What Does Personal Injury Protection Insurance Cover in a Car Accident?
I was involved in a single car collision. A car suddenly stopped in front of me without signaling or anything. I slammed on the breaks and switched lanes. That is when my car spun out of control, hit a steel light pole before jumping a curb, hitting another pole, and finally crashing into the break wall/post underneath the freeway.
My brother (passenger) and I (driver) were taken by ambulance to the area hospital to get checked out. Injuries included whiplash, miofacial sprain, shoulder sprain, neck sprain, and headache. We were given a prescription for drugs: Tramadol and Ultram.
My insurance company has paid all but 2 medical bills from each of us (4 bills total unpaid - emergency physician bills and ambulance bills). There was never a settlement in the correct amount of money that we would receive that was made. The insurance adjuster just said they would pay bills directly, not sending me any compensation. I never signed any kind of release form either. This accident occurred on March 16, 2011. The car that stopped suddenly didn't intervene.
What about Personal injury protection compensation? It is a part of my policy. Thanks!
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ANSWER for "What Does Personal Injury Protection Insurance Cover in a Car Accident?":
Although each state has its own insurance laws and regulations the State of Texas requires Personal Injury Protection, more commonly referred to as “PIP” to be automatically included in each car insurance policy sold. The law further states that although the insurance companies are required to place the added protection in each policy, that a customer has the option of declining the coverage.
To do so the customer must make an affirmative decision to decline. Doing so is foolhardy, as it covers so much and costs so little (a few extra dollars a month).
Presuming you did not decline PIP protection when you purchased or renewed your policy you will be covered. Texas Insurance Code, Section 1952.151 clearly states PIP provides payment of all reasonable expenses which arise from a collision and that the payments shall be for:
A) Necessary medical care
B) Lost income
C) Reimbursement for reasonable expenses for essential services ordinarily performed by the injured person. This might include your being reimbursed for paying someone to cut your lawn while you are recovering. The amounts and types of payments though must be reasonable in nature or they will be declined.
Texas law also states that the minimum amount of PIP sold or included in any automobile policy shall be $2,500 with no maximum limit. Each insurance company may offer some variance in maximum amounts so you would have to check with your company to find out how much you have.
Another nice thing about PIP is that it covers you regardless of fault. In your case that would be a good thing.
It is easy to be confused by some policies. The law requires you have liability insurance and the liability portion of the insurance is what has been paying for the medical bills you and your friend incurred after the collision. But the law also allows you to purchase additional insurance which may cover some of the same medical care.
Some call having PIP “double dipping” or “double recovery”. Call it what they will it does pay you over, above and separate from the amount the liability portion of your policy covers.
Check with your insurance company or read over your policy. Hopefully you did not decline coverage.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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