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Girlfriend claiming her unlicensed driver boyfriend who caused accident stole her car so she is not liable.

Cincinnati, OH |

Recently my wife was in an accident where a man was driving his girlfriends car and made a left turn directly in front of my wife. My wife impacted the side of his SUV and her car is now totaled.
The man was cited for driving without a license, according to police he is on his 13th suspension. His girlfriend shows up at the scene of the accident provides proof of insurance that she just got that day, she was cite for no insurance anyway. They leave, the SUV is impounded, my wife still has no car. It is now 14 days later and woman is claiming he stole her SUV and her insurance is now trying to deny claim. Isn't it to late for her to say he stole it when she did not report that to police at the scene? What are our options going forward?

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Attorney answers 4


It is not necessarily too late for her to say that her boyfriend stole the car. Should the matter reach court, the driver's girlfriend would have the burden of proving that she had no knowledge he was operating her vehicle and that the vehicle was in fact stolen. It is unlikely she can prove that she had no knowledge that he was operating the vehicle since she showed up at the scene with proof of insurance. Your wife should retain a local accident lawyer who can put pre-suit pressure on the insurer to provide coverage, and file suit if necessary. It is more or less an industry standard to provide free consultations, so go meet with an attorney and ask these and any other questions you may have.

You are not my client and I am not your lawyer. The answer given above is simply a general opinion and is not intended to be relied on for any purpose, it is not legal advice. The first and last advise I would always give on this site is to seek further advise from an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction and who focuses on the area of law your question raises.


Sounds like nonsense. Retain a local personal injury lawyer to get to the bottom of this, and get you compensation.

Michael Lewis Eisner

Michael Lewis Eisner


Non-permissive use is a factual question, and jurors are skeptical of them when there isn't a stolen vehicle report. If the victim has insurance, it should be reported through his/her own carrier. Look for collision, comprehensive or uninsured motorist coverage. The denial from the responsible party should trigger any available uninsured motorist coverage.


Your best option is to go to an attorney sooner than later.

You should know that this answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship. To do so would require a written agreement between us. You should be aware that there are time limits within which you must pursue any claim or suit.


I have seen this situation before, and the argument that the boyfriend "stole" the car does not usually hold water. The odds that he stole her car without her knowledge are slim, particularly if she did not report it to police. Even if he did steal it, if an attorney could establish that he used her car before, that could refute this argument. The insurance attached to the automobile that caused the accident would be primary and should cover this loss. I would retain an attorney right away to deal with the insurance company.

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