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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.


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