I recently moved out of a residence where my previous partner lived as well. I went back two days later to grab any remaining items. While I was "visiting" my old residence, my previous partner took my keys out of my purse and took my car to run a personal errand. I was unaware of this and DID NOT give him permission to use my brand new, 2016 car. I soon got a call from the police that he wrecked my car, whom I told not to arrest my previous partner, but I let the officer know that he did not have authorization to use my car. I am not so much concerned with pressing charges, but I do not want to incur any charges or insurance fees. I am waiting to hear back from insurance as to how they will proceed (with mine or his insurance, since we both gave statements that he did not have permission to use the car). I will also note that my car was deemed fixable, and will now depreciate in value due to the repairs. What should I do to prepare?
Once you reported that the car was not stolen and the fact that the driver had access to your keys, likely makes them a permissive user. You may be out monies based on what your insurance company covers but you can always sue your partner for the damages they caused.
Let your insurance handle it. You can pursue your partner for out of pocket expenses if you like.
Your insurance has a subrogation claim and will hopefully go after your ex and get your deductible. If another party was involved in the crash, your policy is primary, his is secondary. Depreciation due to being fixed is only covered by insurance if there is a specific clause or if DC law covers it. Most states don't as the concept is in play due to carfax reprots which are pretty recent.
I have a feeling that your brand-new 2016 car is covered by collision insurance. I suggest you file your claim under your own carrier and then let your carrier pursue your ex-. and recover your deductible or have your ex-pay you the deductible directly..
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You have a couple of issues. First, your collision coverage on your policy will cover the repairs to your car, regardless of whether your previous partner had permission to drive. It is up to your insurer to pursue the driver if they deem the taking of your car unauthorized use, but that usually requires you to file criminal charges. If the accident was your prior partner's fault, and he caused injury or damage to someone else or their property, then your insurance should also cover any liability to that person as well; however, be aware that in DC there is a statute that creates a presumption that registered owners of vehicles are directly liable to others for injuries or damages caused by any driver of their vehicle, unless you can prove the driver took your car without permission. That is a matter to be sorted out in any civil lawsuit. Regardless, your insurance should cover it.
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