In Maryland, personal injury protection (PIP) is a required component of car insurance unless the vehicle owner waives it. PIP is often called “no-fault” protection, as it provides protection regardless of who is “at fault” in a car accident. For instance, if you are injured in an accident and the other driver (who is at fault) does not have adequate insurance to pay for your medical expenses, your PIP coverage will pay for your medical expenses related to the car accident.
Pedestrians and Cyclists – Does PIP Apply?
If you are walking across the street and a car strikes you, resulting in your injury, the driver’s PIP coverage may be extended to you. While the driver’s insurance company will most likely not volunteer this information, be sure to request it in writing. If both you and the driver have PIP, it is possible that these coverages will “stack.” If your injuries are so severe that the driver’s insurance does not cover all medical expenses, your PIP coverage will kick in to cover the remaining expenses. The PIP of the driver is considered primary, while your own coverage is secondary.
Similar to the pedestrian example above, if you are a passenger in someone else’s vehicle and are injured in an accident, their insurance should be looked into first. If they have PIP coverage, that will be the primary source of medical coverage for your injuries.
What Expenses Do PIP Cover?
Following an accident, PIP benefits will cover any necessary medical treatment that was sustained in the car accident, including:
Diagnostic bills (CT scans, MRI’s, x-rays, etc.)
PIP may also cover wages that were lost due to the accident. Typically this additional coverage will be supplemental and require an extra fee. For instance, if had to take time off from work because of an injury you sustained in a car accident, either the PIP coverage of the driver at fault or your PIP will coverage wage loss. In most cases, PIP will cover up to 80% of your wages, or a maximum of $200 per week.
How to File a Claim Following an Accident
After an accident, contact your insurance company. Your insurance provider will obtain information regarding the accident and will assign a claim number for your case. Once this happens, a “PIP adjuster” will take over your claim. Be sure to have all medical bills relating to the accident mailed to this adjuster’s attention. When having your medical bills mailed to your adjuster, be sure that your PIP claim number is referenced on the billing. By doing this, your adjuster will have an easier time organizing your PIP claim.
Contact Legal Assistance
While having PIP coverage may cost you a little extra each month, it will be worth it should you be injured in an automobile accident. Whether you have PIP or not, contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your case. The insurance companies will fight to pay the minimum amount possible, and may even try to deny your claims. The attorneys at Ingerman & Horwitz know how to get you the compensation you deserve.