What Insurance Covers My Injury If I’m Hit By A Stolen Car?

by Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC on November 24, 2010

in NY Insurance Issues

Most automobile insurance policies issued to residents of Buffalo will exclude coverage for damage caused by a driver of the vehicle who was operating without the permission or consent of the owner.  If this situation resulted in a personal injury, the injured party is entitled to bring an uninsured motorist claim under the Supplementary Uninsured Motorist coverage of his or her own auto insurance policy. 

It should be noted, however, that there is a strong presumption under New York State law that the driver of a vehicle was operating the vehicle with the permission of the owner.  Rebutting this presumption requires the presentation of substantial evidence sufficient to show that the driver was operating the vehicle without the owner’s express or implied consent.  The uncontradicted testimony of the owner that he or she did not give permission, by itself, is not sufficient to overcome the presumption of permissive use. 

Also, if a jury finds that the evidence indicating that permission was not given is improbable — or that the witnesses providing the evidence had an interest in the matter that may call into question their credibility — New York State courts have found that they are entitled to disregard this evidence and find that the driver had permission. 

If you have been injured in a car accident and have any questions regarding this topic, please feel free to contact my office at 716-542-5444.  We would be happy to help you. 

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