Michigan is a no-fault state, but it also provides what is called limited property damage for all drivers in Michigan. This limited property damage is also referred to as a mini tort claim. The purpose of this loophole is to help drivers pay for damage done to your own vehicle, but unfortunately this protection is extremely limited in nature. As you probably already know, your own insurance company is responsible for paying your first party benefits which include wage loss, medical expenses, attendant care, medical mileage, and replacement services. But what about the damage sustained to your vehicle? Who is going to pay that? The mini tort is a way for drivers to recoup a small amount from a negligent driver’s insurance coverage to pay for damage done to your vehicle, up to a maximum of $1000.00.
Mini-Tort Law Helps Pay For Damaged Vehicles
If you are less than fifty percent at fault for the accident, you are able to file a mini tort claim against the driver is more than 50% at fault. This claim can be made by a driver who is not at fault for the vehicle accident in Michigan. There are a few restrictions and conditions which you must meet in order to bring this claim successfully. These conditions include
- Your vehicle must be damaged by a negligent driver.
- Your vehicle has to be insured by Michigan no-fault insurance.
- You must know who the negligent driver is. If the negligent driver performs a hit-and-run maneuver, you cannot receive any compensation for limited property damage because the negligent driver’s insurance is covering the mini tort cost.
- There is no collision coverage on the vehicle or the vehicle has standard collision coverage which requires a deductible. Both of these situations would qualify. If the damage done to your vehicle is covered by your own insurance company because you purchased collision coverage, you cannot bring a mini-tort claim against the negligent driver.
Real World Example of Michigan Mini Tort Claims
Many drivers are confused by all the requirements and conditions, so here is an example to make this easier to understand. For example, imagine that you were involved in a semi-serious auto collision which damages your vehicle substantially. It is determined that the other driver is 80% at fault for the accident, this is just a simple example; proving the other driver is at-fault can sometimes be difficult. The first thing you would be required to do is prove how much actual damage was done. This can be done by an adjuster or of course a car mechanic. Let’s say you take your car to a repair facility and they determine the total amount of damage is $2500.00. Finding the amount you can recover is now pretty straightforward. Simply take the amount of damage and multiply it by the percentage the other driver is at fault. In this case you take the $2500 and multiply that by 80%. That amount comes to $2000 which you are entitled to. Unfortunately, the maximum allowable amount that you can recover is $1000. Even though you should be given $2000, you will only collect $1000 in these set of circumstances. Many drivers feel this is unfair, but it’s just the reality of the no-fault law which has been established. For more information about auto accidents in Michigan, check out this page. If you need help with your mini-tort claim, contact us today for a completely free consultation.