PIP Insurance

How Personal Injury Protection Insurance Works

When you’re injured in an accident your health insurance policy will cover some of your expenses. If your insurance plan has medical payments coverage they’ll cover some of the costs, too.

In both cases, these coverages are concerned only with your medical bills.

PIP coverage steps in to take care of other expenses associated with being injured. For example, it’s the coverage that takes care of lost wages if you can’t work for two weeks after your auto accident. It can cover the babysitter you had to hire while you were in the hospital.

 It can also take care of additional medical costs if they’re above what your health insurance and medical payments coverage will take care of. For example, many health policies and medical coverage agreements won’t pay costs associated with being transported via ambulance. PIP coverage would. 

 Keep in mind this payment can be offset against your uninsured/underinsured claim. For example, you’ve bought an uninsured motorist policy with a $10,000 limit. Your PIP pays out $2500. You won’t get $12,500 total. You’ll get $10,000 total. The first $2500 will come from your PIP policy and the remaining $7,500 will come from your UM/UIM policy. 

This type of insurance pays out regardless of who is at-fault for the accident. As PIP coverage is a “no-fault” policy, you can make a claim without making any impact on your  liability claims. 

That’s because “liability” covers all economic and non-economic damages that the at-fault party has caused. The other driver’s liability policy will be paying for the rest of your damages, not their PIP policy.

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The jury will never hear about any PIP payments you’ve received. Texas law makes it clear that juries may not consider whether any insurance company has made any payments, or not. In a personal injury case, the matter at issue is whether the other party is liable and how much they are liable for. 

This is great news, since it means you can get PIP money while you’re still trying to get a fair liability settlement. This may not solve all your problems, but it will still help a great deal. The bad news is that insurance companies rarely just volunteer to pay out those funds. Often, you’ll need your attorney to nudge them on your behalf. You might also need help if they decide to deny your claim for spurious reasons.

This coverage also takes care of any passengers who are injured while riding in your car. Indeed, if you’re a passenger injured in an accident you can often get coverage both from the driver’s PIP policy, and your own. You would, of course, only be able to collect up to the amount in damages.

When you bought your Texas auto insurance policy you should have been offered at least $2,500 of PIP insurance. Your insurance company may offer PIP coverage of up to $10,000.  

If it is at all economically feasible for you to do so, purchasing this insurance is a smart thing to do. The little bit of sticker shock you’ll get over the monthly rate increase is nothing compared to what you’ll feel when you don’t have the right insurance coverage to handle all of the fallout from your auto accident.

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