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Who Is Liable for Damages Caused by a Stolen Vehicle?

Posted on January 29, 2022 in

When someone is involved in a car accident with a stolen vehicle, trying to determine who is liable for damages can be difficult. If the thief flees the scene and cannot be located or identified, matters can become even more complicated. The vehicle owner is often an innocent party and cannot generally be found liable, meaning the victim will likely have to file a claim under their own insurer to recover compensation. An experienced attorney can help handle the situation’s complexities and recover the compensation you deserve.

If you are injured in an accident with a stolen vehicle, our law office may be able to help you seek financial compensation for your injuries. At Jensen Phelan Law Firm, we have been helping accident victims for decades and understand the intricacies of dealing with insurance companies and investigating claims. Our specialist personal injury attorney can help ease some of the stress by providing support, knowledge, and guidance and helping you get your claim paid quickly.

Who is Liable for Harm Done by a Stolen Vehicle?

After an accident, the at-fault driver is typically responsible for the cost of injuries and damages. However, when the driver of a stolen vehicle is to blame, neither the owner of the stolen vehicle nor their insurer is liable. The vehicle owner may only be responsible for damages in an accident caused by someone permitted to borrow the vehicle.

The thief is responsible for the losses due to their negligence. However, their insurer may deny coverage since their policyholder was engaged in illegal activity at the time of the accident. The thief’s insurer denying coverage can make recovering compensation from the thief challenging. It may be impossible to locate the thief in some circumstances, and even if they are found, they may not have insurance coverage.

Whether damages are covered will depend on the type of auto insurance you have. Protection against theft is included in certain policies, but not all. Comprehensive coverage can protect you and your vehicle from damages not caused by an accident, such as paying for repair costs or replacing your vehicle if stolen. Those who don’t want comprehensive coverage can be protected from car theft through specified perils coverage.

What to Do If Your Vehicle Is Stolen?

If your vehicle is stolen, some steps can help protect your claim for compensation. It’s important your insurer knows you were not involved in the theft of your vehicle.

  • Verify your vehicle is stolen
  • Call the police and report the theft
  • Let your insurance company know about the theft

Many insurance companies wait before closing a claim to rule out fraud and see if your vehicle is recovered. If your stolen vehicle is never recovered, it will likely be deemed a total loss.

Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers at Jensen Phelan Law Firm

At Jensen Phelan Law Firm, our specialists take pride in helping ease the burden so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Being in a car accident with a thief can make recovering compensation challenging, which is why our car accident lawyers are here to help. We can help you contact your insurance company and help you investigate your claim so you can receive the total and fair compensation owed to you. Contact our office today at (928) 778-2660 or complete our online contact form.