An auto accident may seem like a cut-and-dry situation. When you are involved in an auto accident, you are either at fault or you are not. However, that is not always the case. What happens when someone steals your vehicle, gets into an accident, and you still find yourself liable? It doesn't seem fair, to say the least.
Typically, the owner of a stolen vehicle is not at fault for any damages or injuries sustained in an accident caused by the thief. However, there are instances in which you may be found responsible, in which case you will need an auto accident lawyer.
Reasons You Might Be at Fault
Though it is not common, there are reasons why you might find yourself liable for damages and injuries caused by a thief who wrecked your vehicle. Across all 50 states, it is commonly held that a person who owns a vehicle will not be liable since they did not provide consent to the person who stole the vehicle and caused the damages or injuries.
Situations that may negate that common rule include leaving your keys in your vehicle. In some states, leaving your keys in your vehicle does not automatically mean you are liable for an accident caused by a car thief. However, there are some states that believe your act of negligence is what tempted the thief in the first place.
Also, the judicial system will look further into the situation. For instance, if you live in an area commonly known for crime, including theft, you can be held liable for leaving your keys in the ignition. Believe it or not, you can also be held liable if you do not have a proper auto security system in place. Again, there are extenuating circumstances before you can be held liable.
As an example, if your car has been stolen in the past and you failed to upgrade your auto security system to prevent that, you may be seen as negligent. Therefore, if your car is stolen again and the thief gets into an accident, the courts may view you as the person liable for damages and injuries sustained at the accident. Again, it is not that easy, nor is it common, for the vehicle owner to be held liable.
If you find yourself facing liability for damages and injuries sustained at the scene of an accident caused by a thief who stole your vehicle, contact an auto accident lawyer near you for assistance. An attorney can assist you in fighting the charges so you are not held accountable for the actions of a criminal.Share
25 March 2019
Although many people don't think of having legal counsel as improving their life, I have found that it has really helped me to feel empowered as a business owner. Without my lawyer, it was really difficult to figure out what I could say and what I couldn't say, and it really made things hard when I was out and about trying to make business deals. Fortunately, after I found the right lawyer, things became a lot more straightforward. This blog is all about improving your life and streamlining your business with the help of a great lawyer. After all, you never know when you will find yourself in court.