navigate the legal complexities and help you determine what you are entitled to. Call us today for a free case evaluation.
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