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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.


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