Normally, when you’re involved in an accident, you can file an insurance claim. As long as the insurance company can determine that the other driver was at fault, your claim will be paid. This isn’t the case when you’re hit by someone driving a stolen vehicle. If it was just a matter of the other drive borrowing the car, you wouldn’t have a big problem. This is because insurance follows the car not the driver. For example, if someone lent their car to their neighbor and they got into a crash, insurance would cover any injures. It’s a lot different when the person driving the car didn’t have permission.
Legally, Albany car accident lawyers know that insurance follow the car, not the driver. The one exception to this rule is when the person who gets into the accident didn’t have permission to drive the car. So if someone steals a car, the insurance policy maintained by the car’s owner isn’t going to cover your damages. In cases like this, you only have a few options.
Your car accident lawyer in Albany can explain these options during your free initial consultation. Unfortunately, none of the options are all that great. There’s a good chance you’ll be left holding the bag for some or all of your damages.
You Can File a Claim Against the Driver’s Insurance
When you’re injured in a car accident, you have to file a claim against the driver’s insurance. As explained above, insurance coverage follows the car, not the driver. However, there is a loophole. If the car owner’s insurance doesn’t cover any or all of your damages, you can file a claim against the driver’s insurance policy. This presumes that the person who stole the car actually carries auto insurance on another vehicle. Odds are, someone who’s willing to risk going to jail to steal a car doesn’t have a car of their own. And, if they do, they probably don’t carry insurance. Criminals aren’t typically concerned with things like this. That means that this option is rarely going to work.
You Can File a Lawsuit Against the Person Driving the Stolen Car
As mentioned above, you can pursue the thief’s personal insurance policy to get your damages covered. The other option is to file a car accident lawsuit against the other driver. However, as we saw in the example above, most people who would steal a car dont have any assets. This means that, even if you win your lawsuit, your judgment won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on. In fact, there’s a very good chance that you will win your lawsuit. The defendant probably won’t show up to court. They could be in jail from some other crime. But, it’s more likely that they just don’t care. Criminals are not overly concerned with civil lawsuits. They figure, even if you get a judgment, you’ll never get a dime from them. If they don’t have assets, there’s nothing you can do to collect your judgment. And if they don’t have a job, you can’t even try to garnish their wages. This means that your judgment will be worthless. This leaves you and your Albany car accident lawyer one option.
You Can File a Claim Under Your Uninsured Motorist’s Fund
Your last option, and the one you’ll probably have to depend on, is filing a claim under your uninsured motorists’ fund. Most people have this coverage under their own auto insurance policy. It’s intended to cover situations like this. It covers people who are involved in a crash with someone who doesn’t carry any insurance. It’s also meant to help people who are hit by someone driving a stolen car. It also comes in handy when you’re involved in a hit and run. The problem is that the limits on this coverage are often low. Sometimes, they’re as low as $10,000. There is a good chance that your damages are going to exceed this amount.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Albany, Georgia
If you’re hit by someone driving a stolen car, you don’t have many options. There’s only so much your Albany car accident lawyer can do. But you still want to have a skilled attorney by your side. Call today and schedule your free initial consultation. Sit down with someone who has handled cases like yours before. They’ll do their best to help you get the compensation you deserve.