Do I sue the driver or the owner?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do I sue the driver or the owner?

I’m was hit by someone the other morning. Per the officer, she did not have a valid driver’s license or insurance. Due to having no insurance, I am looking to file a small claims suit for the damages. She is not the registered owner of the vehicle, so I’d like to know if I pursue against the driver or the owner?

Asked on March 12, 2019 under Accident Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You sue both, to maximize your chance of recovering compensation. The driver is liable is she was at fault, or driving negligently or carelessly. The owner is liable if she let person use her car (i.e. the car was not stolen)--car owners are responsible for the acts of those whom they allow to use their vehicles. You file one lawsuit, for the total amount of money, and name both as defendants. Between them, if you win, they'll need to come up with the money.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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