What is PIP Insurance?
Last Updated on July 31st, 2017
PIP insurance stands for Personal Injury Protection. It is an extension of car insurance available in some U.S. states that covers medical expenses and in some cases, lost wages, and other damages. PIP is sometimes referred to as â€œno-faultâ€ coverage because the statutes enacting it are generally known as no-fault laws, and PIP is designed to be paid without regard to â€œfaultâ€, or more properly legal liability. PIP is also called â€œno-faultâ€ because, by definition, a claimantâ€™s, or insuredâ€™s, insurance premium should not increase due to a PIP claim.
PIP is mandatory coverage in some states. The PIP coverage may vary from state to state in terms of what is covered and what types of treatments are covered. In Texas, it is mandatory to have a minimum of $2,500 of PIP insurance, but you can buy more coverage if you want. If you do not want PIP, you must reject it in writing.
What does Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Pay? PIP insurance pays the same as medical payments coverage, plus 80 percent of lost income and the cost of hiring a caregiver for an injured person. PIP should cover 100% of necessary medical, surgical, x-ray, dental, prosthetic devices, ambulance, hospital, professional nursing and funeral services. The insurance company may require medical documentation form health care providers that the injuries were as a result of the automobile collision.
The lost wages and medical claims will all come out of the same $2500 pot, so if you have $1500 in medical bills and $1500 in lost wages, you can only recover $2500 and nothing more. Unless, of course you have more than the mandatory $2500 PIP coverage.
Who does PIP cover? PIP covers you, your family members, and any other passengers in your car, regardless of who caused the accident.
When filing a claim for damages under the PIP coverage, it is important to remember that benefits under this provision can be paid before damages under any other policy coverage are paid.
Our attorneys will help you file for the PIP coverage. We will submit them for the insurance company review and follow up with the insurance company until the coverage is paid, usually about 30 days after the claim is submitted.
Processing the PIP claim for our clients is a courtesy service that we provide at no extra charge to our clients if it can be accomplished without litigation.
If you are in an accident, call our law firm at (512) 343-2572 or contact us online. Our attorneys will help you recover your, PIP insurance, medical bills, and lost wages.
Personal Injury Protection
Last Updated on July 31st, 2017
PIP is an extension of car insurance available in Texas which covers medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages and other damages. Personal Injury Protection or PIP is an insurance coverage for medical and other expenses resulting from an automobile accident, for people specified in the policy, regardless of who is at fault in the accident.Â PIP usually covers the medical, hospital and funeral expenses of the insured, others in his vehicle and pedestrians struck by him.
The fact that blame does not have to be confirmed saves time and therefore allows medical payments to get into the pockets of the injured parties as soon as possible. It saves everybody from the cost of lawsuits being filed so that responsibility can be proved for an accident and therefore who has responsibility for the bills.
The person named in the policy as the â€œnamed insured,â€ and residents of the named insuredâ€™s household related by blood, marriage or adoption, step or foster children are covered for injuries incurred in an accident.Â Also passengers or pedestrians are covered.Â These people will be eligible for payments no matter who is at fault in the accident.
PIP covers reasonable and necessary medical expenses for injuries sustained in an automobile accident, and the amount varies from policy to policy.Â Payments are made for costs that are actually incurred by the injured person.Â If you carry PIP on your automobile it applies to all autos you insure, and companies charge a premium for every auto.
PIP does not cover injuries caused by using farm equipment, recreational or off road vehicles, mopeds or motor cycles (PIP coverage is available on motorcycle policies).Â It will not cover intentional injuries to the insured person or if the person is injured in organized racing activities or committing a felony.
If you were involved in an accident in Texas, we’ll be happy to mail it to you (together with a host of other free stuff.) You can either email us, call us at (512) 343-2572, or fill in the form at right.
Frequently Asked Questions Following a Collision
Last Updated on July 31st, 2017
What Should I Do After a Collision?
