The aftermath of car accidents is difficult enough, but it becomes even more confusing when the person who hit you was driving a stolen car. After a person steals a vehicle and gets into an accident, they often flee the scene of the accident to avoid being identified or located. The owner of the vehicle cannot be held liable because they did not give permission to the thief to steal the car. Still, you do have options for recovering compensation. An Ohio car accident lawyer can explain what those are, and give you the best chance of recovering the damages you deserve.
After any accident, it is the responsibility of the at-fault driver’s insurance company to provide compensation for the damages. This concept holds true even when the at-fault party stole the vehicle they were driving. Unfortunately, the insurer may deny coverage due to the fact that the thief was engaged in criminal activity at the time of the accident. This can make recovering damages from the driver of the stolen vehicle very difficult.
Another problem with filing a claim with the thief’s insurance company is that they may not have remained at the scene of the accident. When that happens, it can become very challenging to locate them so you know which insurance company to claim damages from. If the police find them, you may then be able to file a claim with their insurance policy but you should know what to do even if you cannot find the driver.
While Ohio does place minimum requirements on auto insurance, this is just basic coverage that provides benefits for any injury or death resulting from the accident, and for property damage. Unfortunately, this type of coverage will not compensate you if you cannot find the driver of the stolen vehicle. However, there are times your own insurer may cover you, depending on the type of insurance you have purchased.
If the driver fled the scene, you may be covered if you purchased uninsured (UM) or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). These types of insurance provide coverage for injury and property damage you and your passengers incur when you are hit by a driver that fled the scene and they cannot be found. This type of insurance will also cover you when a driver flees the scene with a stolen vehicle.
Lastly, if your insurance policy includes MedPay, you can also use that coverage to pay for your medical bills. It is always recommended that drivers purchase UM and UIM insurance, as well as MedPay.
Car accidents are always complicated, but they are even more so when they involve a driver of a stolen vehicle. At Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC, our skilled Maumee car accident lawyers can help identify the driver, and will advise on what insurance may cover you after the crash. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
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