Know the Law – Auto No-Fault Changes: Mini Tort

Michigan’s recently reformed auto no-fault system has many changes coming into effect. One of the changes is an increase in the amount of money one can recover in a mini tort claim. Tom Sinas, Grand Rapids auto accident attorney, explains everything you need to know about the shift mini tort laws regarding compensation for vehicle damages when the other driver is at-fault.

Mini Tort Laws Apply to Vehicle Damage

Part of the Michigan no-fault law limits the amount of compensation you can receive against the at-fault driver for vehicle damage. Previously, under the old no-fault act, mini tort laws capped the damages at $1,000. However, now with the recent reforms to the no-fault system, the limit has increased up to $3,000. While this aspect of the reform was passed in June of this year, it doesn’t go into effect until July 2020.

For drivers with vehicle damages above and beyond $3,000, you must turn to your own vehicle insurance company for compensation. This mini tort increase simply gives the victim an extra $2,000 in mini tort claims and is an attempt to help offset high auto insurance deductibles most drivers have.

Proving Other Driver’s Fault

The key to these mini tort laws is the fact that you must prove the other driver is at-fault. Mini tort damages are assessed on a “comparative fault.” This means that a person’s mini tort recovery will be reduced by the extent s/he was at-fault. If a person is 25% at fault for the accident primarily caused by another driver, then the amount they can recover in mini tort is reduced by 25%.

A cuationiary note to listeners is, don’t let this potential extra $2,000 lull you into a false sense of security. If your vehicle is worth more than this, you should absolutely cover it with collision insurance.

For more information on the new auto no-fault law, head to sinasdramis.com or call 616-301-3333.

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