If an uninsured car was taken without permission or knowledge and was wrecked by the person who took it, what measures can the owner of the vehicle take to ensure they are not responsible for the damages to the other car involved in the accident?


Asked on July 7, 2016 under Accident Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The owner would need to file a police report accusing the person who took the car of theft--and then would need to consistently follow up in accordance with that (e.g. press charges; testify against the thief; etc.). Either a car was used with permission (even if the permission was tacit or implicit--i.e. not expressly spoken) or it was stolen: there is nothing in-between. So to try to escape liability, you must show that your car was stolen, which will mean a criminal record and likely jail time for the thief. If you're not willing to do that (e.g. this was a friend, family memer, or significant other), you will likely be liable.

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