The limited property damage liability, or mini-tort, provision of the Michigan no-fault law creates a situation in which you can sue or be sued. Under mini-tort, if you are 50% or more at fault in an accident, and damages to the other driver's car are not completely covered by his or her insurance, you may be sued and may have to pay up to $500 in damages. This also means that you may sue the other driver for damages to your car which are not covered by your insurance if the other driver is 50% or more at fault.
So in your situation, where if the person is found to be 100% at fault, you should be able to go after the at-fault party to recover your deductible amount, as long as it is under the $500 limit. First you should see if your insurance company will go after the at-fault party or their insurer for this amount. Some No-Fault policies agree to recover this amount from the at-fault driver for you.
If your insurance provider does not subrogate this amount for you then you can next see if the at-fault party had the type of insurance policy which would cover him or her for a mini-tort suit. The mandatory no-fault insurance coverages, which are required by law, do not cover this mini-tort $500 liability.
Insurance companies usually offer this mini-tort coverage as an optional coverage which one may purchase for an extra cost. Insurers often call this coverage limited property damage liability. Check with the insurance carrier of the at-fault party to find out if the motorist had this coverage and if so how you would file a claim for your deductible amount. His claims department should be able to tell you the steps to accomplish this if this coverage is available.
The person may not have had such coverage and if this is the case then you can request the money directly from that at-fault party. If he or she is unwillingly to pay within a reasonable amount of time then you can take them to court and seek a judgment against them for your deductible amount.
A lawsuit brought under the mini-tort provision should begin in a small claims court, or a municipal court, but either party may have the case moved to a higher court. The amount the person being sued will have to pay will be based on the amount of fault. For example, if your deductible is $100 and the person being sued is 100% at fault and loses the case, he or she should have to pay you $100. If he was only 75% responsible he or she would only be required to pay $75.
If you have more questions regarding how to go after your deductible amount using the mini-tort laws in MI speak to your agent and/or contact the Office of Financial and Insurance Services (OFIS). The OFIS is the state agency that regulates insurance in Michigan.