TIPS ON PIP: RECOVER QUICKER: PIP Helps you get paid on claims FASTER
If you have ever been in a car accident or might ever be in one (so—everybody), you need to know about PIP: Personal Injury Protection. This is a provision in car insurance policies that allows you to recover damages from your own insurance provider for automobile accidents without pursuing the other party first.
Your car insurance covers damages to your vehicle. PIP allows you to recover for damages suffered to your body or person from your insurance policy as well.
The amount you can recover is limited by the amount you purchased, but can save you a substantial amount of time, particularly for smaller claims.
By its very name—Personal Injury Protection— its purpose is made plain. If settling a claim is at all dependent on determining liability or that the other driver was at fault, it may take a while to get any payment, let alone full settlement.
PIP provides an opportunity to recover for your injuries from a car accident sooner than later.
Questions about PIP you might have:
What does PIP do?
It will it insure payment of all reasonable and necessary expenses that arise from a motor vehicle your medical bills and up to 85% of lost wages that are the result of a car accident.
What are” reasonable and necessary” expenses?
All reasonable and necessary expenses refer to injuries that have clearly been caused by the auto accident. Pre-existing issues, problems, you had prior to the accident are not covered. Pain and suffering and other damages would still need to be recovered from the at fault party in a separate action.
How soon after the Accident can I make a PIP claim?
As soon as you have bills or lost wages arising from the accident, and it covers all expenses up to three years from the date of the accident.
How much can PIP pay me?
The standard PIP coverage is $2500. You can have higher protection amount if you request it from your insurance carrier up to $10,000.
Of course, you will pay more in premiums, but generally not very much more in relation to the increased coverage. If you have questions regarding what your coverage maybe, contact your insurance carrier or a lawyer.
What if my damages are more than $2,500?
Still put in the claim, you will get at least some of your money faster, which is the reason for the provision. If it is important how the payment is allocated, contact your attorney if you have one.
Do I have to have PIP coverage?
In Maryland, your insurance company is required to offer it, but you can waive it. For reasons given below, that may not be a good idea considering the help it can provide early on in your claim.
What does “No-Fault” Insurance Mean?
“No-fault” insurance is not affected by who is responsible for the auto accident. This type of coverage is particularly broad, because it covers out-of-pocket expenses no matter who caused the crash. PIP is designed this way to insure that victims received fast coverage when they need it most without waiting on reports and extensive claims processing. Both innocent victims and drivers at fault are covered by PIP.
What is a PIP Waiver?
A PIP waiver is an election made by an insured to waive PIP coverage with their insurance company. If an insured does not wish to obtain the benefits of PIP, the insured must make an affirmative written waiver of the personal injury protection benefits. If the insured does not make an affirmative written waiver, the insurer must provide the PIP coverage.
I was just a passenger in the car during accident. Can I recover from PIP?
Yes. Therefore, it will be important if you are not the driver to find out if there is PIP protection. the driver’s PIP covers:
- the first named insured, and any family member of the first named insured who resides in the first named insured’s household, who is injured in any motor vehicle accident, including an accident that involves an uninsured motor vehicle or a motor vehicle the identity of which cannot be ascertained; and
- any other individual who is injured in a motor vehicle accident while using the insured motor vehicle with the express or implied permission of the named insured;
- an individual who is injured in a motor vehicle accident while occupying the insured motor vehicle as a guest or passenger; and
- an individual who is injured in a motor vehicle accident that involves the insured motor vehicle:
- as a pedestrian; or
- while in, on, or alighting from a vehicle that is operated by animal or muscular power.
(Annotated Code of Maryland)
What is a PIP Check?
A PIP check is issued by the insurance company that covers the insured. A PIP check will be issued to pay for medical expenses and lost wages.
Do I have to have full PIP coverage, or can I limit it?
Full personal injury protection provides benefits for you, any member of your family, and any non-family occupant of your vehicle. You may also choose limited protection, which excludes benefits for you and members of your family who are 16 years of age and older.
Why do I care if anyone else benefits from my PIP?
The availability may save you from being sued by someone in your car who was injured in the accident. it can make your life less complicated in managing all the issues arising from your accident case.
What if not just me but someone else in my automobile, gets injured in the same accident. Will I have to split the $2500? Coverage is per person, so each person would have up to $2500.00 for medical bills and lost wages.
Does Making a PIP claim mean I can’t recover more later?
No, it can be a part of a comprehensive plan by your attorney in recovering for your loss. If your lawyer is looking out for you, they will want to help you get compensated, earlier rather than later. You can still include the lost wages and medical bills of your PIP claim if it is necessary to sue the other part, or even if you are just negotiating with the other party’s insurance company to settle the claim in full.
Even though the at fault driver in the accident would be responsible for medical bills and lost wages in addition to pain and suffering, the PIP coverage will pay for medical bills on top of what the adverse party’s insurance company will pay for those loses. That means you can recover twice for those lost wages and medical bills.
How soon do I have to make my PIP claim?
Within one year of the accident occurring. Also, it only covers expenses arising three years from the accident. Remember that PIP ‘s primary purpose to help you recover earlier and quicker. Again, if you are in a serious automobile accident you need to coordinate what your strategy is with your attorney, which would include handling your PIP claim.
Who is Covered by PIP Insurance in Maryland?
PIP coverage extends to more than just the driver of the vehicle. Individuals covered by PIP insurance include:
- The insured individual on the policy
- Any family member of the insured driver who resides with the insured
- An individual who is injured in a motor vehicle accident while using the insured motor vehicle (that driver must have the express or implied permission of the named insured)
- Individuals who are injured in a motor vehicle accident while occupying the insured motor vehicle as a guest or passenger
- Injured pedestrians can claim against the drivers that struck them.
