Personal injury protection is an extension of auto insurance that covers medical bills and in most cases, lost wages. It’s commonly referred to as “No-Fault” insurance as its inherent comprehensiveness compensates lawsuits irrespective of who was responsible for the accident. If you are PIP coverage holder and are injured in an accident, you can enjoy full benefits whether you were at fault or not. In addition to lost wages and medical expenses (including medical & surgical treatment, medication and ambulance fees), PIP insurance also takes care of costs like rehabilitation services and transportation to medical appointments.
- PIP insurance is mandatory in 16 states. However, if you live in a state that doesn’t oblige you to have this kind of insurance, you can still choose to get it if:
- You often drive with passengers in your car that could hold you liable for their medical costs in case they got injured in a road crash
You don’t have a comprehensive healthcare insurance coverage – a good health insurance plan renders PIP less necessary. For example, if you stay in Nevada and have medical payments coverage, you won’t need PIP because the policy will take care of your medical expenses irrespective of fault. It also pays for any injury to a person in your vehicle.
Filing a PIP claim
If you are a no-fault insurance holder, then you and your entire household may get PIP benefit after sustaining a bodily injury due to entering, occupying or using a car. You will also be eligible when injured as a pedestrian after being hit by a car or anything that’s thrown from a vehicle. You can be entitled to compensation when injured in a passenger bus – but not school buses. PIP also won’t be eligible if you use your vehicle for public service – like Uber and stuff.
Your insurance provider will often want a written notice following the accident. But the compensation will almost always come after you present your medical bill for your injuries to the company. Once you submit your bill, you will be required to file a PIP form, which highlights the basics of your injuries, date of the accident, and the medical solutions you have received so far. The insurance provider may need you to present a notice of “commencement of treatment” if you are receiving treatment in another place that’s not a hospital – like your personal doctor and so on. This notice should be availed within 21 days of your first office visit; otherwise, you will be subject to a reduced payout.
Working with a lawyer
The process of submitting PIP claims is similar to filing a suit to any insurance company – and can be daunting, especially when you are injured or taking care of an injured person. It involves gathering medical records, finding medical records going back five years, collecting the names of any witness to the accident, finding a copy of police report, submitting pictures or videos of the crash, making copies of any photographs of your physical injuries and so on. Having a lawyer by your side removes all these hassles from the process. Your lawyer will take care of the legwork for you, so you can focus on getting better. They will also serve as your legal guide and advocate when the need arises.
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