Who do I take to small claims court – the person who rear-ended me or his car insurance company?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Who do I take to small claims court – the person who rear-ended me or his car insurance company?

I was in a multiple car accident. I was first in a line of 10 cars that crashed into each other. I was parked on a shoulder when another car hit me from the back and than other cars kept smashing one after another. It all happened during a snow storm. The at fault driver’s car insurer refuses to pay me the damages because they are taking his statement over mine that he hit me after hi got hit and they also claim no fault because of the weather conditions. I was going slow and I had time to go on a shoulder to avoid hitting people in front of me. On the other hand he did not and it caused all those cars to crash.

Asked on January 2, 2017 under Accident Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can't sue the insurer: the other driver's insurer has no duty or obligation to you and did not cause the accident, and so owes you nothing. Rather, you sue the driver(s) whom you believe to have been at fault for the damage they did--if they have insurance, their insuer may then pay their attorney or settle or pay for any judgment against them (if you win in court), but that's between them and their insurer. From your point of view, regardless of who pays it for him, her, or them, it is the at-fault driver(s) who owe you money. To win, you'd need to prove they were at fault in causing the accident and damage.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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