What to do if my car was hit by a driver that allegedly drove anothers car without permission?

UPDATED: Sep 8, 2011

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What to do if my car was hit by a driver that allegedly drove anothers car without permission?

My car was legally parked on the street in front of my house yesterday. A car hit me, the driver abandoned the car and then fled on foot. When the owner of the vehicle was located and came to the scene and said that his roommate had borrowed the car, had an accident and took off. The car was never reported stolen and there were no charges filed against the driver. However, when I called his insurance company, they denied my claim as the owner claims the driver did not give permission for the driver to take the car that day. How do I go about fighting this?

Asked on September 8, 2011 under Accident Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You should sue two different people:

1) Sue the owner. You don't need to accept what his insurer says at face value--unless, that is, you agree with it. Otherwise sue him; the insurer will step in to defend; and you have the chance to show that the owner is nonetheless liable because he did in fact give permission (it was his roommate after all) or was negligent in not taking steps to secure his car, etc.

2) Sue the roommate--if you know who the owner is, you should be able to find the roommate. Even if he does not have insurnace, you can still sue him and look to collect. He would be liable from what you write, as the at-fault driver.

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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