This article is by Steve Raiser, a premier NYC Personal Injury Lawyer. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, also often called No-Fault insurance is a minimal car insurance policy that is required in all states that are considered no-fault accident states. Some at-fault insurance states also require a minimal PIP policy to help cover medical expenses related to a car accident.
In states that require PIP insurance, they will also require property damage policies. These additional policies cover damages to property that is involved in the accident such as the other person’s car, a fence or a building. This type of policy only covers the amount up to the policy limit.
What Does Personal Injury Protection Cover
It should be understood that each state regulates insurance policies and that there may be variations from state to state on what is covered. However, under most guidelines, PIP insurance provides the following benefits:
• Covers 80 percent of all medical expenses related to the accident up to the policy limit
• Will reimburse up to 60 percent of lost wages due to the accident up to the policy limit
• Will pay up to $5,000 in funeral expenses
Who Is Covered By PIP Insurance?
In most states, the following people are covered by a personal injury policy:
• Policy holder and main driver of the vehicle
• Family members of the policy holder that live in the home
• Passengers in the vehicle that are not covered by their own insurance policy
• Authorized drivers of the vehicle that are non-family members
• Pedestrians and bicyclists under specific terms of the policy
These coverages generally only apply to events that occur within the state that the policy is issued. If a person is operating their vehicle outside of their home state, a PIP policy will only cover the policy holder and their immediate family that reside in their home. Passengers other than these family members are not covered for events that take place outside of the home state. It should also be noted that accidents that occur outside of the home state are only covered for vehicles that are owned by the policy holder.
The PIP policy also often covers injuries that occur in a vehicle that are a result of road rage or carjacking.
The Right To Sue For Injuries
In most states, the implementation of PIP coverage was to help reduce the amount of lawsuits that occur regarding vehicle accidents. However, PIP coverage often does not have a large enough policy limit to cover actual expenses. In an effort to sell policies and to meet the legal demands of the state, many insurance companies offer very low value policies so that consumers will purchase their plans. Sadly, these low value policies often do not cover the tue expenses associated with an injury.
If you have been injured in a car accident, even with no-fault insurance, it will be in your best interest to speak with a personal injury attorney about your case. You may be entitled to additional benefits under state law and the insurance policy for your losses. It may also be necessary to sue for compensation to cover your medical expenses not covered by the policy.
In many cases, the policy limits are reached within one day of being in the emergency room. After that, the injured party is now responsible for all of the medical expenses associated with the event.
It is a misconception that if you have a PIP policy you are prevented from seeking additional compensation for your losses. Speak with an attorney about the facts of your case and the terms of your policy. Your attorney will explain to you in detail what rights you have in your state as a victim of a vehicle accident with injuries.
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