Girl with stolen car hit me in a parking lot and took off, but I caught her...

by Matt

I was driving through a parking lot when a girl backed out of a spot and hit me. When I stopped she took off, so I chased her. She finally stopped 1/4 mile down the road. I called the police the girl said she worked for a local Toyota dealer and that the car belonged to the dealer.

The girl's license was suspended at the time of the accident and she was issued 10 citations, and the police told me to contact the Toyota dealer to obtain insurance info.

Basically, after a week of jerking me around, the dealership claims that the girl (an employee up to the day before the accident) stole the car. They said I need to use my uninsured motorist insurance to cover the damage. I have a $350 deductible for uninsured motorist benefits and feel I shouldn't have to pay anything.

What can I do? I don't think the girl was arrested for car theft, although the dealership said they are pressing charges. The 10 citations were for no license, leaving the scene of an accident, etc. I think it's very fishy the dealership took a week to come up with their story. Any perspective you can give would be appreciated. Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Girl with stolen car hit me in a parking lot and took off, but I caught her...":

Matt (Maryland):

You are in a precarious position. The dealership would have been liable if the accident occurred while the employee was working within the scope of her normal work activities when the crash occurred. Unfortunately, the woman was not only not employed by the dealership, but she stole the car.

Contact the police and ask to speak with the investigating officer. It should be relatively easy to find out if the woman was in fact not not employed at the time of the crash and actually and stole the car.

If so, your recourse will be to continue to pursue compensation from your own insurance company. Of course, you can also sue the woman personally, but if she was unemployed and stole the car she probably doesn't have any money or assets to recover from.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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