What to do if my car was stolen from me and then later in the night was involved in a hit and run?

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What to do if my car was stolen from me and then later in the night was involved in a hit and run?

I was asleep and did not know it was stolen until the morning. I don’t have insurance. What do I do to clear up this problem? The insurance people of the car that was hit is mailing me telling me to pay for the accident.

Asked on November 12, 2012 under Accident Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You should retain an attorney to deal with the other party and his or her insurer, since insurers can be difficult to deal with. That said, legally, if the car was stolen from you, you would not be liable for the accident unless--

1) The person who stole it is under your control or a member of your househould (for example, a child);

2) You collaborated in the theft (for example, had the car stolen to submit an insurance claim); or

3) Occasionally, if it can be shown that you were very careless in how you secured the car, and that carelessness led to the theft (for example: left the keys in it).

The issue often is proving to the insurer or other party that you were not involved since the car was stolen; that's where a lawyer can help you.


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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