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Who to sue in small claims court, multiple car auto accident for rental vehicle cost recovery?

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As the post says, I’m looking for advice on who to sue in small claims court, for an auto accident that involved multiple vehicles, regarding recovering my rental car fee portion.

This accident happened back in mid March 2019, in California. I was rear ended by 2 vehicles back to back, while stopped at a red light. Both parties were at fault, but both motorists insurance came out to be uninsured. My vehicle was a total loss due to frame damage.

My insurance company is attempting to recover the $1,000 deductible for me, but they won’t recover the rental car portion.

There is a matter of about $1,250 for the rental car that I paid out of pocket, while I was without a vehicle (over 2 weeks) and waited for my insurance to pay my the total loss recovery of the value of my car.

At least one party (out of the two) was found to be more liable for colliding with me.

My question is, do I sue both parties in small claims court and attempt to serve/recover or just one party?
I’d heard if I sue both parties and only one party shows up, that I’d be unable to recover anything at all then, is this true?

Any advice is appreciated and thank you.


Senior Member
You should first check to make sure your insurer is going to allow such a suit. You may have agreed to allow them the right of subrogation.

Sue them both (individually). However, if they're uninsured and the insurance company is unable to get anything out of them, it's unlikely you will even if you go to court.

Unless there was a court decision, nobody has been "found" to be responsible at all. Your insurer may have made a determination, but that's meaningless legally.

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