Before unraveling what PIP covers in the case of an accident, it is important to understand what PIP stands for and means. Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, also referred to as “no-fault insurance,” is what covers the medical bills, costs for rehabilitation, and lost wages you are faced with when you and/or your passengers are injured in a car accident. PIP is discretionary in most states, but 16 states enforce the requirement to have at least a minimum amount of PIP coverage. In Florida, it is obligatory for all owners of motor vehicles registered in the state to purchase PIP coverage.
PIP also comes in handy for instances when you are riding as a passenger in somebody else’s car, or if you are hit by a car as a pedestrian or cyclist. PIP insurance is unlike bodily injury liability insurance in that while PIP coverage takes care of your own expenses, liability insurance reimburses the medical expenses being charged to drivers and passengers in other cars when you are at fault for a wreck.
PIP insurance may also include some of the same coverage as your health insurance or Medical Payments policy. However, PIP coverage is specifically designated for car-related injuries, which are every now and then left out from health insurance policies, and PIP insurance pays for a number of additional expenses that are not covered by Medical Pay insurance.
If you own a car (or live with a family member who owns a car) your PIP/no-fault coverage pays for 80% of your medical bills or 60% of your lost-wages that result from a car accident (whether the car accident was in your car or even if you are a passenger in another car).
PIP insurance is sometimes also known as “no-fault insurance,” due to the fact that a minimum amount of PIP coverage is required if you reside in a no-fault state. In these states, your own insurance policy will cover those charges—even if another driver was the cause of the accident—unless a particular threshold is met. These thresholds, called “tort thresholds,” can either be financial or verbal, based on your state.
The total cost of PIP insurance will fluctuate depending on the coverage limit of your policy and deductible, along with the state you live in. For example, Value Penguin Inc. picked up a quote from GEICO for a 30-year-old man behind the wheel of a 2010 Toyota Camry in Florida. Within the total price, a six-month policy was included with $25,000/$50,000/$25,000 worth of liability insurance, $10,000 of PIP coverage, and comprehensive and collision coverage with $500 deductibles.
If you or a loved one are injured due to another driver’s negligence, and have personal injury protection as part of your car insurance policy, you typically want to turn to your PIP coverage initially before exhausting other options. If your medical costs go beyond your policy’s limits, you can then file a claim as long as it is under the other driver’s liability insurance policy. If the case occurs where you are significantly and permanently injured, or your medical bills overreach your state’s tort threshold, you may be eligible to omit your PIP coverage and file a lawsuit against the other driver.
If you or a loved one are suffering injuries from a car accident, and have any questions or concerns about the PIP coverage you need, do not hesitate to contact our personal injury attorneys at Neufeld, Kleinberg, & Pinkiert, PA where we will be more than happy to ease the process of getting you the coverage you deserve.