Who do I sue regarding an accident in which I suffer injuries?

I was in a car truck accident and I was the passenger. A semi-truck back into my friend’s truck on the passenger side where I was sitting. The truck driver did not have permission to drive the truck nor was he covered by their insurance company. I suffered injury which led to medical treatment. I have lumbar stenosis and it was agitated by the accident. I still suffer from this injury, cannot sit along time, nor stand or walk for some distance. I eventually quit my job; I was a bus driver. Who do I sue – the driver’s insurance company, the semi-truck’s insurer or both?

Asked on May 21, 2017 under Personal Injury, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First, you do NOT sue the insurance for the driver or the owner: those insurance companies are not your insurer and have no obligation to you. Their obligation is to their insured: to defend them in court; and/or to pay settlements or judgment their behalf.
You would sue the at-fault driver definitely: he can be liable for his negligent or careless driving, and he and/or his insurer should have to pay you compensation (eg. you medical bill; lost wages; possibly pain and suffering) based on what you write. 
You should also sue the truck's owner. If he gave permisson to drive, he would be liable; he would not be liable (and therefore his insurer would not be liable) if the use was unpermitted--but if unpermitted, he should have filed a police report (unpermitted use of a vehicle is theft). Sue him and let him prove there was no permission.

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