Increasing Your Recovery Through a PIP Insurance Claim
Personal injury protection coverage is often referred to as “PIP.” That term generally includes medical payment and medical expense coverage. When successful, a PIP claim can greatly increase your case’s recovery; in other cases, a PIP claim can act as a hindrance and prevent you from obtaining the maximum amount of damages to which you are entitled. If you are trying to determine whether a PIP claim is the best option for you, our attorneys at Simeone & Miller, LLP are here to break down the basics.
What Is PIP Insurance?
PIP insurance provides first-party, no-fault coverage, which means you will recover from your own insurance company and do not need to prove that another driver was at fault (or that you were not at fault) to recover. You must simply prove that you were injured in the accident and that the bills you are submitting for payment are fair and reasonable and resulted from the accident.
Each state has different deadlines and procedures for making a PIP claim and submitting medical and lost income documentation for payment. It is, therefore, vital to know which state governs the policy under which you are seeking PIP and to comply with the applicable deadlines and rules.
Unfortunately, some PIP claims can result in litigation because there can be a dispute as to whether treatment was caused by the accident and whether the amount of the medical bills is reasonable. Thus, if you decide to submit a PIP insurance claim, it is a good idea to consult an attorney to prevent a claim from turning into a full-scale legal battle.
Please note: While in most states, PIP coverage is only available to drivers and passengers of covered vehicles, in some states, such as Maryland, a pedestrian can make a PIP claim (and a claim for negligence) against the driver whose vehicle struck them.
Can I File a Legal Claim and a PIP Claim?
In most states, you can submit a claim to receive PIP benefits from your own insurer in addition to bringing forth a legal claim against the negligent driver who caused the accident and your injuries. On the other hand, making a PIP claim can sometimes prevent you from seeking legal compensation from the negligent driver. This is important to note because PIP generally only pays for medical bills and, in some cases, lost wages, but never pain and suffering. Therefore, in many cases, you do not want to sacrifice your legal claim against the other party, especially if their negligence is clear, by making a PIP claim.
If your case allows you to pursue both a legal and PIP claim, PIP can be extremely helpful in settling cases because it provides another source of available insurance and, therefore, increases the amount of your recovery. Moreover, you can usually recover PIP before you are able to settle your negligence case against the other driver, which can help pay for your treatment or compensate for missed work and lost income while you receive such treatment for your injuries.