Personal injury protection (PIP) is a valuable form of insurance coverage that assists with the financial burden of expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, and funeral costs resulting from a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. The requirements for this coverage differ among states.
In the event of an auto accident, your PIP insurance can play a crucial role in helping to cover medical expenses for both you and any injured passengers. Importantly, it doesn’t matter who is responsible for the accident – PIP insurance will still kick in. This type of car insurance coverage is even applicable when you’re not driving. For instance, if you’re injured after being struck by a car while walking, your PIP coverage may contribute to covering the cost of your injuries.
Why might I need Personal Injury Protection?
First and foremost, if your standard health insurance provider is aware that the medical treatment you require is due to a car accident, they may decline to cover some or all of the necessary treatment costs. In cases where there is no Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or any other applicable insurance apart from the at-fault driver’s insurance, you or your attorney will need to resubmit the claim to your health insurance in hopes of getting the bills paid; however, this can be a challenging and sometimes unsuccessful process. When insured clients are burdened with unpaid medical bills owed to a provider, with some even turned over to collection agencies during their claim pendency, the injured parties are often less inclined to pursue additional required treatment. This situation not only hinders the client’s health and recovery but also creates other issues.
Secondly, not obtaining necessary medical treatment can adversely affect your claim’s valuation. As mentioned in previous articles, the amount you can claim for pain and suffering is significantly influenced by your incurred medical expenses. If you fail to receive adequate treatment, your claim’s overall value may diminish.
Thirdly, when you owe car accident-related medical debt directly to a healthcare provider, it is expected that you pay off that debt in full to them. On the contrary, if PIP covers that debt, the reimbursement subrogation claim (request for reimbursement) PIP makes is often substantially less than the actual amount of medical expenses incurred. This disparity occurs because of contractual agreements between insurance providers and healthcare practitioners regarding reimbursements.
Lastly, owing a bill directly to a medical provider can result in losing your entitlement to invoke the Mahler Reduction or assert the Made Whole Doctrine. The Mahler Reduction mandates that an insurance company covers a portion of your attorney’s fees. In simpler terms, when PIP pays for your medical bills, the amount you have to reimburse PIP is usually less than what you would otherwise have to repay directly to a medical provider.
Do I have to purchase PIP coverage?
The state of Texas mandates that insurance companies offer a minimum of $2,500 in PIP insurance to every driver. However, if you find yourself needing extra financial protection, you can typically increase your coverage to either $5,000 or $10,000. The policy limit, which encompasses each individual injured in an accident, pertains to the maximum amount your insurance provider will pay per person.
Interestingly enough, Texas drivers have the option to decline PIP insurance coverage. While insurers are obligated to provide the coverage option, there is no requirement for you as a driver to accept it. If you wish to opt out of this coverage though, be ready to submit your refusal in writing.
Should you decide against PIP coverage in Texas, bear in mind that if another driver is at fault in an accident involving you, their liability insurance would still provide some level of coverage. As Texas does not have a tort threshold, no claim is considered too small for the other driver’s liability insurance to handle. However, if you are found at fault and lack PIP coverage, be aware that insurance won’t come to your rescue when it comes time to pay any of the medical bills incurred by both you and your passengers.
What does Personal Injury Protection pay for?
In Texas, personal injury protection coverage can offer invaluable assistance by covering you and your passengers in the unfortunate event of a car accident that results in injuries, regardless of who is at fault. The various expenses covered by PIP include:
- Reasonable medical costs, such as necessary surgeries, X-rays, dental treatments, eye care procedures, medical procedures, prosthetic devices, and professional nursing services
- Transportation costs associated with ambulance services
- Rehabilitation therapy services for recovery
- Funeral service fees in the case of a fatality
- Compensation for lost income due to the accident
If you’ve been in an accident and are unsure if you have PIP coverage, contact us today for a free consultation.
Named one of the “Best Car Accident Lawyers in Dallas” by Expertise.com, Brian Brunson is Dallas personal injury attorney who is dedicated to helping clients who have suffered a car, truck, or motorcycle injury through the negligent or wrongful conduct of other drivers. In addition, his professionalism is unmatched and the firms’ client reviews speak for themselves.
We proudly serve the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and surrounding areas, our office supports the legal needs of a wide variety of clients. Let the Law Office of Brian Brunson be your advocate in your time of need and help you put your life back together. If we can’t win or settle your case, you don’t pay a dime! We know it can be daunting to take that first step after you’ve been hurt. Contact Brian Brunson today via email or call us toll-free at 1-844-41-WRECK. We can help, when no one else will.