Tennessee court rules a person leaving keys in car can be held responsible for car thief’s crash

In Tennessee and many places across the United States, people unfortunately leave their keys in their car. Now, many people just see this as an unfortunate incident for the owner of that vehicle. However, a Tennessee appeals court has ruled that it may have many more consequences such as being responsible if a thief steals your car and crashes. If you have questions or concerns about this ruling or how it may affect your case, you should speak with a Tennessee automobile accident and personal injury lawyer right away. They will help answer any questions you may have.

In a case involving a police chase, a stolen car and a wreck in May 2007, the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled earlier this week that a person can be held responsible for a car thief’s crash if they keys were left in their vehicle. The Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit against the city of Murfreesboro and its police department for a crash that involved a fleeing stolen car and another car with three people. However, the high court stated that a lawsuit against a man who left the keys in the car before it was stolen should continue.

Sandra Newman and her family were hit by the driver who had stolen the car and they are claiming negligence against Rubye Jarrell who the car was registered to, her grandson, Joseph D. Ash Jr., who left the keys in the car, and the unknown driver of the other car. The lawsuit also alleged negligence on part of the police department for pursing the stolen car before the accident in May 2007.

The court stated that it did not matter whether the keys were left in the ignition, in the front seat or left in plain sight.

In Tennessee, drivers may accidently leave their keys in their car often; however, because of this court ruling, doing so may have more consequences than just an unfortunate mistake. If you have questions or concerns about this ruling or how it may affect your automobile and personal injury case, then you should contact one of our experienced and knowledgeable Tennessee automobile accident and personal injury attorneys immediately. We will work with you and help to answer any questions you may have about this ruling and your case.
Feel free to contact us online or call us at 800.705.2121 to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your case and your legal options.

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