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When can you file a mini-tort claim?

Under Michigan's no-fault insurance system, drivers can get basic coverage from their insurer when they're involved in an accident regardless of whose fault the crash was. This no-fault system allows drivers to obtain compensation for medical care, lost wages, and in some cases, damages to their vehicle fairly quickly and easily compared to drivers in states that don't have no-fault insurance. However, the coverage is limited.

Drivers who weren't at fault (or at least less than 50% at fault) for an accident have the right to file a mini-tort claim against the at-fault driver if the damage to their vehicle is so extensive that their insurance won't cover it.

There are limitations on mini-tort claims. For one thing, they can only be used for vehicle damage -- not for medical expenses. Further, the maximum amount you can file a mini-tort claim for is $1,000. If a person is seeking that much, they must provide evidence that the damage to their vehicle will cost them at least $1,000 to fix.

To qualify to file a mini-tort claim, a driver must meet the following requirements:

  • Their vehicle must be damaged.
  • Their vehicle must be insured, but they must have either no collision coverage or standard collision coverage with a deductible.
  • They must know who the at-fault driver was.

Anyone who's been in a crash knows that even seemingly minor physical damage can be very expensive to have repaired. If you are considering filing a mini-tort claim to help cover your car repair expenses, an experienced attorney can provide information and guidance regarding your legal options.

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