Brian White | November 23, 2023 | Car Accidents
Finding out your car was stolen is awful. Finding out it was stolen and involved in a car accident is worse. If you are in this situation, you might have plenty of questions. “If someone steals your car and crashes, are you liable?” “How am I going to pay to get my car fixed?”
Understanding who is responsible for your damages after an accident with your stolen car can help you be prepared for the unexpected.
My Car Was Stolen and Involved In An Accident – Am I Liable?
If your vehicle was stolen and the thief caused injuries, you might not be liable. Insurance generally covers the negligence of the insured driver, as well as anyone they give their permission to drive their vehicle. Unless the accident victim can show you were somehow negligent, you shouldn’t be responsible for the damages a third-party thief caused.
My Car Was Damaged by a Driver of a Stolen Vehicle – How Do I Get It Fixed?
If your vehicle was damaged by a driver of a stolen vehicle, you may have a few options.
If you have collision or comprehensive insurance, you could check with those policies to see if your vehicle is covered. These are typically optional add-ons to your insurance, but you might have them if you financed your vehicle since many dealerships require you to maintain them until the car is paid off.
If the thief can be identified, you can consider filing a claim against them or their insurance provider.
My Car Was Stolen – What Do I Do?
If your car was stolen, there are steps you should take to protect your rights:
- Verify your car was actually stolen – Check with your other household members to make sure one of them did not borrow it. If you parked it, check if you parked somewhere else. If you parked it in a tow-away zone, check with the local tow yard.
- Call law enforcement – Grand theft auto is a serious crime in Texas. Report the theft to the authorities so they can be on the lookout for your vehicle and spot it before the thief commits a crime in it or takes it to be dismantled for parts.
- Cooperate with the investigation – Give police all the details you can about your vehicle, including the year, make, model, and color. Tell them the license plate number and VIN. You can look at your vehicle registration and DMV records for this information. If you have GPS installed in your car, give this information to law enforcement.
- Contact your insurance company – Contact your insurance company and report the theft. The adjuster assigned to your case will likely ask for a copy of the police report. Give it to them.
- Document your damages – It may take a few weeks or longer for the case to be solved or for you to receive compensation. Keep up with all of your losses, including rental car receipts, toll charges, and rideshare requests.
Finally, contact a lawyer to learn more about how you can recover after this frightening experience.
I Was Hit By A Stolen Vehicle – What Are My Options?
If you were hit by someone driving a stolen vehicle, you may have a few legal options. First, you might want to consider filing an uninsured motorist claim with your own auto insurance provider. Your uninsured motorist coverage pays for your damages if you are hit by an uninsured driver. It also applies in cases of hit and run.
In Texas, uninsured motorist coverage must be offered to you when you purchase car insurance, and you must reject it in writing if you do not want it.
You could also turn to the insurance of the vehicle’s owner to see if coverage applies. The driver may have alleged the vehicle was stolen. However, it may turn out that they let an irresponsible driver or their unlicensed teen take the vehicle with permission. If the thief is identified, you could consider filing a claim against them.
Contact an experienced car accident attorney if you are involved in an accident with a stolen vehicle.
Contact the Houston Car Accident Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
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Houston, TX 77098
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