Auto Insurance Claims/stolen vehicle


My sons friend stole his car, which the keys were left in the change tray, and wrecked it into a farmers tractors. This happened in iowa.  My son only had liability on his vehicle.  The car is in my sons name and the insurance is in mine and my husbands name.  My son is 18.  We have filed charges against the person who stole the vehicle.  Who will be responsible for the damaged caused to the farmer?  If the thief is found guilty will he be ordered to pay for the damages to my sons car?  Can I be sued since the insurance is in my name?  The person who stole the vehicle is also 18.


  The thief is responsible and should be ordered to pay restitution for any damages they caused.  It is unlikely that you or your son would be held responsible, but leaving the keys in the change tray is a questionable act.  In some jurisdictions, leaving the keys with the vehicle is considered negligent.  

  Unfortunately, I simply do not know if Iowa has any case law precedence on the matter and would have to refer you to seek legal advice about the matter.  I am sorry I could not help, I am not an attorney and the law restricts me from giving legal advice.

  I believe you are not in jeopardy.  


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Justin Petty


Challenge me! I promise that I will provide you with the most honest answer I can muster, and I will base it on nearly 20 years of complex claims experience. My strength is shooting it straight and seeing through BS. I do not bluff and I can tell when somebody is. I've handled claims in almost every State in the U.S. and adjusted claims and consulted attorneys and CEO's on recovery and special claims tactics for over a decade. I am the founder and President of Petty Details, LLC. We provide the highest quality claim services to insurance companies, attorneys and individuals all exactly in the same way, by paying attention to the details and doing the right thing.


Nearly 20 years of combined claim company management, litigation, all lines adjusting, claim auditing, damage assessment, subrogation, small claims, tort recovery, collection, skip-tracing, tactical investigations, and contribution claim recovery experience across the United States of America.

NASP (National Association of Subrogation Professionals) (Auto Insurance Expert) Diminished Value Appraisers Group (LinkedIn)

10 years experience in writing and developing technical claims correspondence for litigation and unique scenarios at insurance companies and as a consultant to attorneys assisting with legal briefs and research. 42 published articles relating to auto insurance and claims. Self Published e-books entitled "How Much is My Injury Worth" and "Diminished Value - How Do I Get Paid?".

School of hard knocks, 3 years college, NO DEGREE, years of real world experience running a claims service company and adjusting claims for carriers. Speaks English and Spanish, Limited Portuguese & Italian.

Awards and Honors
Platinum Author ( All Lines Adjuster (TX, 1998 - 2008) TX Public Adjuster (2009 - 2011)

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State Farm Insurance, Endeavor GA, MileMeter Ins., American Recreational Markets, Gainsco Ins. Co., Safeway Ins., Home State County Mutual Insurance, Old American County Mutual Insurance, FCCI, Farm Bureau, Liberty Mutual, and Pronto General Agency, LTD just to name a few! On top of insurance companies and attorneys, I have personally helped thousands of accident victims with the difficult and stressful process of navigating their claim to a successful resolution.

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