Michigan’s no-fault insurance system has recently been reformed, causing many changes. One of these changes is an increase in the amount of money that someone can recover for vehicle damage when the other driver is at-fault. In Michigan, this is knows as a “mini tort” claim. Here is what you need to know under the new law.
The New Mini Tort Law
As stated, Michigan’s mini-tort provision limits the amount of compensation that you may receive for vehicle damage when the other driver is at fault. The old mini tort law allowed for a maximum of up to $1,000 in damages. But under the law reformed last June, this cap has increased to $3,000. This goes into effect on July 1, 2020.
When a driver incurs damage to their vehicle beyond $3,000, he or she must then go after their own car insurance company for the remainder( if collision coverage was purchased). This increase is not intended to take all of the weight off of insurance companies, but rather to help offset higher auto deductibles with which most drivers must contend. (A lot of people have deductibles of more than $1,000.)
Proving That the Other Driver is At-Fault
You must be able to prove that the other driver was at fault in order to recover any money under the mini tort law. Moreover, mini-tort damages are determined on a “comparative fault” basis. This means that an individual’s mini tort recovery will be reduced by the amount to which he or she was also at fault.
For example, say an individual is involved in an accident and incurs $1,000 worth of vehicle damage. However, say that the person was also found to have been 25 percent at fault. In that case, he or she may only recover $750 from the other driver ($1000 less $250, or 25%, = $750). However, a person who is more than 50 percent at fault may not recover anything under Michigan’s mini tort law.
It is important that you understand that just because mini tort caps have been increased by $2,000, it doesn’t mean that you do not need collision insurance. Michigan does not require drivers to purchase collision coverage for their vehicles. However, if your vehicle is worth more than $3,000, you should weigh the advantages of collision insurance versus its expense. This coverage is rather expensive and substantial savings can be achieved by going without collision coverage, particularly where your vehicle is older and of less value. Obviously, the decision to go without collision coverage should be carefully made.
For questions regarding your vehicle’s insurance, you may wish to speak with an insurance agent.
The Michigan Personal Injury Attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. Can Help
At Miller & Tischler, P.C., our team of knowledgeable and experienced Michigan personal injury attorneys can help.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, it can have physical, emotional, and financial effects on you and your family. You should never have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. We always have our clients’ best interests at heart and will help to fight for the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!