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Small Claims advice - no-fault state (MI)

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state?I live in MI (no-fault insurance).

Two months ago I was in an accident in a parking lot (private lot, at work). This lot is unique, since it is a main aisle that people can park on either side of. I had stopped at the stop sign in the middle part of the aisle, proceeded another 20 feet or so and felt a jolt. A person had backed in to the right hand side of my vehicle - hitting the rear side of my front passenger door and rear passenger door. :(

I had no idea a car was even backing out - I didn't see any reverse lights upon approach. And I feel if the other driver had been paying attention and had been backing out properly (when she got out of her car she claimed she has a manual transmission and just put it in neutral and cruised on out), she would have seen my car and had ample time to stop. I am a safe driver (have a clean driving record) and am unsure of the other driver's record.

I felt (and still feel) I am less than 20% at fault (if that) since I was almost past her...as proof of her hitting the rear of my vehicle. So I filed for mini-tort with her insurance company. However, yesterday I received notice that I would not be awarded mini-tort since the defendant feels she is less than 50% at fault! I thought that if both cars are in motion, and it's a parking lot, it's at least 50/50? How could I be over 51% at fault if I was almost centered behind her when she backed out into me? :mad:

I want to take this to small claims court for my $400 deductible and the cost of the rental car I needed to have when my car was being fixed. However, only living in MI for a few years and coming from an at-fault insurance state, I am unsure how the law works in a no-fault state like MI. I know they recommend mediation prior to filing a claim. Does the min-tort count for this? How should I proceed/what will help me win my case? What are my chances for success? Pls. advise! Thanks!

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