Personal Injury Protection: What You Need To Know

dreamstime_xs_64308272-300x200If you’ve had the painful and miserable experience of being in an accident, you’ve got a lot of questions.

Like who is going to pay for my medical expenses and lost wages? How can I collect insurance benefits? What is available?

Here are come answers about a basic and extremely useful policy that you may be paying for and not even know it: Personal Injury Protection benefits or PIP.

What is PIP?

It is an optional coverage that the driver can get money from when he or she is injured. PIP is no-fault because a driver can recover money under the policy even if he or she caused the crash.

The $2,500 for every person in the vehicle amount is the lowest amount of coverage a Texas driver can buy, but for a few dollars more each month, you can purchase up to $100,000 in benefits. This large amount presumably will never be necessary, but you never know.  And even if you have health insurance, often these carriers refuse to pay if you were in a car accident. Or they pay some of your bills but subrogate, that is demand reimbursement of bills paid.

PIP pays in addition to the at-fault driver’s maximum of $30,000 for any one person injured and $60,000 for all people injured in a collision that most drivers have available under their liability policies and other insurance that may be available.

What does PIP Cover?

You are not required to carry PIP, but the insurance company is required to offer the policy to you under the Texas Insurance Code, Section 1952.151. You must decline the policy in writing if you choose not to purchase it. My office is sometimes able to find $2,500 per occupant of the vehicle for our clients by showing insurance companies they did not get the rejection in writing.

PIP pays for your medical treatments up to your policy limit, similar to medical payments coverage — but there, you have to repay your company when you recover benefits from the at-fault driver. PIP may also pay for a caregiver, 80 percent of your lost wages, and funeral expenses in the worst case scenario. 

Who Does PIP Cover?

Your PIP policy covers you, members of your family, your passengers and other injured people. Your PIP policy gives you immediate access to medical care because, unlike health insurance, hospitals and many doctors accept all types of PIP auto insurance. And no, it doesn’t make your rates go up.

Does this Mean Your Insurance Company Automatically Pays?

Automatically receiving a check in the mail would be nice. Unfortunately, insurance doesn’t work that way. Insurance companies make more money by paying less to claimants. Delays and denials are common ways to reduce their costs. Of course this is frustrating, and totally unfair to claimants. So what can you do?

The most common reason insurance companies give for denial is lack of proof. USAA, to name one insurance company, is extremely difficult in this area. I can provide you with all the information you need and guide you through the process of making a successful claims application. I also can press the insurance company to make a timely decision and negotiate for your rightful compensation.

Recover Your Maximum Possible Damages

You are leaving money on the table if you don’t know how insurance works. Berenson Injury Law has been negotiating and filing suits to resolve auto accidents for the past 37 years. In addition, we negotiate with your medical providers to reduce their bills so you get more money.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

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