Michigan Mini tort

The process to file a Michigan Mini Tort Claim

Michigan mini-tort, also called  (Limited property damage liability), is a provision of Michigan’s no-fault law.

Under this provision, if you are 50% or more at fault in a Michigan insurance accident and the other driver’s insurance does not entirely cover damages to the other driver’s car, you may be sued. You may have to pay up to $3000 in costs.  You may sue the other driver for damages to your vehicle, which are not covered by your insurance if the other driver is 50% or more at fault.

A lawsuit made under the Mini tort provision is filed in small claims or municipal courts.  Either party can ask to have the case moved to a higher court, but the person who has the case moved will be responsible for the additional court costs, and the judgment will not be higher than what would have been paid out in the lower court.

Damages will be awarded on a “comparative fault basis” this is an amount or percentage that you are at fault in the accident.  For example, if the cost is $1000 and the other party is 60% at fault, they will have to pay $600 to you.  Insurance companies will usually provide coverage for “mini-tort” as an optional coverage called (limited property damage liability). The other party can also elect to pay the damages out of pocket.

Uninsured drivers cannot recover any money under Michigan’s mini tort law.

Five Steps to Make a Michigan Mini tort claim:

1. Get the other drivers information

Get the name, address, and phone number of the other driver if the driver is not the owner, make sure you get the owner’s information and the relationship to the driver.  Write down the year, make and model of the car, the license plate number, and get the driver’s license of the driver, insurance carrier, and policy number.

Write down notes of what occurred.  Take the time to write down how the accident happened, including the damage and position of both cars.

Use your phone if you have one to take pictures of the scene and the damage to both cars.  Make sure that you are out of traffic while taking the pictures.  

2. Get a copy of the police report

You can click the link to order a copy of the police report. The insurance company will use the police report to verify who was at fault. Getting the police report is essential because this is where you find out who the other party has their insurance coverage. Next, you will need to look up the claim phone number of the other company to start the claim process.

a) If the insurance company is not listed, contact the other driver to verify their insurance information.

b) Take them to small claims court.  If the other party was driving without insurance, then they will be liable for the full amount of damages. 

3. Contact the Insurance Company to file your Mini tort Claim.

Give the insurance company a copy of your declarations page so they can verify your deductible. The insurance company will pay the lesser of your deductible or damages not to exceed the $3000 max.

4. Get Estimate

Get an estimate from a body shop; you have to prove to the insurance company that you have damages. If the damages are less than your deductible, the insurance company will pay the lesser amount.

5. Follow up on your Michigan Mini tort claim

Not that you have successfully filed a Michigan mini tort insurance claim. The process is not over. The other insurance company will have to verify the information. Record the claim number and a contact number to follow-up with their claim office.

Make sure your policy has coverage for Mini Tort Claims

If your policy does not have the coverage to protect against mini-tort, click the link to Get an Auto Quote from a local Michigan agent.  

Finally, click the following link on Michigan Exceptions to the No-Fault Law to find out when in Michigan you can sue the other at-fault driver for vehicle damage.