The news seems filled with stories of car thefts and carjacking. Car theft is a serious crime that can leave car owners feeling violated and helpless. While the loss of a vehicle can be a significant financial and emotional burden, there is also the question of liability. If your car is stolen, are you liable for any damages or injuries caused by the thief?
In most cases, the answer is no. Under the legal principle of “vicarious liability,” an owner is not responsible for the actions of someone who steals their car. This means that if a thief causes an accident or commits a crime while driving your stolen car, you are not responsible for their actions.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If you act unreasonably, you might be liable. For example, if you left your keys in the car, you may be held partially liable for any damages or injuries caused by the thief. Similarly, if you knew or had reason to know that the person who stole your car was likely to cause harm, you may be held responsible for their actions.
It’s also important to note that while you may not be legally liable for the actions of a thief, you could still face financial consequences. For example, your insurance policy might not cover theft (or only covers a portion of the damages). In those cases, you may be responsible for paying the remaining costs out of pocket.
To protect yourself and your assets in the event of a car theft, there are several steps you can take. First, make sure you have comprehensive auto insurance that covers theft. Ask your insurance agent. This will help to ensure that you are not left with a large financial burden in the event of a theft.
Second, take steps to prevent theft in the first place. Park in well-lit areas and lock your doors. If possible, park inside a locked area such as a garage or parking structure. Consider an alarm and other anti-theft equipment like steering wheel locks. By taking these simple precautions, you can greatly reduce the risk of your car being stolen.
If your car is stolen, you are generally not liable for any damages or injuries caused by the thief. But there are exceptions to this rule, and it’s important to take steps to protect yourself and your assets in the event of a theft. If you are the victim of a car theft or an accident from a car theft, consult a lawyer right away. The Dixon Law Office team has experience in handling car crash cases, even crashes after a car was stolen. Call them today or chat with a team member 24×7 at www.AttorneysMakingItRight.com When everything goes wrong, they make it right.