The first thing you should do following an accident is to call the police so that an accident report will be prepared. Although the police do not always prepare an accident report they will always require the other driver to properly identify herself and her insurance company. This will ensure that the person who hit you correctly identifies herself. If for some reason the police cannot come to the scene of the accident, write down the license plate of the vehicle that hit you, the name of the driver and vehicle, the driverâ€™s license number of the responsible driver, and her insurance company. Also get the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses to the collision.
What Should I do if I am Injured?
The first thing you should do is seek medical treatment from the health care provider of your choice. It is important for you to try to receive treatment as soon as possible following the accident. You have the right to the treatment of your choice. For example, you may choose a medical doctor, a chiropractor, an osteopath, a podiatrist, or another type of health care provider.
What Losses can I Recover from the Person at Fault?
The types of damages for which you can seek a recovery from the person who caused the accident are expansive. The following is a list of some of the types of damages for which you are allowed to seek a recovery:
- Damage to your vehicle
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Punitive Damages
Does the Insurance Company for the Person at Fault Have to Make Me a Fair Offer?
Although the individual who caused the accident is responsible for your damages, his or her insurance company has no obligation to treat you fairly or in good faith. Insurance companies employ adjusters to handle these claims who are trained professionals. They are free to offer you arbitrarily low amounts of compensation and force you to either accept it or file a lawsuit. While the better adjusters attempt to maintain the appearance of a friendly and trusting relationship with their claimants, you should not interpret this as a sign that they are looking out for your best interests.
You should note that if the insurance company for the negligent driver fails to offer you adequate compensation for your injuries, you will be forced to file suit against the negligent driver if you want to fully recovery your damages. It is important that you recognize that your suit must be filed against the negligent driver and not his or her insurance company. In Texas this must be done within two years from the date of the accident (the statute of limitations applicable to personal injury claims). Although your suit would be filed against the negligent driver, the insurance carrier for this driver will hire an attorney to represent the negligent driver. The fact that this person has insurance will not be admissible at trial and the parties will be ordered by the judge not to inform the jury that the negligent driver has insurance.
Should I Talk to the Insurance Company for the Person at Fault?
You have no obligation to contact the insurance company which insures the person at fault. You also have no obligation to talk to this insurance company if they call you. In most cases the insurance adjuster for the person at fault will attempt to contact you immediately following the accident in order to take a recorded statement. This is usually the time that persons are upset or still in shock following the collision. When this is combined with the fact that you may be questioned in detail by an adjuster who is trained to ask questions which may benefit their denial or reduction of your claim, you may give an inaccurate statement which will severely affect your right to achieve a fair settlement of your claim. We recommend that you consult an attorney prior to contacting the insurance carrier (order our free report to learn more). There are many attorneys who are willing to give you a free consultation in order to assist you at this stage of your claim.
What Can I Recover for the Damage to my Vehicle?
You have the right to recover the cost of repairing your vehicle. You have the right to choose the repair shop and the brand, type, kind, age, or condition of parts or products used to repair your vehicle. Although the insurance company for the responsible driver may perform an estimate of the cost of repair, you should also have an independent body shop perform an estimate of the damage. Most body shops will do this free of charge. If the cost of repair is more than the value of the vehicle just prior to the accident you are entitled to recover the pre-accident value of your vehicle plus the amount you would pay in sales taxes and title transfer fees to purchase a vehicle of the same value.
What if I need Medical Treatment, but Can’t Affort It?
Although you have the right to recover the cost of all reasonable and necessary medical expenses from the person responsible for the collision, the insurance company insuring the person responsible for the collision has no obligation to pay for these medical expenses as they are incurred. This can place a severe hardship on an individual with no health insurance, personal injury protection insurance, or medical payments coverage. As a result, some persons feel forced to accept a low settlement of their claim in order to pay their medical providers. This does not have to happen. You should contact your doctor or an attorney for advice as to what programs and deferred payment plans may be available to allow you to complete treatment prior to settling your claim.
What if the Person who hit me has not Insurance?
