According to a report from CBS Sacramento, a stolen car accident recently ended in a fatal wreck in Manteca. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash after being pursued by law enforcement. In this article, our Manteca auto accident lawyers explain what we know about the crash and provide an overview of stolen vehicle accident injury claims in California.
Police: A Fatal Stolen Vehicle Crash in Manteca
Officers from the Manteca Police Department were alerted to the presence of a suspected stolen vehicle near East Union High School in the Woodbridge neighborhood. Upon arrival, the responding officers attempted to stop the suspected stolen vehicle, which was a Ford pickup truck. The suspect refused to stop. He led police on a high-speed chase across the city. Tragically, the suspect left the roadway near a highway overpass and struck a fixed object. The fatal stolen vehicle crash is still under a more comprehensive investigation by local law enforcement.
Vehicle Theft is a Serious Public Safety Hazard in California
Vehicle theft is more common than many people realize. According to data collected and published by the California Highway Patrol (CHP), more than 180,000 automobiles were stolen in the state in 2020 alone. The total value of these vehicles is estimated at $1.6 billion. Vehicle theft is far more than a financial problem—it is a public safety issue. For a wide range of different reasons, drivers in stolen vehicles are significantly more likely to be involved in a collision than are other motorists.
What to Know If You are Injured By a Driver in a Stolen Car
Motorists in stolen vehicles pose a safety threat to everyone else on the road. If you or your loved one was involved in a collision with a driver in a stolen automobile, you need to know how to protect your health, safety, and legal rights. Here are five things that you need to know if you are hurt in a crash with a driver in a stolen vehicle:
- Emergency Medical Needs Always Come First: First and foremost, it is imperative that you take care of your medical needs after any type of car crash. Severe injuries require emergency medical attention. Non-emergency injuries must be evaluated by a licensed California doctor as soon as possible.
- Report and Document the Motor Vehicle Accident: For obvious reasons, you may not actually know that you were involved in a stolen vehicle crash at the scene—especially if it was a hit-and-run collision. Make sure the crash is reported to law enforcement. To the best of your ability, you should try to document the crash.
- The Car Owner is Rarely Liable, the Thief is Liable: In California, vehicle owners are generally not legally liable for damages caused by their vehicle if that car has been stolen. There may be some limited exceptions to this rule. For example, if a vehicle is “stolen” by a family member (especially a teenager) a vehicle owner may actually bear some liability. The thief is liable for the crash. If the thief has auto insurance, then that insurance carrier may also bear liability. Unfortunately, vehicle thieves often lack any type of insurance coverage.
- You May Have a Claim Through Your Own Insurer: You may have a legal claim through your own insurance carrier—especially if you have uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage. Indeed, stolen vehicle accident claims and hit-and-run accident claims often end up falling under UM/UIM policies. Unfortunately, even drivers who do have uninsured motorist coverage may still struggle to get the full and fair financial support that they rightfully deserve.
- Professional Representation is Crucial: As stolen vehicle accident claims are notoriously complex, you need an experienced personal injury advocate on your side. Before you make any statement to an insurance company, consult with a top California car accident lawyer. Your attorney will make sure that your legal rights and financial interests are protected every step of the way.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Manteca, CA Car Accident Attorney
At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, our Manteca car accident lawyers are committed to achieving big times results for our clients. If you or your loved one was injured in a crash with a stolen vehicle, we can help. Call us now or connect with us online for a free, no-obligation review of your case. We represent injured victims in Manteca and throughout the surrounding communities in San Joaquin County, including in Stockton, Tracy, Lodi, Ripon, and Escalon.