Covering Damages: What Happens if Someone Steals Your Vehicle and Gets Into an Accident?

Covering Damages: What Happens if Someone Steals Your Vehicle and Gets Into an Accident?

Auto accidents are often linked to auto theft. Perpetrators could cause significant damage to the vehicle and generate serious financial losses for the owner. If the stolen vehicle is involved in an auto accident, the owner could face liabilities if the perpetrator damages other vehicles or causes personal injuries. But, who pays if a stolen vehicle is involved in a wreck and generates financial losses for others?

Did the Owner Report The Vehicle Stolen?

The vehicle owner must report the vehicle stolen as soon as they are aware of it. They shouldn’t delay the process. The officers will come to the locations where the vehicle was stolen and the accident occurred and conduct an investigation. They have the equipment to collect evidence such as fingerprints and debris left behind by the perpetrator.

If the vehicle owner waits until an auto accident happens to report the vehicle, it could cause problems. If a vehicle was stolen and involved in an accident, owners can visit for more answers about legalities. 

Getting An Accident Report for the Accident

If the stolen vehicle was in an accident, the owner can contact the responding law enforcement agency to get a copy of the accident report. The details show what happened and what property was damaged. After an auto accident, the officers investigate to find out what happened and who is at fault.

If the vehicle has been reported stolen, the owner is not liable for property damage or personal injuries. However, if they haven’t reported the automobile stolen, the owner could face liabilities if they cannot prove that the vehicle was stolen. The accident report can show the owner what happened and how much damage was caused by the accident.  

The Criminal Case Against the Auto Thief

Auto theft is a serious crime, and if the vehicle is of a higher value, the perpetrator will be charged with grand theft auto. The auto theft charge will come with penalties and restitution that is paid to the auto owner. If the auto thief causes significant damage, they will be required to pay the owner for the damages if the perpetrator is convicted of the crime. 

If the thief caused an auto accident, they will face liabilities through civil court. The victims of the accident can start a legal claim against the perpetrator for their financial losses. If the auto owner has a higher coverage level, they can file an insurance claim for the damage to their vehicle.

See Also

The auto owner could also file an insurance claim to help the victims get the coverage they need. However, since a crime was involved, the auto owner can avoid the liabilities if the auto thief is convicted.  

Should the Auto Owner Start a Legal Claim

If the auto owner suffers a serious loss because of the auto thief, they could file a civil claim against the perpetrators. The civil case is not linked to the criminal case, and it will not affect how much restitution the auto owner could get through the criminal case.  

Auto accidents involving a stolen vehicle could present the auto owner with serious liabilities. When reviewing the necessary steps to avoid liabilities, the auto owner must have filed a report stating that the automobile was stolen. If they wait to report the stolen automobile until after an accident happens, they may be responsible for property damage and related medical expenses.  

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