How Your PIP Coverage Could Impact Your Car Accident Settlement

PIP coverage, also referred to as no-fault insurance, is a type of car insurance that is mandatory in most states. Its purpose is to cover any lost wages, medical expenses, and other damages that a person may incur as a result of a car accident. Unlike other forms of compensation, a PIP claim can cover some of your medical bills and lost earnings, regardless of whether the accident was your fault. 

Most states require that drivers acquire PIP coverage to eliminate the number of car accident insurance claims, especially after minor accidents. The laws regarding no-fault claims are different in every state. Some limit the total benefits that you can secure from coverage, while others have no limit.

How Does PIP Coverage Work?

A PIP claim is one that you make against your insurer after you are involved in a car accident. The compensation is meant to cover medical bills and some of the earnings up to the no-fault limit in your state or the total worth of your coverage.

Some states use the two-part medical bill limit in determining the total amount that you receive from your PIP coverage. Here the PIP insurer only has to pay a small portion of the medical bill while their health insurer covers the rest.

If your medical bills exceed your state’s no-fault limit, you are responsible for paying them, whether or not you have health insurance coverage. However, if you are on state-run medical insurance coverage or Medicaid, these entities may pay the remaining medical bills.

Most states don’t allow the injured individuals to claim damages against the negligent driver under PIP coverage or personal insurance unless the injury is deemed sufficiently severe, or when their medical bills exceed a specific limit.

PIP Benefits Contribute to Your Total Compensation

Your PIP coverage and the total benefits that you receive after compensation affects the full amount that you receive in your car accident settlement. When evaluating your claim, insurance adjusters use the total value of your PIP coverage to determine your claim’s valuation. The total amount that you can receive is, therefore, determined after deducting the value of your PIP coverage.

This makes sense because you will have received the total compensation allowed on your PIP policy by the time your settlement is completed. However, the limit still applies even if you have not exhausted your PIP benefits.

How to Make a PIP Claim

As mentioned, PIP benefits cover your medical bills and other expenses before the person at fault for the accident becomes liable for damages. Your car accident lawyer can make a claim with the insurer for your present and future damages. The attorney is required to present your medical records to the insurer to prove your injuries and reinforce your claim.

Any recommendations from your physicians for future medical care and expenses related to the accident are also necessary to help the insurer make a proper estimate. The insurer may also require that you undergo a full medical examination with their preferred physician.

On receiving this information from your car accident lawyer, the insurer determines the value of your claim and attempts to settle it without taking the matter to court. However, if you fail to come to an agreement, the lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf. Generally, the success of your PIP claim depends on your cooperation with the insurer. Failure to comply may lead to termination of benefits. Letting an attorney guide you through the process makes everything much easier and more manageable.

Author: Brandon Park