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Hit by a Stolen Car: Dealing with Insurance

California is an at-fault state. In a car accident, the person responsible must cover everyone’s damages.

This becomes a problem if the other driver is operating a stolen car. Obviously, the thief is dishonest and will do whatever it takes to stay out of trouble. Getting anything from them will be next to impossible. The car’s actual owner wants to avoid liability for the event, as they are victims, too. And insurance companies can use the theft as an excuse to avoid paying out benefits to anyone.

In this article, we will discuss how you may be able to collect benefits when hit by a stolen car.

Make Sure the Car is Actually Stolen

An at-fault driver can suffer consequences for causing a wreck. They are financially responsible for the damages your insurance can’t cover. Even when they are insured, their rates will probably go up, making them pay more money per month. To avoid all this, the at-fault driver can claim the car was stolen.

Before taking this driver at their word, ask an attorney to investigate the driver’s claim. You need to verify that the car was indeed stolen before moving forward.

Navigating Insurance

In situations where the other driver cannot supplement your benefits, you may need to appeal to your own insurer. This can be true even when the other driver has insurance. At its bare minimum, California auto insurance covers $5,000 of your property damage and $15,000 of your injuries. You can deplete that amount quickly if your damages are severe. Then, you must rely on the at-fault party to cover the rest.

Problems arise, however, if your damages are extensive. Your car could be totaled, requiring a complete replacement. Similarly, your injuries could be catastrophic, or life-changing. If so, you will require many doctor visits, surgeries, therapies, and other treatments, and this medical need could last a lifetime.

Ultimately, your insurer is obligated to pay only the benefits outlined in your claim. For this reason, many motorists opt to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This is a benefit specifically designed to help when you need to use the other driver’s insurance and cannot.

If you were hit by a stolen car vehicle, however, your insurer may try to deny your claim, even if you have uninsured motorist coverage. Any illegal activity could give them an excuse to pull out.

When you are stuck in these seemingly unwinnable situations, you will need help negotiating with your insurance company. This is where your lawyer comes in. They can work with insurance companies and help negotiate a fair settlement.

When all else fails, you may have no choice but to file a lawsuit. We will discuss this situation in part two of this series.

Our firm is here to Oneonta residents with insurance claims, regardless of the situation. For a free consultation, call us today at (951) 779-1610, or contact us online.