The word from the legal world

Michigan Mini Tort Law

One of the most common issues following an auto accident surrounds the question of who will pay for the damage to your vehicle.

Michigan is a “No-Fault” State

Michigan is a “no-fault” state.  That means that each party involved in an auto accident looks to their own insurance company for the fixing of their damaged vehicle.  As we know, an individual can decide to not purchase collision coverage leaving him or herself open to the possibility that you could be involved in an accident with no potential recourse for fixing the damage to your car.  However, under Michigan no-fault law, the party who did not cause the accident can seek what is known as a mini tort claim.

What is a Mini Tort Claim?

The victim of the auto accident (again, the party who is not at fault for causing the accident) can now seek up to $3,000 in compensation for the property damage caused by the accident.  If you have collision coverage, you are able to recover your deductible from the at fault driver’s insurance company up to a maximum of $3,000.  When you do not have collision coverage, some insurance companies will pay up to $3,000 toward the damage to vehicle.  This is one of the very rare circumstances where different insurance companies interpret and apply the law differently.  Some insurance companies will only reimburse for the deductible (if you have collision coverage) yet other insurance companies will pay up to $3,000 for the damage to your vehicle even if you did not carry collision coverage.

Mini Tort FAQ’s

Q:  Can I get reimbursed for the time off of work that I had to take because I did not have transportation after my accident?

A:  Short answer is no unfortunately.  However, if you are injured, and have a qualifying injury, we will always claim the time and inconvenience that the car damage caused you as one of the aggravating factors from your accident.

Q:  Can the at fault driver’s insurance company reimburse me for my car rental?

A:  Short answer is no unfortunately.  Rental car coverage is another “elective” insurance choice.  That means that you do not need to purchase this coverage if you are looking to save money on your car insurance.  If you do not buy it, you cannot ask for it from the at fault party involved in your accident.

Q:  Can I sue the at fault driver for the aggravation caused by the accident?

A:  Short answer is no unfortunately.  Getting an oil change is annoying enough.  Getting a new car after an accident is especially frustrating since you were doing perfectly fine in that car before the accident.  However, you cannot seek emotional damages against the at fault driver under Michigan law.

Q:  My car was paid off and now I have a car payment because I had to get a new car.  Can I sue the at fault driver for my new car payment or the difference between my new car payment and my old car payment?

A:  Short answer is no.  This is a very common question.  Since Michigan is a no-fault state, you are not able to sue the at fault driver beyond the maximum of $3,000 that is available under the mini tort law (see above for complete explanation).

Q:  If I have broad collision coverage, what can I recover under the mini tort law?

A:  Under common broad collision policies, if you are less than 50% at fault for causing the accident your insurance company will waive your deductible.  If your deductible is waived, you do not have a Michigan mini tort claim.

Turn to the Automobile Accident Experts at Femminineo Law

Femminineo Law has been handling auto accident injury cases for over 25 years.  Our experienced automobile, truck, and motorcycle accident lawyers will be able to answer each and every one of your questions.  Furthermore, we will obtain the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.  Please call us anytime at 855.65.CRASH or go to GetDavidGetPaid.com.