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Injured in a Stolen Car Accident in Clearwater, FL?
A man took a BMW from a gas station and sped down the street and struck another BMW injuring himself and both occupants of the second BMW. According to a Clearwater police officer at the scene, the man was with a friend at a gas station and had been drinking. He jumped in his friend’s vehicle and sped off before crashing. He then fled the scene on foot and hid in a nearby hotel where he was eventually captured. He is facing multiple charges including grand theft auto, DUI with serious bodily injury and fleeing the scene of a crash with serious injuries. All these are felonies in the state of Florida.
Compensation for Injuries in a Criminal Act
When someone is injured in a car accident by a person who is committing a crime, the injured might wonder if he or she can get compensation from the person if they were committing a crime at the time of the accident.
Though most people understand that the person who committed the acts that led to the injuries can be sued, most also know that if an insurance company isn’t footing the bill, then there is a little chance that they are going to see any of the money awarded by the court.
Who’s Insurance Pays for the Damages?
However, if there is an insurance policy that applies, then the damages will be paid by them. However, when a car is stolen, you are not responsible for the damages done by the thief if an accident happens. Since your auto insurance is based on your actions, and you aren’t liable, then your insurance company isn’t liable wither.
This might leave you wondering how you are going to get paid if you are injured by a car thief. There is only one way an insurance company would have to pay and that is through your own policy. There are several provisions that might come into play.
- Medpay: This is a provision that drivers can get on their own policy that will pay for medical bills regardless of who is at fault or who is injured so long as the insured or their vehicle is involved.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This works similar to medpay, but it pays medical bills and other damages like pain and suffering and loss of wages. It also pays out regardless of who was injured or at fault so long at the insured or their vehicle is involved.
- Uninsured/Underinsured (UM/UIM): Most insurance policies have uninsured/underinsured provisions that will pay those covered by the policy for all personal injury damages if the other driver is underinsured or has no insurance. This can include when a hit-and-run driver is never found, so long as they were at fault in the accident.
The bottom line is that if you have an insurance policy with any of these provisions, then your own insurance company will pay for your damages from an uninsured driver. If the person who stole the vehicle has insurance and his or her insurance company denied coverage, then your own UM/UIM could be used because you were hit by an uninsured driver.
Medpay and PIP are triggered by any accident regardless of fault, so they would also pay for your damages. However, these policies usually have a much lower cap and don’t cover all damages.
Do I need an Attorney?
If you’ve been injured in by someone who was driving a stolen car, you need to talk to an attorney about possible compensation for your injuries. Don’t let the insurance company tell you that their policy doesn’t cover the damages, rather get advice from someone on your side.
RHINO Lawyers is the powerful, results-driven law firm, that takes Insurance Companies and Bullies “head on!” We describe our bold modern approach to “Accident & Personal Injury Law” and “Our Personal Mission” to empower Florida’s families to “Take Charge!”