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Can you be held responsible?

Our Blog May 03rd, 2021
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It is common knowledge that if you are driving your vehicle and as a result of your negligence, you cause a collision, you are responsible. The primary insurance is the coverage for the at-fault vehicle. Even if the driver is not the owner of the vehicle and has his or her own insurance.  It is the coverage of the owner that applies first. So if you let your friend drive your car, your insurance company is on the hook when your friend rear-ends someone in your car.

But what happens when someone steals your vehicle? Have you ever thought about that? Should you be responsible when you do not give permission to a driver to use your vehicle? Maybe it is a friend that grabs your keys to run an errand. Maybe it is a child that is not allowed to drive but sneaks out with your car anyway. Or maybe it is a complete stranger that breaks in and takes your car.

The insurance industry will likely tell you- if your vehicle is stollen, it is not our problem and it is not your problem. But is that really true? What actions led to this driver getting into your car?

We have had a few cases throughout the years where an insurance company eventually pays for the actions of a driver who steals a vehicle. So lets talk about one of my ongoing cases.

We have to go to Enfield, Connecticut. A summer night during the pandemic. While some people are locked in their homes trying to stay safe, there are also young kids looking for a good time, a joy ride. Car thefts are on the rise. Its an unfortunate result of the pandemic. Kids with too much time on their hands. Trouble is just around the corner.

The owner of a car parks her car at end of her driveway, purse and keys left inside. Why? I have no idea. She thinks nothing of it. Goes inside. Goes about the rest of her night and then heads to bed. The next morning she hears a knock at her door. She is surprised to see a police officer. That officer asks her about the whereabout of her car. She peers over and sees her car is missing. “It must be stollen. I left me purse and keys inside.”

What she is about to learn is that an unidentified driver took her vehicle and eventually ran over a woman walking on the sidewalk. That woman sustained serious injures including a fractured skull, spine, ribs, and so much more. Clearly the criminal that stole this vehicle and drove over my client should be responsible. But what about the owner of the vehicle? The Enfield woman that left her purse and keys in the car.

That Enfield woman IS negligent. Owning a car and having a driver’s license is a huge responsibility. It should not be taken lightly. If you leave your purse and keys in the car, you are asking for trouble. And that is what happened here. Trouble came walking down the street and saw an opportunity left by a careless vehicle owner. You have to take the necessary steps to secure your vehicle. If not, you are negligent and we will hold you responsible. So do the responsible thing. Secure that vehicle. It will save you from a world of trouble and will keep our community safe.

Read 715 times Last modified on May 03rd, 2021
Attorney Sarah Mather

Sarah is passionate about the work she does at Dressler Strickland. Her goal from a young age was to be trial attorney, wanting to make a difference in the lives of people who have been injured as a result of someone else's conduct.

www.dresslerlaw.com/the-firm/sarah-mather.html | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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