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A car was stolen and hit my parked truck. The driver fled the scene with another car. Who's at fault?

Randolph, MA |

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Attorney Answers 9

  1. Unless the driver left the keys in the ignition, or something similarly negligent, some jurisdictions may ultimately hold him liable, but its very unlikely when the use was non-permissive and unforeseen. Hopefully you have uninsured motorist coverage!

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  2. As Attorney Sarangi notes, it is very unlikely that the owner of the stolen vehicle will be found responsible unless there was some blatant negligence on the owner's part that enabled their car to be stolen (such as leaving the car unlocked with the keys in the ignition in an open area). The person at fault is obviously the car thief. Since you probably don't know who that is, your recourse is to your own insurance policy. Hit-and-run drivers are typically considered "uninsured" for purposes of uninsured motorist coverage.

    Douglas Lloyd is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Answers provided on Avvo are intended for informational purposes only; they are not intended as legal advice and do not create an attorney-client relationship. The material is presented with the understanding and agreement that I am not engaged in rendering legal or other professional services by posting it.

  3. Likely, no one that you could hold responsible. I would talk with your insurance carrier.

  4. Report this to police & insurance.

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  5. Likely not the car owner but the driver certainly would be but its very likely there's no insurance. Call the police and your insurance company to report it.

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  6. Under the terms of the Massachusetts Standard Auto Policy you need to report this to the police ASAP if not in 24 hours. Make a claim for the property damage to your insurance company promptly. The insurance company has a division that will look into potential subrogation against any possible insurer that may cover it. The driver who fled the scene is obviously at fault, but getting your truck fixed, I would think, would be your priority.

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  7. The driver of the car which struck yours.

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  8. The person who stole it.

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  9. The driver who fled the scene is clearly at fault. But if you cannot locate him or her, you will be unable to pursue that avenue to recover your losses as a practical matter. The owner would not be liable unless they actually did something wrong, e.g, allowed the driver to use the car knowing that they had a horrific driving record and no license. Contact your insurance company right away and a licensed attorney experienced in car accident cases.