If you have seen the local news recently, you have probably heard about a car accident in downtown Salt Lake City caused by a teen drunk driver who had stolen a car. Stories like this may have you wondering what your rights are if you are hit by a driver who has stolen a car in Utah, and whether insurance will pay for the damage caused by the driver a stolen car.
Who is Responsible?
If you have been hit by the driver of a stolen vehicle in Utah, the driver of the stolen vehicle that hit you is obviously responsible for the property damage and your injury. However, most criminals who steal cars are unlikely to pay for your damages, so car insurance will have to step in and pay. The question of whose insurance company should pay for the damages often becomes a source of serious legal conflict in car accidents involving stolen vehicles in Utah. Ultimately, any one of the following insurance companies could be responsible for your loss:
- The insurance policy that covers the stolen car.
- The insurance policy that covers the thief.
- Your own car insurance.
The Insurance Policy that Covers the Stolen Car
The insurance policy that covers the stolen car may cover damage caused if the vehicle is involved in an accident. Whether the policy will cover your particular situation depends on how the policy was written, how the driver got the vehicle, and whether the owner of the vehicle wants to press charges for the theft. The Insurance Policy that Covers the Thief In many cases, a person’s car insurance policy follows them when they borrow or rent cars. It is entirely possible that this would also apply to a car that the thief took without permission. Again, whether the policy will cover your particular situation is dependent on the specific facts of your case. Your Own Uninsured Motorist Insurance Uninsured motorist (UM) insurance provides money when you are injured by a person who does not have any insurance. If you are involved in a car accident with one of these drivers that has no other source of insurance because the vehicle was stolen, you will be completely responsible for the property damage most of the medical bills that you incur as a result of the crash.
If you have UM insurance, your own insurance company will pay for your medical bills and even your pain and suffering if your injuries were severe enough. What Are Your Rights? If you have been injured by the driver of a stolen car, contact one of our experienced car accident lawyers for a consultation. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Hepworth & Associates can be reached at 801-872-2222. — This article was written by Attorney Jennifer K. Zeleny of Hepworth & Associates.