Liability for Stolen Car Accidents
Getting injured in a car accident is bad enough. Finding out it happened because the other driver was intoxicated or speeding is worse, because it was a preventable injury. Okay, that’s fine. Simply sort it out with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or file a lawsuit. And then it turns out that the car was stolen.
There is a whole nest of snakes right there in that situation. Getting compensation for the economic losses, pain, and suffering can be difficult per se, but more so when complications arise. In most cases where the stolen car causes a car wreck, the insurance of the actual car owner will at least cover bodily injury and property damage of another party, but only after a thorough investigation of the circumstances of the accident has been made. If the car owner had comprehensive coverage, the insurance company will also cover damage to the stolen car itself, although not for medical care of the thief.
There are several things that the actual car owner must do to continue to get coverage from the insurance company as well as avoid personal liability for any harm done to a third party. First off, the theft must have been reported to the police and insurance company prior to the event. The insurance policy must also specify that the coverage applies even if it was being driven by someone else or stolen.
The car owner may be liable for any damage recovery filed by the car accident victims for failure to report the theft within a reasonable period even if he or she was not even driving. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. It is important to engage the services of a competent car accident lawyer in the area to ensure that all the bases are covered.