What You Need to Know About The Michigan Mini Tort Law Change
The State of Michigan values the safety of its residents. This is clearly evident with the state’s no-fault insurance policy. This policy clearly states that it is illegal for a car owner in Michigan to drive their car or let their car be driven without a no-fault insurance policy.
To make sure that this law is implemented, no car owner in Michigan can get their license plates. The only exception is when they have certain basic coverage that’s required by law.
Michigan’s No-Fault Insurance Policy
The Michigan no-fault insurance policy was put in place to make sure that any Michigan resident who got into an auto accident will be able to pay for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Wage loss benefits
- Replacement services
- Damage done to other people’s property
This no-fault insurance policy does not consider who caused the accident. You will get the full benefits regardless of who caused it.
The current no-fault insurance policy also has a provision on Limited Property Damage Liability Insurance or a “mini tort”. In the current policy, a person who got involved in a car accident can use the mini tort to recover any motor vehicle damages that’s up to $1,000. This should be sourced from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
The mini tort is usually utilized for the cost of vehicle repair or to pay for the drivers’ collision coverage deductibles.
What is the Change in the Mini Tort Law?
Last June 11, 2019, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Michigan’s new No-Fault Insurance Law which then resulted in a significant change in the mini tort law. The new mini tort law increases the maximum dollar amount for a mini tort recovery from $1,000 to $3,000. While this change is definitely significant and will be a big help to those who unfortunately got into an accident, it’s important to note the following details:
- This change will take effect on July 2, 2020.
- The increase in the amount of the mini tort will only apply to accidents or vehicle damage that happened after July 1, 2020.
- From today until the identified date, the mini tort maximum amount will stay at $1,000.
What Will Be Retained in The New Mini Tort Law?
While there is a significant change to the new mini tort law, it’s still important to consider some of the items that will remain the same under the law. You should still remember these items in case you or your loved one will get involved in an unfortunate accident and would need to cover the expenses of your vehicle repairs.
- To use the mini tort to recover the damages to pay for repairs, the person claiming should prove that the other driver is the at-fault driver in the situation. Meaning they caused the accident and not the person who was filing for a mini tort.
- The mini tort amount will only cover that damages that will not be paid for by insurance. For example, if the person who got into an accident was fully covered by their accident insurance or their deductible was waived, then they cannot file for a mini tort claim. A person can only file a mini tort claim if the damage was not covered by the insurance and/or the deductible was not waived.
- How are mini tort damages assessed? It’s still the same, through a “comparative fault” basis. This basically means that the person’s mini tort amount will be reduced depending on the extent of their involvement in causing the accident.
- If a person is 100% not at-fault, then they will not experience any deduction to his/her mini tort claim.
- If a person was found out to have caused 25% of the accident, then their mini tort claim will be reduced by 25%.
- If a person is more than 50% at fault in the accident, then they are not allowed to file for a mini tort.
- Uninsured drivers will not be able to file for a mini tort.
- If the at-fault driver is found out to be uninsured during the time of the accident, then the person filing for a mini tort can certainly sue for the full amount needed to repair the vehicle damage plus other costs brought about by the accident. This includes car rentals or loss of use of the vehicle. They are not bound by the mini tort recovery limit.
Looking for Expert Lawyers for Your Car Accident Claim? Consider The Clark Law Office
Getting into an accident is such a tragic event that anyone can experience. It gets worse when the legalities of the situation become complicated and hard to understand. Considering getting the best legal advice from experienced attorneys during these trying times. The Clark Law Office have won millions for our clients and we have been serving the Michigan area for the past 30 years. Get help from a reputable law firm. Call us at (517) 347-6900 for a free consultation.