What are my options regarding an accident that my uninsured car was in by a person who took it?

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What are my options regarding an accident that my uninsured car was in by a person who took it?

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Asked on March 1, 2019 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) Call the police and file a police report for car theft against this person. That's what you call it when someone takes or "borrows" you car without permission--theft. If you don't do this and the person who took your car was at fault and damaged another's vehicle or property, or injured another person, YOU would be liable along with the person who took the car. A car's owner is liable for accidents where the person they let take their car is at fault, and if the person did not steal the car, they took it with your permission. There is no middle ground: all uses of a car are criminal (theft) or permitted (not theft).
2) You can sue whomever was responsible or at fault (e.g. caused, through negligent or careless driving) for the accident, whether the person who took your car or another driver (if another driver was involved and was at fault) for the costs (e.g. repair costs) or (if your car was totalled) value of the car.
3) Remember that you are still responsible for the car loan and can be sued for it; that's why if someone else was at fault, you want to sue them.
Good luck.


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