Everything You Need To Know About Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance

Suppose you have recently signed up for or renewed your auto insurance. In that case, you may have noticed that you are given the option or are required to sign up for Personal Injury Protection coverage, otherwise referred to as PIP coverage. 

This additional car insurance will cover medical expenses, lost wages, and many other economic damages up to the policy limit without the need to prove fault. 

Personal injury protection can help reduce stress and streamline the claims process since you will not need to fight with an insurance company about who is at fault for the car accident before seeking compensation. 

However, there are limitations to personal injury protection, namely the relatively low policy limits for this no-fault insurance when compared to other policies offered by an insurance company for car accident protections.

There are “no-fault” states that require drivers to include personal injury protection in their car insurance policies, but there is often confusion around what “no-fault” means and whether or not it is important to opt for personal injury protection in states where this type of coverage is optional.

Contact 1-800-Injured To Find a Lawyer In Your Area

1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service. If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a car accident, contact us as soon as possible, and we will schedule a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer for you. 

PIP-requirements-by-state-image
Source: https://wallethub.com/edu/ci/pip-insurance/9248

Speaking directly with a knowledgeable legal professional will help you understand the situation whether or not your PIP claim will cover all damages or if you need to move forward with an additional claim. 

Understanding Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance

Personal Injury Protection insurance, or PIP coverage, is a type of automobile insurance that helps pay for medical expenses and other costs related to an accident, regardless of who is at fault. 

When you have PIP coverage, you will typically file a claim with your own insurance company and car insurance policy to recover costs for medical bills, lost wages, medical treatment, and other medical costs up to the limit. 

PIP insurance generally pays for: 

  • Medical expenses, including hospitalization, ambulance rides, doctor visits, health insurance costs, medical and surgical treatment, rehabilitation services, and other medical coverage expenses
  • Lost income, wages, and other earnings-based impacts
  • Essential services, such as child care, house cleaning, grocery shopping, and more
  • Funeral costs and other wrongful death damages

It’s important to know what PIP insurance will cover, but you must remember that this insurance usually has a limit on the amount it will pay out, which varies from state to state depending on PIP insurance requirements and other insurance laws. PIP will cover medical expenses, but if those medical bills exceed the policy limit, you may be responsible for paying the difference yourself or will need to file an additional claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy to recover compensation for these overages.

If you’re in an auto accident and don’t have PIP insurance, you may be able to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance policy. However, if the other driver doesn’t have insurance or their policy doesn’t cover the total damages, you may have to pay for your medical expenses. 

PIP insurance can be a valuable asset in the event of an auto accident, so it’s important to understand what it covers and whether or not it’s right for you. Talk to your insurance agent to learn more about your specific policy coverage. Read more below to learn more about the general benefits and details of this type of insurance coverage.

How Does a No-Fault State Handle Personal Injury Claims?

Many people may be confused about the distinction of a “no-fault” state, thinking that there are no options to seek compensation from another driver even if they are responsible for the crash. This means that they can seek compensation first from personal injury protection without going through a fault-based insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. 

Personal injury protection is designed to alleviate the administrative burdens that many court systems would otherwise deal with if all claims had to move directly into this more complicated process of a fault-based claim.

percentage-of-uninsured-drivers-by-state
Source: https://www.treasury.gov/initiatives/fio/reports-and-notices/documents/final%20auto%20affordability%20study_web.pdf

If you file a claim against your PIP coverage and exhaust the limits, you will then be able to seek additional compensation from the at-fault driver through a more traditional insurance claims process. 

Keep in mind that insurance companies are focused on settling claims for as little as possible, so working with a personal injury attorney after an accident that someone else caused is one of the smartest ways to ensure that you get money you deserve. Otherwise, you might get the money that an insurance company hopes to pay while avoiding any additional legal complications relating to the accident.

Is PIP Required?

PIP insurance is required in some states, but not all. It’s important to understand what PIP covers so you can make an informed decision about whether or not to purchase it if this is an optional add-on to your existing car insurance policy. 

This no-fault policy can help you recover losses such as medical expenses and even funeral expenses without needing to go through the process of proving fault first, but the limits are often lower, so PIP may be used alone or in addition to collision or comprehensive insurance protections.

Is PIP Required In Your State?

This valuable coverage is mandatory in 12 states — Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, and Utah.

PIP is available as optional coverage in Arkansas, Kentucky, Maryland, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

How Does Personal Injury Protection Work in Optional States vs. Mandatory States?

In states where PIP auto insurance is required, your PIP coverage pays the damages up to your policy limits, and if your lost wages or medical bills exceed your PIP limits in a no-fault system, you will then be able to seek compensation from other drivers involved in the crash if they were responsible for the crash. 

PIP covers medical expenses, but even with as much PIP coverage as is available in your state, you may still need to seek additional compensation to cover medical costs and other costs associated with personal injuries.

Working with a personal injury attorney is a great way to make sure that you are correctly navigating the complicated process of balancing your PIP claim in a no-fault scenario. You have the options of filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit to cover lost wages and excess losses than what your PIP insurance covers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Protection Insurance

The following questions and answers are meant to give you a better sense of the financial protection that this no-fault insurance offers you and your family members, as well as the PIP limits you may run into, how a no-fault state works, and more. 

