Who do I sue in small claims over a car accident – the other driver or the other driver and their car insurer?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Who do I sue in small claims over a car accident – the other driver or the other driver and their car insurer?

Another driver ran a red light and I struck his vehicle. This caused my car to be total loss. I do not agree with the insurance companies liability assessment which is giving me 80% of value. I want to file small claims suit but I am not sure if I only list other driver or other driver and his insurance company. I only had liability on my car so I can’t get difference from my company.

Asked on July 21, 2010 under Accident Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Regardless of whether it's small claims court, municipal court, county court, state court, etc. you sue the at-fault driver, not the insurer. That is, you sue the person which you believe is liable or responsible for  your damages. The insurer is not actually liable for your losses; if there is insurance, the insurer will have a contractual obligation to defend their insured and pay for any judgment against him, at least up to the policy limits. So you sue the driver (and don't forget  the ownner of the car, if it's not the same person--you may be able to sue the owner as well) and the insurer will then step in to pay for his legal defense and, if any money is owed, to make payment on behalf of their insured.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption