If you’ve been injured in a crash that involves a stolen vehicle in Chicago, the driver, who’s also the thief of the stolen vehicle, is clearly responsible for injuring you and damaging your car. On the other hand, thieves, being the criminals they are, are very unlikely to stay behind after a crash unless they’re also badly injured. But what if the thief isn’t financially capable of paying for the damages or doesn’t have insurance?
In Illinois, the stolen vehicle’s owner can’t be considered liable for the damages because the vehicle involved in the accident that resulted in your injuries and property damage was stolen. Basically, since the thief took the vehicle without the owner’s consent, the owner, who didn’t have anything to do with the accident, simply can’t be held responsible for the actions of the car thief.
By contrast, under the legal doctrine of permissive use, the car owner may be liable for property damage and/or personal injury that resulted from the negligent operation of the car by any individual who operated the car with the owner’s permission. But because the stolen car’s owner obviously did not consent to the use of the car, the owner is not responsible for the thief’s negligent actions.
If you’ve been involved in a car crash in which the driver of the stolen car fled, you will be left to take care of the medical expenses and property damage that you’ll undoubtedly incur due to the accident. Fortunately, you can be reimbursed for your medical expenses, loss of wage, pain and suffering, and property damage, among others.
For this, you’ll need to file a claim to leverage the uninsured motorist portion of your auto insurance policy, which is required in Illinois. Most people pair their uninsured motorist coverage with underinsured motorist coverage, which can be used in cases where the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance coverage for covering all the damages.
It’s very crucial to understand that insurance companies will always look out for their best interests and not their clients’ best interests. You can work with an experienced Chicago auto accident lawyer to make sure that your insurance provider treats you fairly and give you the compensation you really deserve. Your lawyer can even determine whether your provider is acting or has acted in bad faith, which, if proven, can lead to you recovering more than your policy limits.
If you have sustained injuries in a crash due to the negligence of a stolen vehicle’s driver, consult with one of our personal injury lawyers here at The Horwitz Law Group. Our experienced Chicago auto accident attorneys can be reached by phone or our online form. We can help you understand exactly what your auto insurance covers and help you file a claim against your insurance provider under the specific terms of your insurance coverage and rules for uninsured or underinsured motorist claims.
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