5 Things You Need To Understand Before Pursuing A Mini-Tort Claim In Michigan
If you were recently in a car accident and your vehicle sustained damage, you may be able to recover some of the repair costs or deductible costs that you paid via Michigan's mini-tort process. Here are five things you need to understand before you pursue a mini-tort claim following a vehicle accident in the state of Michigan.
Mini-Tort Law Is Designed For Vehicle Damage
Michigan's mini-tort law is specifically designed to assist you in recovering repair and deductible costs for your vehicle. It is not designed to recover costs associated with damaged personal property in your vehicle or with medical costs.
Mini-Tort Law Is Limited Financially
Michigan's mini-tort law is not designed to replace your vehicle. You can only recover up to $1,000, and that money is specifically for vehicle damage. If you have collision coverage, this award can be applied towards your deductible. If you don't have collision coverage, this award can be applied towards your out-of-pocket expenses to fix your vehicle.
Mini-Tort Law Is Based On Accident Responsibility
When you file a mini-tort claim against another driver, the amount they have to pay is not based on the total costs that you paid to fix your vehicle, but rather on their responsibility for the accident.
For example, if it was determined that the other driver was 80% at fault for the accident, and you were 20% at fault, they would have to pay you 80% of the costs you are trying to recover, up to a maximum of $1,000.
Say you had to pay a $500 deductible to fix your vehicle. Based on the example above, the most you could receive would be 80% of that cost, or $400. But, if you had to pay for repair costs out of pocket, and you paid $4,000 in repair costs, 80% of that would be $3,200. However, mini-torts are limited to $1,000, so you would receive the maximum amount, or $1,000, from the party you are suing.
Mini-Torts Claims Are Not Covered By Required Insurance In Michigan
In the state of Michigan, drivers are required to carry no-fault insurance. Unless the other driver has also opted for additional liability coverage through their insurance provider, you will be trying to recover the money you are awarded directly from the other driver, not their insurance company. You will only collect your award from their insurance company if the other party has liability insurance beyond the no-fault insurance required in the state of Michigan.
Mini-Torts Start In Small Claims Court
If you want to file a mini-tort, you will need to file the claim with your local small claims court. However, you or the other party involved may ask for the claim to be moved up to a higher court. Whoever requests this action will have to pay the fees to move the case up to a higher court.
If you have any additional questions about how the mini-tort process works, contact a car accident attorney like Loughlin Fitzgerald P C.