What is Personal Injury Protection?
What is PIP Insurance?
Personal injury protection coverage, or PIP insurance, is no fault insurance that protects you and the occupants of your vehicles when you are involved in an automobile collision. It is typically available in increments of $2,500.00 of coverage. Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., recommends that you carry a minimum of $10,000.00 per person in PIP coverage.
Do you need PIP?
People often ask us: “do I really need personal injury protection insurance?” The answer is a definite “yes.” Personal Injury Protection, or “PIP” is an option that can really save your credit and your health.
Personal Injury Protection vs Health Insurance
Many people who chose not to carry PIP insurance, do so because they believe it is duplicative of other coverage like health insurance. PIP is not the same as health insurance.
People often do not realize that many health insurance plans contain a clause that makes them secondary to any other form of liability coverage. What this means for someone who is involved in a motor vehicle collision, is that their health insurance may well deny the claim expecting them to look to the other driver’s auto policy. The other auto policy, may dispute liability. If it does, who pays out of pocket for the medical bills? The answer is: you do.
Even if the other driver’s policy accepts liability, they do not pay for your care as you go. They only pay to settle the claim once you have ‘completed’ your medical care and submitted a claim. Some people never ‘complete’ their care. They may have issues for years. As a result, your bills pile up with no one paying them but you.
If you have personal injury protection coverage, you can make a PIP claim to cover some of your initial out-of-pocket losses due to an accident. It will cover medical bills and lost income up to the amount of the PIP policy. The more PIP you have, the better.
Should I File A Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Claim?
People often question whether they should file a pip claim against their own insurance out of fear it may make their rates go up. The reality is, you are paying for that part of the coverage. It has a premium attached to it. You might as well use what you paid for. If the PIP premium goes up substantially due to your PIP claim, you can always drop just that part of the coverage or seek alternate insurance rate quotes. But why are you paying for personal injury protection if you are not going to make a personal injury protection claim when you need it?
Providers Refusing to Bill Health Insurance After A Car Wreck
To make matters worse, 99% of the doctors out there are aware of the difficulties of getting paid when an auto collision is the source of the injury. As a result, you may find that the primary care doctor who has treated you for years suddenly refuses to treat you because he knows that the health insurance company is going to deny payment. Your doctor might be able to submit his bill to the auto liability carrier and get paid, but why would he want to waste his time and resources chasing payment? Instead, here we often see doctors refuse to treat patients who have been injured due to a car wreck making it necessary for them to hire a personal injury attorney to file a lawsuit and force the insurance company to accept responsibility for their insured’s actions.
PIP Protects You
Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is insurance designed to cover some of the initial medical expenses and losses to help injury victims get the care they need and get back on their feet. You buy a set amount and it pays first when your car is in a collision. You do not have to go to the other driver’s insurance or your health insurance carrier to seek payment first. If you do not have personal injury protection covering you and the people in your vehicle, you should get it today.
Paul Cannon has practiced personal injury trial law since 1995. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law (2005). He has earned recognition as a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters in 2017 & 2018, and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2017. He is a Shareholder, trial lawyer and online marketing manager at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. His legal writings have been published by the Texas Bar Journal, Business.com, Lawyer.com HG Legal Resources, Lawfirms.com, and others. He has been asked to give education talks and media interviews on dog bite law.