California is the undeniable leader in car thefts in the US with over 155,000 cars stolen a year, and just under half of those come from the LA metro area. This means that if you live and drive in LA, you stand a good chance of either having your car stolen or encounter someone in a stolen car.
Most of the time you might not be aware that the driver next to you is driving a stolen car, but once you get into a wreck with a driver of a stolen vehicle, your problems might just be beginning.
Carjacking Pursuit Crash Kills One Sends Three to Hospital
Sunday night, June 21, 2020, police chased a stolen car after a man and a woman took the vehicle at gunpoint, and the car slammed into another vehicle that was making a left turn at the intersection of Normandie Avenue and 60th Street.
Both cars then hit several parked cars, and the impact killed the woman passenger instantly. The male driver of the stolen car and two males from other vehicles were seriously injured and taken to a local hospital. Police are still investigating the incident, and charges are pending.
Paying for Injuries
When someone is injured in a crash involving a stolen car, the victims will often have trouble getting compensation for their injuries. Typically in an accident, the at-fault driver will pay for all damages to anyone who is injured. However, if the at-fault driver is driving a stolen vehicle, then it’s likely that there won’t be any insurance available to pay compensation.
From the victim’s standpoint, it shouldn’t make any difference if the car was stolen or not. So long as the accident wasn’t the victim’s fault, he or she should get compensation. However, under California law, if the stolen car driver has insurance, the insurance company is prohibited from paying out based on the illegal activity of the stolen car driver.
Think about it, wouldn’t it be a bit strange if insurance companies allowed car thieves to insure themselves for accidents while stealing cars?
So what if the car’s owner has insurance that covers their car? The car owner’s insurance only covers for the liability of the car owner. Since the car owner wasn’t driving the car, then he or she isn’t liable, and consequently, neither is the insurance company.
Who Pays When a Stolen Car Injures Someone?
If the driver has money or some assets that can be seized to pay compensation, then that is an option, however, this is unlikely. This leaves the victims with few options. If they have their own insurance policy that has uninsured and underinsured motorist’s coverage, medpay, or personal injury protection, then they might get some compensation from any of those policies. Otherwise, they might have to foot the bill for their injuries.
If you’ve been injured by a driver in a stolen vehicle, don’t make any assumptions about your coverage or your chances of getting compensation. The insurance company agents will likely tell you that you aren’t covered, but don’t listen to them, find out the truth from an attorney who knows the law and can work hard to find compensation for your injuries.
Contact an Auto Accident Attorney
The best thing to do when injured in an automobile accident is to talk to a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney who understands the law and has experience getting injured victims the compensation they deserve.
Call the Law Firm of Steers & Associates at 800 824 5416 or click here to contact us online. We have attorneys with years of experience dealing with every type of motor vehicle accident, and we get results against the insurance companies and their highly-paid lawyers. Call us now to even the playing field and get the compensation you deserve.