What can I do if my car was hit over night by a neighbor’s truck which had been reported as stolen so now their insurer won’t honor my claim?

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What can I do if my car was hit over night by a neighbor’s truck which had been reported as stolen so now their insurer won’t honor my claim?

In the morning when we saw the damage, we called and made a report. The owner of the truck then reported his truck stolen. His insurance is now saying they won’t cover my damages because he said it was stolen.

Asked on July 9, 2015 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you don't believe him, you could sue him; to avoid paying you, he'd have to prove in court, by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) that his truck was in fact stolen. If he can prove that, however, he would not be liable--the owner of a vehicle is not liable or responsible for the criminal actions of others. Whether or not he can prove that the truck was stolen will depend on the facts--for example, if he reported it stolen first thing the next day, when he would have first reasonably seen it gone, that supports his story; if he did not report it stolen until later, when the police or you contacted him, that makes his story weaker, since then it looks like may be trying to get out of paying. The facts will determine what you and he can each prove and again, if it turns out the truck was stolen, he would not be liable.


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