A man stole a BMW from a gas station and sped down the street and struck another car. As a result, he injured 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. Then he jumped in his friend’s vehicle and sped off before crashing. He fled the scene on foot and hid in a nearby hotel where police captured him. 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 injured in a car accident by a person who is committing a crime you might wonder if he or she can get compensation from the person who committed the crime at the time of the accident.
Though most people understand you can sue the person who committed the acts that led to the injuries. They 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.
Whose Insurance Pays for the Damages?
However, if there is an insurance policy that applies, then the damages will be paid by them. However, you are not responsible for the damages done by the thief who stole your car 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. Can you recover damages from an accident with 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 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 the person 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. These 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 not finding a hit-and-run driver, so long as they were at fault in the accident.
The bottom line is that if you have an insurance policy with these provisions; 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 activate with 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 by someone who was driving a stolen car, you need to talk to an attorney. You could get compensated 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!”