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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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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day, my car was

Asked on March 1, 2019 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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