Motor vehicle accidents that involve stolen cars or other crimes create difficult situations for victims, as it can be difficult to get paid for losses associated with criminal activity.
A truck driver who was fleeing from law enforcement caused an accident in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Chase involving truck creates multiple vehicle accident
Police say that the incident began when they tried to apprehend two individuals for shoplifting and carjacking, but they refused to stop. A shoplifting incident occurred nearby in Tempe at the Walmart near Priest Drive and Elliot Road. When a witness identified the truck, the suspects did not obey commands to stop, and they began to drive away.
The woman who was the victim of the carjacking was in the truck with them while they drove away. After officers noticed erratic driving and one of the occupants attempting to get out of the vehicle, they stopped their pursuit and notified the Scottsdale police that the vehicle was entering their jurisdiction. Within just a few minutes, a five vehicle crash occurred near the Scottsdale – Tempe border at 68th Street and McDowell Road. Witnesses say that the stolen truck blew through a red light and hit an SUV traveling through the intersection.
A man and a woman who were in the pickup truck got out and fled the scene on foot. However, a witness followed them and police were eventually able to hold them at gunpoint and take them into custody. Some of the victims of the accident were assisted by employees of a car dealership nearby.
Who will be held responsible for the accident?
In a situation such as this, both the owner of the truck and the drivers of the other vehicles affected by the accident may want to sue the individuals who stole the truck and created the whole situation. However, it may not always be possible to collect money from individuals involved in a crime.
Is the owner responsible?
As a general rule, the person who owns the stolen car cannot be held liable for an intervening criminal act like motor vehicle theft. The insurance company of the legitimate vehicle owner will usually not pay out damages caused by the thieves either. Drivers are only liable for others who have access to their car for permitted reasons, which excludes categories of people such as carjackers and thieves.
Suing the criminals
After the carjackers are taken into custody and identified, it is possible for everyone affected by the theft and accident to try to sue them and their insurance company if they have a policy. Going through the insurance process is a good general starting point for victims.
Get advice specific to your situation
Due to the complexities of a truck accident involving any kind of illegal activity such as a hit and run or crash involving a stolen vehicle, an attorney should be contacted to recommend a course of action based on your specific situation.
Talk to a lawyer in Scottsdale
If you have been hit by a truck in Scottsdale or nearby parts of Arizona, there is legal help available. An attorney in your area can speak to you about your losses and the possibility of receiving payment through a lawsuit.