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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 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.


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