It’s bad enough to be injured in a car wreck that wasn’t your fault, but it can be an absolute nightmare if you’re hit by a stolen car. Who pays for your medical bills and your property damage?
In a typical automobile accident, the insurance company for the at-fault driver would cover your damages. However, if a stolen vehicle is involved, the insurance company of the actual vehicle owner will not cover anything. You might have recourse if the thief had his own car insurance, but that is unlikely.
How can your medical bills and property damage get paid?
Hopefully, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you are injured in a car accident caused by the driver of a stolen car, you already have in place the proper automobile insurance to cover your losses.
In Arkansas, MedPay (Medical Payment) or PIP (Personal Injury Protection) provisions to your insurance policy are available. You can determine how much coverage you want when you take out your policy and change the amount at any time.
Should this coverage not be sufficient to cover all of your medical bills and exceeds your policy limits, you can then use your own health insurance. Understand that you will be responsible for any deductibles or co-pays.
Property Damage Coverage
If you have collision insurance, then your own auto insurance policy will pay for the repairs to your car. You will have to pay your deductible, but that’s better than having to pay the full amount of your repairs.
Unfortunately, if you do not have collision insurance, you will end up footing the bill yourself.
Un-Insured Motorist (UM) Coverage
Un-Insured Motorist Coverage is a provision of auto insurance that you can elect to have. It will cover your medical bills, your property damage, loss wages, pain and suffering, future medical bills and other damages up to the limit that you purchased should you be hit by someone who doesn’t have car insurance.
Because UM Insurance steps into the shoes of the at-fault driver and provides insurance as if the at-fault driver was covered, it only pays one time as a final settlement. Therefore, it’s important to complete all of your medical treatment before accepting a final settlement offer.
Be sure to contact your insurance company right away. They need to investigate the accident and determine that it wasn’t your fault and get all of the other pertinent facts. Because the accident wasn’t your fault, they should not increase your premium. Should that happen, contact the Arkansas Insurance Commission and file a complaint.
Arkansas Crime Victims Reparation Program
If all else fails, you might try the Arkansas Crime Victims Reparation Program. This program is administered by the Attorney General on behalf of the Crime Victims Reparations Board, and may provide financial compensation to victims who have suffered personal injury or death as the result of a violent crime.
You can download an application online.
As you can see, getting injured by a driver of a stolen vehicle can get very complicated. If this has happened to you or someone you know, give me a call. All consultations are free and I can steer you in the right direction.
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The Law Offices of Peter Miller
1601 S. Broadway
Little Rock, AR 72206
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