Can I sue someone who hit my car in a hit and run and then reported her car stolen? 22 Answers as of May 29, 2013

My car was legally parked in the street and a person hit it and then jumped out and took off, hit and run. I reported the hit and run and then 40 minutes after I reported it, the woman who owned the car reported it stolen. My car only had liability and her insurance denied me coverage because she is trying to claim her car was stolen. Can I sue her and the insurance company and win?

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John Russo | John Russo
If the auto is proven to have been stolen you have a problem, but this person as well as the insurance co. is still along away from that. Keep pressing the police, get the reports of the stolen vehicle.

Things to look for, how long after your car was hit did owner report vehicle stolen you claim 40 min. if that is in the police report the police should be suspicious, where was the car found, it sounds like from what you say they left the car at the scene, did anybody else see it, and did you notice who jumped out, man or women? Where does the person claim the car was stolen from, keep making a list of questions and followup with the police, if you can prove they filed a false report you will have a home run in more ways then one.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/15/2012
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
Anybody can sue anybody but the real question is can you win. You have to prove that she was driving. She does not have to prove that a thief was driving.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 8/15/2012
Alvin Lundgren | Alvin Lundgren
You may sue, whether you win is up to the quality of the case you present.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 8/15/2012
Steven Harrell, Attorney at Law | Waymon Steven Harrell
You would have to prove that either she was driving the car, or someone was driving the car with her permission at the time of the collision.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 8/15/2012
Law Offices of Christopher R. Smitherman, LLC | Christopher R. Smitherman
The owner of the vehicle if she or another party WITH PERMISSION was operating the vehicle. You will have to bear that burden of proof. If you can meet that burden, you should be successful.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/15/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 5/29/2013
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    Can you identify the person who jumped out of the car and ran? Can you prove that the runner had permission to drive the car?

    Can you prove that the owner was negligent in leaving the keys available to be taken? Were the keys in the ignition when the first person to get to the car got there?

    If you cannot prove that either the owner was driving or that the driver had permission to drive the car, you are not going to win. All you can prove is that her car hit your car, but to get to the owner, you have to prove "permitted use."

    If not, then you lose. If you cannot prove permitted use, then you have to prove that the owner was negligent in allowing the car to be taken without permission.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    You can sue. I cannot say whether you would win. You would have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that she was driving.

    You should check with your insurance company as to whether you have uninsured coverage and whether it covers property damage. In SC uninsured coverage is mandatory, and you should have it.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    What proof do you have it wasn't stolen?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A.
    Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. | Charles Cartwright
    In Florida, not if she can prove her car was stolen.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Hit and run folks do this often. I don't know whether you can win or not. She says stolen. You say not. How would jury know what to believe in a he said/she said case? if you have witnesses that saw her drive, you ought to win, but without witnesses how would a judge or jury know who is telling the truth?
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    If you can prove that she's lying then you might win.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
    A person's insurance does not typically cover any unauthorized driver. The term used is "permissive driver." Unfortunately, if the vehicle was stolen then is very likely that the thief was not a permissive driver; therefore, there will be no coverage for you. Your claim would be against the at-fault driver and his/her insurance. Thanks!
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
    Yes if you can prove that she/he was driving the car at the time of the accident- you have the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the person you are suing was actually driving.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC | Pho Ethan Tran
    To win a lawsuit here, you will need to prove that the car was not stolen and that it was driven with permission.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    You can win if you can prove she was driving the car or that the person driving the car was driving with her permission.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    The Phillips Law Firm
    The Phillips Law Firm | Joseph J Ganz
    You can sue anyone for a filing fee but you will only prevail if you can prove that her car was not -in fact- stolen . You cannot -successfully- sue her insurance company in this regard.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Graves Law Firm
    Graves Law Firm | Steve Graves
    Technically, only the driver of the car is liable for the damage to your car, and unless that driver had the OK of the owner, the owner's insurance won't cover it.

    Claiming theft is a dirty trick people sometimes use to get out of responsibility for accidents. Can you identify the person who was driving?

    If so, you might try to find a connection between that person and the owner to show the car wasn't really stolen.

    But understand that if you do identify the driver and he or she is a householder or other person with a connection to the owner, the owner's insurance policy may exclude that person from coverage if he or she is thought to be a liability risk.

    Unfortunately, you'll probably spend more than your own property damage deductible trying to hang the liability on the owner, and without a substantial personal injury claim at stake you'll find it hard to get a lawyer to take the case on contingency.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    You can sue her. You may or may not win.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
    Since your car was legally parked, the person who hit your car is responsible for the damage. This is an exception to the Michigan no-fault law. However, you would have to prove that her car was not stolen and she was driving at the time of the accident.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    Yes provided that you can prove she was driving.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2012
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