Personal injury claims can provide a vital source of compensation to victims who suffer injuries in car accidents caused by the negligent or careless acts of others. While these claims allow victims to prove that another party – such as a driver who drove distracted, while intoxicated, violated a traffic law, or committed another act of negligence – should be held liable for the damages they suffered, it is not always the case that victims will be able to secure the full amount of compensation they need to be made whole – especially if there are insurance issues involving coverage.
When personal injury claims don’t provide the necessary compensation victims need and deserve, there may be other options for making the difference. One option is to seek payment through a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim filed with a victim’s own insurance provider (or a victim driver’s insurance if the personal filing a claim was injured as a passenger). PIP can be an important safety net for those who have this coverage, which is why it is important to understand how it works in Texas.
Our Houston car accident attorneys at The Daspit Law Firm work closely with clients to educate them about their rights, insurance issues relevant to their cases, and how insurance coverage like PIP can make the difference when it matters most. Below, we have answered a few common questions we receive about PIP insurance:
What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP)?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a type of insurance coverage that pays for medical bills and lost income caused by car accidents. As no-fault coverage, PIP pays regardless of who is at fault – something that can prove beneficial to victims who require funds to cover expenses and pressing financial strains while their personal injury claim is pending. PIP coverage, like any other insurance coverage, can be purchased in various amounts, typically in increments of $2,500, $5,000, or $10,000.
Who is covered by PIP?
Because Texas law requires all insurance companies to offer PIP coverage to customers who purchase auto insurance, many motorists in the state have this coverage. However, some may opt out of purchasing PIP insurance, especially when they have financial limitations that already make it difficult to purchase minimum auto liability coverage. When a person does purchase PIP coverage, they and any passengers will be covered by the policy (in accordance to its policy limits) in the event of an accident, no matter who is at fault. For example, the total amount of coverage – say $20,000 – covers each injured party in the collision. If you and two passengers suffer injuries in a wreck, you and both injured passengers could receive up to $20,000 for resulting damages.
Is PIP coverage worth it?
Just as we stress the importance of purchasing uninsured motorist (UM) coverage to act as a safety net in the event of injuries caused by drivers who don’t carry any insurance, we also believe in the importance of carrying PIP insurance. That’s because PIP coverage can not only ease financial burdens when you or your passengers suffer injuries in wrecks (including wrecks you caused and wrecks caused by other drivers), it can also provide an essential source of compensation in cases where the policy limits of an at-fault driver’s liability insurance is not enough to cover all of your damages. This may be the case when you suffer serious or catastrophic injuries, or when you accumulate medical expenses and lost wages that exceed an at-fault driver’s policy – which is often the case when at-fault drivers only have state-mandated minimum liability insurance, or are otherwise underinsured. When the unexpected happens, PIP coverage can supplement your damages, and make the difference when it matters most.
What does PIP pay?
Personal Injury Protection coverage pays you and any injured victims up to the policy limits, per victim. Although it does not cover all damages recoverable in personal injury cases (such as emotional injuries and non-economic damages), it can pay for the following:
- Medical treatment expenses
- Costs of related ambulance, hospital, and / or nursing services
- Funeral / burial expenses (in cases of wrongful death)
- 80% of lost income caused by your injuries
Learn More About Pursuing the Full & Fair Compensation You Deserve
If you have questions about your legal rights after any car accident, including those involving PIP coverage, our team at The Daspit Law Firm is available 24/7 to help. Contact us today to request a FREE consultation.