What is Personal Injury Protection?
Being injured in a car or truck wreck can be a devastating experience. Although you may never know when you will be in a motor vehicle collision, it’s important to be prepared for when one occurs. One of the more difficult aspects of being in a wreck is dealing with medical expenses. Luckily, there are several different coverages and options that can help you in your time of need.
One of those options is Personal injury Protection (PIP). This is a type of auto insurance coverage that gives policyholders help with medical and certain non-medical expenses after a wreck. Personal Injury Protection applies to all passengers in a vehicle. In some states, it’s called “no-fault” coverage, because it could help cover your treatment, even if you were at fault or if there were no other drivers involved in the collision.
Is Personal Injury Protection Insurance Required in Texas?
Our insurance policies in Texas are based on fault, meaning that the person who had caused the wreck or was deemed liable, would be held responsible for any crash-related damages. So, if someone hit you or was at fault, their insurance policy would help with your car or truck wreck related expenses. This does NOT, however, help you if you were at fault or if the other party does not have insurance.
This is where having Personal Injury Protection comes in handy. PIP coverage may help you if you were at fault in a collision, if the party that caused your collision doesn’t have enough insurance, or if the party at fault doesn’t have insurance at all.
In Texas, we are not required to have Personal Injury Protection. Insurance companies are only required to offer at least $2,500 of PIP coverage to its policyholders. Policyholders are free to opt-out of PIP coverage if they do not wish to pay for it. You can learn more about Texas requirements here.
What does Personal Injury Protection Cover?
Personal injury Protection (PIP) can cover:
- Medical expenses: This could include immediate care like ambulance services and nursing services. It could also cover future or ongoing expenses like medications, medical treatments, prosthetic devices, and rehabilitation services.
- Lost wages from injury: If you are unable to work due to injuries from the accident, PIP could help you recover lost wages.
- Funeral expenses: If a severe car or truck wreck causes fatal injuries, PIP coverage could help your loved ones pay for funeral expenses.
What does PIP Not Cover?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) does not cover:
- Property Damage: This includes the damage done to your vehicle or other property.
- Liability Coverage: Liability coverage is a separate insurance that helps pay medical costs for someone else if you were at fault for injuring them in an accident.
- Non-Medical Expenses: Outside of property damage or liability, non-medical expenses would include pain and suffering or vehicle replacements/upgrades.
- Exceeding Policy Limits: There is a maximum amount of coverage an insurance company will pay out for a claim. If your expenses exceed these limits, you may be responsible for the remaining costs.
Do I need Personal Injury Protection if I have Health Insurance?
Some healthcare plans have high deductibles and may require you to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket before insurance payments kicks in. In this case, having PIP coverage could help pay for these expenses until health insurance is activated.
How much Personal Injury Protection Insurance Do I Need?
The amount of appropriate Personal Injury Protection coverage varies depending on each individual’s needs and their desired policy payment amount. Consider factors like the standard costs for ambulance services and emergency hospital care when figuring out what amount is best for you.
Why Hire an Attorney If You Have PIP?
In most cases, Personal Injury Protection only covers some of the costs of a motor vehicle collision. If a person causes a car wreck because of negligent behavior, the other party should be compensated for being harmed. Insurance policies will only pay out as much as a person is covered and do not always adequately meet the costs associated with the car or truck wreck. In this scenario, an attorney could help recover losses and costs that an insurance policy will not (or can not) cover.
Some insurance providers have a reputation for denying legitimate claims, which causes undue hardship for claimants. In these cases, individuals may need to hire an attorney in order to obtain compensation from their own Personal Injury Protection policy. An experienced personal injury attorney will be prepared to fight for payment from your Personal Injury Policy while they file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.