If I was carjacked a few years ago and the criminal had an accident in my car, am I responsible for damages?

The criminal was convicted and served felony time for the crime committed towards me. However I received no restitution. I am assuming the insurance company is contacting me on behalf of a auto or property owner that incurred damage during that accident that the criminal had while trying to flee police in my car. The insurance company states in its collection notice that they will pursue getting my license suspended, is that possible?

Asked on July 3, 2012 under Accident Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

From what you write, you should NOT be responsible for any damages: a car owner is not responsible for the actions of a third-party criminal who steals his or her car, absent special circumstances (e.g. it's believed you collaborated in having the car stolen; you were grossly negligent in how you secured the car--e.g. left it with the keys in it--and so facilitated the theft). You could reply with a letter (send it some way you can prove delivery) which states that the car had been carjacked and the damage was done by the criminal; include copies of public records showing the theft and later conviction of the perpetrator. State also that you are  not responsible for anything a criminal did with your car, since you never consented to it being taken, and  that if they continue to try to wrongfully collect from you, you will take appropriate legal action.


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