Nearly three-quarters of a million vehicles were stolen in the United States in 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of those, nearly half of the thefts were a result of driver error.
Stealing vehicles is a multi-billion-dollar crime. Summer is the worst season for vehicle theft, so now is a good time to review some vehicle theft prevention tips.
Prevent Vehicle Theft
Don’t leave valuable items in your vehicle, especially if it’s possible to see them from outside the vehicle. This includes handbags, laptops, iPads, cell phones, and other items. Try to park in well-lit areas and always close and lock windows and doors when you park. Take the key with you instead of leaving it in or near your vehicle.
If you’re concerned about vehicle theft, there are several antitheft systems designed to make vehicles more challenging to steal. These include audible/visible devices such as a horn alarm or steering-wheel locks, as well as immobilizing devices that prevent thieves from bypassing the automobile’s ignition system. There are also vehicle recovery systems on the market that use electronic transmission technology to help law enforcement find stolen vehicles.
What if My Vehicle is Stolen?
If your vehicle has been stolen, contact the police immediately and file a stolen vehicle report. You’ll need a copy of the police report/case number to share with your insurance company. You may need to provide the following details:
- License plate number
- Make, model, and color of vehicle
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
Next, you’ll want to contact your insurance company to file a claim. This needs to happen within 24 hours of the vehicle being stolen.
If your insurance claim is denied, ask the insurance company to explain why in writing. Then read through your policy to try to understand if the denial was reasonable. An experienced attorney can help you navigate this process and assist you with resolving the situation. If appropriate, your attorney can help you appeal the decision.
If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.