Although the law requires every driver to have insurance, many do not. Unfortunately, if you are hit by an uninsured motorist your options may be limited. If your insurance policy contains collision coverage then you can recover the cost of repairing your vehicle or, if it is totaled, the value of the vehicle. If you have uninsured motorist coverage you can also recover that amount of your personal injury damages that does not exceed your policy limits. You should never accept a negligent driverâ€™s statement that he has no insurance without first contacting a lawyer.
What if the Person who hit me was DWI, on Drugs, or Left the Scene?
If the police report or witnesses indicate that the driver of the vehicle that hit you was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or left the scene, then you also may be entitled to punitive damages. It is difficult to determine the extent of these damages but they may be substantial. In order to properly evaluate these damages it is recommended that you consult an attorney for his or her opinion as to how much this will increase the value of your claim.
What if my Damages Exceed the Amount of the Insurance of the Person at Fault?
Many drivers carry minimum liability insurance and your claim may exceed the value of these limits. When this occurs the negligent driver’s insurance company may offer to settle your case for the amount of the available insurance. This offer should not be accepted until a thorough investigation is completed. Often times, other insurance can supplement your recovery. We have found many creative ways to help our clients in circumstances where it appeared that the coverage was insufficient.
How is My Insurance Involved?
You may have a right to pursue a claim with your own automobile insurance company for all or part of your damages. Your rights in this regard are dependent on what coverage you had in effect at the time of the accident. After an accident you should look at a copy of the insurance policy in effect at the time of the accident which covered you and/or the car you were in at the time of the collision in order to determine what rights you have with regard to any of this insurance. Depending on this coverage you may have the ability to recover all or a portion of any damages to your vehicle, your medical expenses, your lost wages and other damages.
If you had collision coverage in effect, you will be able to recover from your insurance company for the damage to your vehicle less your deductible. This is true even if the accident was your fault. If the accident was not your fault you can still make a claim under your collision coverage. In such a case your insurance company will then have the right to pursue the responsible driver or his or her insurance carrier for these damages.
If your policy includes Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payments coverage you will also be able to make a claim for medical expenses related to the treatment of injuries you received in the accident up to the limits of this coverage. If you have Personal Injury Protection coverage you may be able to recover 80% of your lost wages related to this accident provided that the combination of the medical expenses and 80% of lost wages submitted under your PIP coverage does not exceed the limits of your PIP coverage.
What is UIM and PIP Coverage on my Car Insurance and Should I Pay for the Coverage?
If youâ€™re hurt in an auto accident, no matter who is at fault and no matter what vehicle you are in, your personal injury protection insurance (PIP) will pay your medical bills, expenses and up to 80% of your lost income up to the limits of your PIP coverage. Uninsured or under-insured motorist (UIM) coverage helps compensate you in the situation where the negligent driver had no insurance or insufficient insurance to cover you claim. In the case of an underinsured driver your UIM coverage will make up the difference between a negligent driverâ€™s insurance policy limits and the total damages you suffered from your injuries, depending on the amount of your damages and the amount of your coverage. UIM coverage is important because the emergency room bill alone could easily be many times higher than the minimum coverage Texas drivers are required to carry. When buying car insurance, it is highly recommended to purchase this coverage. You may never need it, but if you do, it could make the difference in keeping your family afloat while youâ€™re down. For more information, order our free guide to buying car insurance in Texas
What’s the Difference between PIP and Med-Pay Coverage?
There are two significant differences between Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Med-Pay. PIP will cover 80% of any lost wages while Med-Pay only covers medical bills. Also, PIP payments do not have to be paid back to your insurance company if you make a recovery from the negligent third party. However, with Med-Pay, if you obtain a settlement from the liable party your insurance company may seek reimbursement out of your settlement for any payments they made under your Med-Pay coverage. PIP is recommended over Med-Pay.
If you were involved in an accident in Texas, we’ll be happy to mail it to you (together with a host of other free stuff.) You can either email us, call us at (512) 343-2572, or request one of our free accident reports.