How can I get compensation if my car was totaled by an insured stolen car that was left at the scene of the accident and whose driver fled on foot?

UPDATED: Jun 9, 2009

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How can I get compensation if my car was totaled by an insured stolen car that was left at the scene of the accident and whose driver fled on foot?

I had the misfortune of having my vehicle totaled by a stolen car. The fiasco began when a police department, 25 miles from the accident scene (and out of county), decided to pursue a “suspicious” vehicle. The pursuit turned into high-speed police chase. The pursuing police company telephoned ahead to local police. Local police were unable to obtain road strips and informed pursuing police to abort the chase which they didn’t. Driver in pursuit lost control, hit my parked car, disabling his, jumped out car, fled on foot and escaped. Neither police or insurance claiming responsibility. Help!

Asked on June 9, 2009 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania


L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

So sorry this happened to you!  What I would do here, is go through your own insurance to have your vehicle taken care of (if you are insured) and let the insurance company worry about who to "subrogate against" (make a legal demand for money from) to get reimbursed.  If you have not insurance, you will likely need to make a claim against the municipality where the local police are located.  If you have contact information for the driver, you can try to file with his insurance, but I doubt he has any if he's out stealing a car!  I hope you have insurance, because that's the only sure thing here.

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