- A person that is in, on, or getting our of a vehicle that is operated.
Do I have to prove the other driver was at fault to get PIP money?
No. Many people refer to PIP coverage as “no-fault” car insurance because it is pays out expenses regardless of who is at fault for the accident. This is important to have in Maryland due to the state’s somewhat harsh contributory negligence doctrine. Maryland is one of only a few states that still abide by contributory negligence – the all-or-nothing rule that bars claimants from recovery if they are even 1% at fault.
What if I’m not sure how strong my case is, can I still recover?
Because of Maryland’s to contributory negligence laws, some claimants may face lower odds of receiving compensation in a personal injury claim. If you believe the courts will find you responsible for causing a crash, this may be the case. Luckily, PIP insurance would kick in to cover the claimant’s:
- Medical expenses
- Hospital bills
- Disability up to $2,500
This is even you are found to be at fault in an accident.
How does a PIP Claim get handled?
Making a PIP claim with an insurance company can get complicated, depending on the circumstances of your case. You may have to navigate different PIP limits for medical bills according to your health insurance coverage, your state may require you to pay some or all lost earnings, or you may have to reach a minimum loss amount before making a PIP claim.
You may have to prove the “reasonableness” of your claimed expenses. While the adjuster for the insurance company should give you some procedural explanation, you may not necessarily be getting the ad ice that will maximize the allowed claim. A lawyer handling your case maybe the best party for presenting your claim for reimbursement and lost wages.
What Does Personal Injury Protection Pay For?
Personal injury protection pays for:
- Medical Expenses and Bill – All reasonable and necessary expenses that arise from a motor vehicle accident and that are incurred within 3 years after the accident for necessary prosthetic devices and ambulance, dental, funeral, hospital, medical, professional nursing, surgical, and x-ray services; and
- Lost Wages -85% of income lost after an accident.
Maryland personal injury protection coverage law is contained in Maryland Insurance Code, Title 19, Property and Casualty Insurance, Subtitle 5 – Motor Vehicle Insurance – Primary Coverage and states:
§ 19-505. PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION COVERAGE
(A) COVERAGE REQUIRED
Unless waived in accordance with § 19-506 of this subtitle, each insurer that issues, sells, or delivers a motor vehicle liability insurance policy in the State shall provide coverage for the medical, hospital, and disability benefits described in this section for each of the following individuals:
(1) except for individuals specifically excluded under § 27-609 of this article:
(i) the first named insured, and any family member of the first named insured who resides in the first named insured’s household, who is injured in any motor vehicle accident, including an accident that involves an uninsured motor vehicle or a motor vehicle the identity of which cannot be ascertained; and
(ii) any other individual who is injured in a motor vehicle accident while using the insured motor vehicle with the express or implied permission of the named insured;
(2) an individual who is injured in a motor vehicle accident while occupying the insured motor vehicle as a guest or passenger; and
(3) an individual who is injured in a motor vehicle accident that involves the insured motor vehicle:
(i) as a pedestrian; or
(ii) while in, on, or alighting from a vehicle that is operated by animal or muscular power.
(B) MINIMUM BENEFITS REQUIRED
(1) In this subsection, “income” means:
(i) wages, salaries, tips, commissions, professional fees, and other earnings from work or employment;
(ii) earnings from a business or farm owned individually, jointly, or in partnership; and
(iii) to the extent earnings are paid or payable in property or services instead of in cash, the reasonable value of the property or services.
(2) the minimum medical, hospital, and disability benefits provided by an insurer under this section shall include up to $2,500 for:
(i) payment of all reasonable and necessary expenses that arise from a motor vehicle accident and that are incurred within 3 years after the accident for necessary prosthetic devices and ambulance, dental, funeral, hospital, medical, professional nursing, surgical, and x-ray services;
(ii) payment of benefits for 85% of income lost:
1. within 3 years after, and resulting from, a motor vehicle accident; and
2. by an injured individual who was earning or producing income when the accident occurred; and
(iii) payments made in reimbursement of reasonable and necessary expenses incurred within 3 years after a motor vehicle accident for essential services ordinarily performed for the care and maintenance of the family or family household by an individual who was injured in the accident and not earning or producing income when the accident occurred.
(3) As a condition of providing loss of income benefits under this subsection, an insurer may require the injured individual to furnish the insurer with reasonable medical proof of the injury causing loss of income.
(1) An insurer may exclude from the coverage described in this section benefits for:
(i) an individual, otherwise insured under the policy, who:
1. intentionally causes the motor vehicle accident resulting in the injury for which benefits are claimed;
2. is a nonresident of the State and is injured as a pedestrian in a motor vehicle accident that occurs outside of the State;
3. is injured in a motor vehicle accident while operating or voluntarily riding in a motor vehicle that the individual knows is stolen; or
4. is injured in a motor vehicle accident while committing a felony or while violating § 21-904 of the Transportation Article; or
(ii) the named insured or a family member of the named insured who resides in the named insured’s household for an injury that occurs while the named insured or family member is occupying an uninsured motor vehicle owned by:
1. the named insured; or
2. an immediate family member of the named insured who resides in the named insured’s household.
(2) In the case of motorcycles, an insurer may:
(i) exclude the economic loss benefits described in this section; or
(ii) offer the economic loss benefits with deductibles, options, or specific exclusions.
How to Claim PIP Insurance in Maryland
If you’ve been involved in an accident, contact the Baltimore personal injury lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras 410.844.5333. Their experienced attorneys will walk you through a PIP claim and an accident case all together. They have recovered $100,000.00 for clients injured in car, truck and motorcycle accidents in Maryland.