In Michigan, we have limitations on what you can claim against the other driver as far as collision damage to your vehicle is concerned.

Can I claim collision damage from the other driver?

You may not realize it, but you are responsible to purchase collision coverage yourself if you want help paying for repairs to your vehicle after a crash.  Please don’t think that the other driver has to pay for all of your repairs just because the other driver was at fault! Not true!  Here are some quick facts about what we call the Michigan “minitort” (limited collision damage claim against the other driver):

  • You can’t be more than 50% responsible for the crash
  • The most you can get from the other driver, or their auto insurance, is $1000
  • If the other driver is at fault, but has no insurance, you can sue the owner/driver in small claims court (your local district court), but you have to pay for the filing fee and to try to collect from the other person if you win
  • You can only claim expenses up to $1000 that you actually suffered, such as a deductible that was charged to you on your repair bill
  • Motorcycles are not eligible for minitort
  • Expenses such as  for a rental car while your vehicle is being fixed are not eligible
  • Loss of personal property  damaged in the collision is not eligible
  • You can’t claim the minitort against the other driver if you did not have basic no-fault coverage on your vehicle (that’s the coverage sometimes called “PL/PD”—it’s the mandatory minimum coverage and is different from collision coverage). Remember that it is illegal to drive without PL/PD
  • These rules may not apply if your vehicle was legally parked when it was hit by a vehicle you can identify. MCL 500.3123(1)(a)

Many drivers of older vehicles obey the law by purchasing no-fault coverage, but make the choice not to buy collision coverage, figuring that this optional coverage is more expensive than fixing their vehicle would be worth. That’s a gamble you can take, but remember, in most situations, the most you are going to get from the other driver is $1000—and that’s only if they were 50% or more at fault.

To speak to an experienced car accident attorney, contact us today.

Source: MCL 500.3135(3)e, 4

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Written By Steven Matz

Founding Shareholder

Steven J. Matz is a founding shareholder of Matz Injury Law. The firm’s concentration is on personal injury litigation, with an emphasis on traumatic brain injury.

The maximum contingency fee permitted by law is actually 331/3%. Michigan court rules require that the attorney fee be computed on the net sum recovered after deducting all disbursements properly chargeable to the enforcement of the claim.

What does 22not33 mean, exactly?

We can charge 22% while virtually all other injury attorneys charge 331/3% because we are very, very, good at obtaining results for our clients.

We do not spend millions of dollars on television ads; instead, we offer a lower fee to all our clients. We do not have dozens of lower paid associates handling our work. All our clients are represented by Steven and Jared Matz. Steven Matz started the firm in 1977 and since then has dedicated his life to representing injury victims. Jared joined the firm in 2016 but grew up listening to stories, discussing theories, and generally learning at the dinner table about how to effectively and compassionately represent injury victims. Jared Matz was literally born to represent individuals involved in motor vehicle crashes.

All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee and all our cases are handled at 22%. Whether the case settles or goes through trial, the fee does not change. While our competitors make excuses as to why they charge so much, we are obtaining results for our clients at a lower fee.

At a typical television advertising law firm, your first call will be handled by a receptionist, who may refer you to an intake person, who will discuss your claim with an intake manager, who then discusses your claim with an associate, who may then report to a partner. You may never speak with the person whose name is at the top of the letterhead. At Matz Injury Law you will always speak with either Steven Matz or Jared Matz.