Keep in mind that these questions and answers are to give you a general idea of how these insurance products work but your situation is unique and is best discussed directly with an experienced personal injury attorney. 

Contact 1-800-Injured as soon as possible to request a free initial consultation with an attorney who can review your minimum coverage, the cost of expenses like surgical treatment and household services that will all quickly approach your policy’s limits. They will also explain how this policy can provide coverage for friends and family members in your insured vehicle.

PIP, or personal injury protection, is a type of automobile insurance that covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs related to an accident. It’s important to understand what PIP covers before deciding whether or not to purchase it.

It’s important to keep in mind that PIP has a limit on the amount it will pay out. So if your medical expenses exceed the policy limit, you may be responsible for paying the difference yourself. 

If you’re in an accident and don’t have PIP insurance, you may be able to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance policy. However, if the other driver doesn’t have insurance or their policy doesn’t cover accidents caused by uninsured drivers, you may have to pay for your medical expenses. 

Personal injury protection coverage is a form of no-fault insurance that will pay a range of damages to a victim before they need to move forward with a claim against another driver’s car insurance or a lawsuit directly against the at-fault party to recover these damages. 

Without PIP coverage, a victim will immediately file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company after a car accident in order to get compensation. This process is typically highly contentious as the insurer seeks to settle the claim as quickly and inexpensively as possible. 

Seeking Additional Damages After Exhausting Your PIP Coverage Limits

Suppose you are able to recover damages from your PIP insurance, but you still have additional losses and costs associated with your accident. In that case, your next step will be to seek those additional costs from the at-fault driver’s insurance company (or, if they are uninsured or underinsured, you will need to file a claim against a separate policy with your insurer). 

In order to establish fault, you and your attorney will need to review many details about the crash and compile a strong case for your claims before calculating these damages and going through the process of negotiations. 

Personal injury protection pays for expenses like medical bills, lost wages, and even funeral expenses without needing to prove fault, so yes, it is good insurance. However, personal injury protection provides limited coverage that is typically far less than what comprehensive, bodily injury, or collision insurance will cover, so this is a good additional piece of your policy but may not cover all of your needs.

If your damages exceed the limit of your personal injury protection policy, then you will need to move past this one policy and seek compensation through other means to ensure that you do not suffer the financial impacts of someone else’s dangerous or negligent driving that led to your accident. 

Working with a personal injury attorney is one of the smartest ways to make sure that you are properly going through this process and taking all of the steps necessary to ensure that you are getting the protection you are entitled to.

If someone is injured in a policyholder’s car in states that require PIP coverage, the good news is that this no-fault policy extends to everyone in the vehicle. 

PIP covers medical care, lost wages, and all other damages paid out to the policyholder, which will help alleviate the cost of hospital stays, medical supplies, and all income-related losses and impacts common in a PIP claim in no-fault states. 

Again, depending on how much PIP insurance coverage the driver has, a passenger may need to file an additional claim against a different car insurance company or auto insurance policy. This is only if the PIP coverage does not satisfy the total cost of medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

If personal injury protection insurance is a required part of your auto insurance, then there will be a minimum required amount.

If you can select the limits for this no-fault insurance, then selecting the maximum that you can comfortably afford of this no-fault insurance gives you peace of mind and financial safety in the event of a car crash. 

Again, refer to your state’s insurance laws to determine whether or not you are required to carry a minimum amount of this no-fault insurance. If it is an optional addition to your car accident auto insurance, then you may want to consult with your insurance company to get a clear sense of how this policy can work to your advantage.

If you are involved in a car accident and require medical treatment, then you will certainly have medical bills. But whether or not your health insurance company covers these costs, or if you are expected to pay out of pocket depends on the type of health insurance you have. 

That said, your PIP will make a payment directly to your health insurance company for the medical bills you have accrued as you seek treatment after an accident, as is common with any car insurance claim.

You (or your attorney) may need to liaise between your auto insurance company and health insurance company to make sure that your PIP coverage is distributed appropriately. Still, you can rest easy knowing that your personal injury protection (PIP) policy is specifically designed to address health insurance costs directly related to your auto accident. 

Proving Your Injuries and Costs Are Related To Your Accident

Disputes with your health insurance company about the nature of your treatment relating to the car accident will be handled on a case-by-case basis. These are handled with the help of a legal professional with extensive knowledge of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and by working with a car insurance company to reach agreements on a no-fault insurance claim.

PIP insurance covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs related to the accident, while medical payments coverage only covers medical expenses. PIP insurance also typically has a higher limit than medical payments coverage. So if you have PIP insurance, you may not have to worry about paying for your medical expenses out of pocket. 

However, if you only have medical payments coverage, you may be responsible for paying your own medical expenses if they exceed the policy limit. 

So which type of insurance is right for you? That depends on your individual needs and situation. Talk to your insurance agent to learn more about the differences between PIP and medical payments coverage and decide which one is right for you.

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