What do I do if my boyfriend took my car and was involved in a hit and run?

My car has been completely totaled due
to my boyfriend crashing, however he
left the scene. What is the best thing
for me to do?

Asked on October 27, 2017 under Accident Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you have insurance, submit a claim to your insurer for your car. Or if contacted by anyone about the accident (e.g. the police; someone looking to sue; another insurer; etc.)  notify your insurer as soon as you are, to avoid possibly nullifying your coverage (e.g. liability coverage) by not cooperating with your insurer.
If you are being sued by someone else, you are responsible (as the car's owner) if your boyfriend was at fault in the accident, unless your boyfriend stole the car from you--i.e. took it without any permission or against your wishes, since that is what taking a car without permission is: stealing it. You may be able to protect yourself from liability on this basis, but would have to report the car as stolen, file charges against your boyfriend, and convince everyone (e.g. the police) that he did in fact steal the car.
You should not be criminally liable for your boyfriend leaving the scene of the accident, since you were not there and were not the driver: he could be criminally liable for the hit-and-tun, etc.
If you do have to pay any amounts, either to repair your car or buy a new one, or to anyone who does successfully sue you as the car's owner, you could in turn sue your boyfriend for your costs and losses.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.