Michigan Mini Tort Rental Car Claim: What You Need To Know
If a rental car was damaged in a car crash, the rental company may seek to recover money damages to cover the repair costs by filing a Michigan mini tort rental car claim against the other driver. It would have to show that the damages were not already covered by insurance and that the other driver was at-fault.
What is a Michigan mini tort rental car claim?
Under Michigan law, a company who rents vehicles can recover money damages from the at-fault driver for repair costs with a Michigan mini tort rental car claim if the vehicle was damaged in the accident. The maximum recovery amount will increase from $1,000 to $3,000 for car accidents after July 1, 2020.
What are the elements of a claim?
Just because a rental car company says another driver owes them money in a mini tort claim for car accident-related damage to the rental car doesn’t necessarily make it so.
The rental car company still needs to prove the following to show that it’s entitled to recover under the mini tort:
- The rental car was actually damaged in a Michigan car accident.
- The damaged rental car was properly covered by a valid Michigan No-Fault auto insurance policy at the time of the accident. (MCL 500.3135(4)(e))
- Damages to the rental car “are not covered by insurance.” (MCL 500.3135(3)(e)) In other words, if the rental car company has broad-form collision coverage, then even if the other driver was at-fault, all of the damages to the rental car would have been covered by the company’s collision insurance.
- The other driver was 50% or more at fault. (MCL 500.3135(4)(a))
- The dollar value of the money damages being sought in the mini tort lawsuit equals the cost for repairing the car accident-related vehicle damage, but does not exceed the maximum mini tort recovery amount, which will increase from $1,000 to $3,000 for car accidents after July 1, 2020. (MCL 500.3135(3)(e))
Evidence in a Michigan mini tort rental car claim
In the event that you become involved in a Michigan mini tort rental car claim, the following types of evidence may prove useful in assembling and presenting your case:
- Police report/crash report/accident report
- Written witness statements provided to police at crash scene
- Vehicle damage photos
- Damage repair estimates
- Moving violation and/or hazardous action tickets issued to the driver of the rental car or other vehicles involved in the car accident
- Letters and/or affidavits from witnesses
- Proof of valid No-Fault auto insurance (for the damaged rental car on the crash date)
Injured and need a lawyer? Call Michigan Auto Law
If you have been injured in a car accident and you have questions about your legal rights, you can call toll free anytime 24/7 at (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation with one of our experienced auto accident attorneys. You can also get help from an experienced accident attorney by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.