After I represented a client yesterday at an Examination Under Oath to help him obtain $20,000.00 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits available under two policies, I realized that many of my clients do not know how this valuable coverage works and wanted to explain it here in case you had any questions.
The Texas Insurance Code, Sections 1952.151 thru 1952.161, governs PIP. Texas automobile insurance companies are some of the few that are actually required to offer Texans the right to purchase PIP in the amount of $2,500 (or more, if they choose to buy the additional coverage) as well as Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists benefits in the amount of $30,000 per person/ $60,000 for all persons injured.
Drivers must reject these coverages if they do not want to purchase them. I have successfully obtained this money for my clients — even when they did not purchase these benefits – by proving the lack of rejections, including for the man who was seriously injured in the vehicle pictured above.
If a driver has purchased PIP, all of his passengers are covered — again, for the client injured in the photograph, I also obtained the maximum payment for his wife. We have filed claims for the driver and as many as five other people ($15,000 total just for PIP), so this is clearly a source of money that should not be overlooked.
PIP pays for reasonable expenses that arise from an accident involving a motor vehicle for (A) medical care, (B) 80% of lost income, and (C) reinbursement for reasonable expenses for essential services ordinarily performed by the injured person.
A person does not have to be driving a car. We have also submitted claims for people who were riding bicycles or hit while walking down the street.
Another attractive feature of PIP is that it does not have to be repaid, even if there is a recovery from the at fault third party, unlike Medical Payments and other recoveries which do. However, there is an offset against a liability claim filed by a passenger against his driver or when a smaller UM/UIM claim is involved.
Section 1952.156 establishes time limits for presenting and paying PIP benefits, in conjunction with the Prompt Payment of Claims Statute set forth in Insurance Code Section 542.051. Texas law allows for lawsuits with stiff penalties if an insurance company delays or denies PIP claims without a valid reason. If the insurance company denies my client that I mentioned in the first paragraph, my client will have to file suit so that he can collect his benefits.
Oh, and filing for PIP and UM/UIM does NOT make your rates go up.
We are happy to assist our clients with filing the applications and medical and employment documentation and handling all details of this process.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision in North Texas, I would like to represent you to make sure that you receive ALL the money you are legally entitled to receive. Please contact me by phone or email for a free consultation.