I was in an accident where I was the at fault driver. No injuries only vehicle damage. I am a fully insured Michigan driver who does not carry the limited liability insurance. A month, later after insurance claims were filed I received a letter and phone calls from a subrogation vendor from the other drivers insurance trying to have me repay the entire amount of the claim ($4000+). After spending many hours clarifying MI Mini Tort laws with the other drivers insurance company they restated the amount to $500, which they say is the deductible. I have asked for paperwork to verify the deductible, and type of collision insurance before I pay and they told me they can't give me that information because it has "personal" information of the other driver on it. They told me they would share the information with my insurance who could then ok the amount with their vendor and I should pay their vendor. Is it typical to pay a vendor for this? In the past when I was not at fault I was told I had to file in small claims when the other driver didn't carry mini tort coverage.
You have a lot of moving parts here. The maximum recovery against you is $1000 or lower if the other party in the accident had a lower deductible. In your case it sounds like the other driver had a $500 deductible. If you must pay it, it might be best to pay the individual direct (not the insurance company or auto shop or any 'vendor'). Furthermore, I would get the person to sign a release or some sort of document acknowledging receipt and full satisfaction of any and all claims they could bring.
Standard disclaimer for this response is that I don't have specific or complete information and we haven't had a meeting. Don't take this as legal advise nor have you retained me or my firm or even consulted with us on a specific case.
If you are a Michigan insured involved in a Michigan accident, your liability for vehicle damage is limited to the mini-tort amount. Talk to your insurer about paying the mini-tort.
You should contact your insurance carrier or a qualified attorney in your area.
Is your appropriate for Small Claims Court? If so, the clerks usually are helpful. If not, you should weigh the amount of the suit and likelihood of success against the cost of retaining counsel. If possible you should consult with a Litigation Attorney.
This is not legal advice! You need to speak to an attorney who is licensed in your state for legal advice. This is merely suggestions for you to think about in discussing your situation with the local attorney.
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