After a car accident takes place, you may wonder what options you have. You may also be dealing with a wide variety of emotions and not know where to turn. In this case, you may want to know more about something known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, and what it can do for you. Understanding the rules surrounding a PIP Claim is simple. They are a claim that you bring against your own insurer for payment of medical bills and lost earnings, and apply to many no-fault states. The insurer will take matters into their own hands and pay your medical bills along with reimbursing you for some or all of your lost earnings up to the amount of your claim. A PIP insurer may only have to pay a small portion of the medical bills with the health insurer paying the remainder in some situations.
There is a problem if your medical bills rise too high, however. If your bills exceed your state’s no-fault limit, you will be responsible for paying the rest of them. Various entities may take on the bills, such as if you have private health insurance or Medicaid. However, if you do not work with any of these entities and are without insurance of your own, you may be fully responsible for working out separate payment agreements on your own with health care providers.
So How do PIP Claims Work and What do they Cover?
If you consider an example, it may put some things into perspective. Let’s say that you got into a car accident with another driver at fault. The state in which you reside has a PIP limit for medical bills of $2,000 for people with no health insurance. However, you have health insurance. This means that you are entitled to $8,000 coverage. Altogether, from the accident, you have $4,000 of medical bills and $1,000 of lost earnings. You state requires you to have $5,000 worth of medical bills before you are able to make a claim against the negligent driver.
In this specific case, it is noted that you, of course, have health insurance. This works to your benefit. You would submit the first $2,000 of your medical bills to the car insurance company, also known as your PIP insurer. Then, you would submit the remainder of your medical bills to your health insurance company. The car insurance company would take on $1,000 of that for your lost earnings. Since you only had $4,000 worth of medical bills, you did not meet your state’s minimum medical bill requirement for filing a claim against the negligent driver. This means that you cannot legally sue the driver that hit you and you will have to just settle on having your medical bills and lost earnings paid. This means that you can’t even so much as claim pain and suffering.
PIP may cover medical and hospital bills in a variety of situations. However, there are other things that these claims may help out with. This includes income continuation to compensate you for the wages you have now lost, loss of services to help you pay for costs associated with having to get around in day-to-day life, and funeral expenses to help your family pay for the cost of your funeral.
Should You Cooperate With Your Insurer in a PIP Claim?
Many states will urge you to cooperate with your insurance company when you are working within the limits of a PIP claim. You can avoid doing many things that you would do in a typical personal injury case. For example, you do not want to give recorded statements to the defendant’s insurance company. However, PIP laws may require you to give your insurer a recorded statement and you may be susceptible to a medical examination. If you do not cooperate with your PIP insurer, the company may be entitled to terminate your benefits.
So, do you think that you are eligible for a PIP claim? There are many steps that you can take to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. PIP laws may be very different from laws you’ve known dealing with personal injuries. This is why it is a good idea to have an attorney on your side that has the experience needed to take on your case. Call Welebir | Tierney today to find out about more options.
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