17 year old stole my car and wrecked it. What now?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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17 year old stole my car and wrecked it. What now?

My car was stolen and then wrecked by a 17
year old kid. He was charged with RSP, the
accident, and driving without a license. The car
was cleaned of contents, about 3,700. The
car is worth 20,000. What should I prepare to
do next?

Asked on April 4, 2019 under Accident Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First, if you have relevant insurance (e.g. theft for the car; homeowner's or renter's which could cover the contents), place an insurance claim: the most straightforward and productive way to seek compensation is to use the insurance you are paying for.
If you don't have the relevant insurance, you can sue the boy's parents or legal guardians (assuming that he not emancipated, and the vast majority of 17-year-olds are not) for all your losses and damage: the parents or guardians of a minor are liable for the damage, cost, losses, etc. he causes. If course, this will only happen if the family is sufficiently solvent as to have money to pay (or at least steady jobs so you can do a wage garnishment after winning the case): a successful lawsuit does not make money appear where ther is none.

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.

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