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Posted On 11.22.12 by in Auto Accidents
Most Maryland automobile insurance policies include Personal Injury Protection, known as PIP. PIP is insurance that typically helps you and your passengers in the event of an accident. It is a type of “no-fault” insurance, meaning that it provides benefits regardless of fault.
How Much PIP Can I Get?
We recommend that all Maryland drivers get the maximum amount of PIP. Insurance companies offer a minimum of $2,500 PIP policies, and some offer policies as high as $10,000. The default policy for most situations is $2,500, but insurance companies will allow motorists to waive PIP in exchange for a very slight reduction in insurance premiums. The savings is very minimal, and we strongly advise against waiving PIP. In order for a waiver of PIP to be valid, there are very specific criteria that an insurance company must follow. We have had several cases where the insurance company claimed our clients waived PIP, but the waiver was not in compliance with Maryland law.
What Does PIP Do?
Personal Injury Protection insurance pays for the immediate needs of people hurt in an accident. It will pay (up to the policy limits) for things like medical care, funeral costs, prescriptions, household services and up to 85% of lost wages. The advantage of PIP is that auto accident victims do not have to wait for an accident settlement or verdict from the negligent driver’s insurance company, but can recoup some losses quickly. These payments are usually made within 30 days after expenses are submitted to the insurance company.
When Is PIP Available?
PIP is available in most automobile collisions, but there are a few exceptions. Buses, taxis and motorcycles typically do not have PIP (though, you may be able to make a PIP claim under your own automobile insurance, if you have it). Vehicles owned by the State of Maryland are not required to have PIP insurance. Some people waive PIP, which means that it does not apply to them or any passengers in their vehicle (excepting children under the age of 16). Finally, PIP is unavailable in cases of intentional collisions and when the vehicle is used in the commission of certain crimes.
There are two important PIP deadlines. The first is the deadline to apply for PIP, which is one year after the date of accident. The application must usually be on a specific form provided by the insurance company. The second deadline applies for benefits that PIP must pay. PIP will only pay for expenses and wages incurred within three years of the automobile accident.
If you have questions about your PIP coverage after a Maryland automobile accident, contact our personal injury lawyers at 1-800-776-4529, or send us some brief information online. We’ll put our expertise to work for you right away.
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