Vehicle accidents are always difficult situations, especially when serious injuries occur. These unfortunate incidents happen every single day; however, it’s a different situation when a vehicle is stolen and then involved in a car accident. Michigan residents who fall victim to this situation may wonder if they are liable for any damages or injuries from the accident.
Be Reasonable and Know Your Responsibilities
A stolen car may be a good reason to hire a personal injury attorney. The car owner is not liable for an accident in which his or her vehicle was involved if someone else stole and then crashed the vehicle. The owner is only responsible for driving safely in the car.
What Are You Responsible for After a Thief Crashes your Car?
If a person realizes his vehicle has been stolen, it’s important that he acts immediately and reports it both to the police and to his auto insurance company.
Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine
Sometimes, a person’s insurance policy may have certain conditions that relate to liability and additional drivers of the vehicle not listed on the policy. It’s important to be aware of the Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine, what you are liable for in the case of an accident by someone else, how to protect your vehicle from theft in the future, and what your insurance policy covers in these situations.
If a car owner loans his vehicle to someone else, the Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine comes into play. It means that the driver assumes liability if the person to whom he loaned his car gets into an accident.
Who to Contact After Your Vehicle Is Stolen
A car owner must do certain things as soon as he realizes that his vehicle has been stolen. Do the following immediately:
- Call the police: The owner should immediately contact the police to report his car was stolen. He should also report on the year, make, and model of the car as well as his license plate number and the last known location and date he last saw the vehicle.
- Call the auto insurance company: After contacting the police, the car owner must call his auto insurance company and notify them that the vehicle was stolen.
- Call a car accident attorney: Finally, the car owner should call a car accident lawyer to help him prepare a lawsuit.
Keeping Your Car Safe
There are certain measures a person can take to keep his or her car safe, including the following:
- Avoid parking in high-crime areas
- Keep a security system installed in the vehicle
- Park only in well-lit areas where there are always plenty of people around
- Purchase auto theft insurance
It’s important to know that there is no liability for a vehicle owner when his or her car is stolen and then involved in an accident. This is because the owner did not give the thief permission to use the vehicle.