How Does Personal Injury Protection Work?
You may have heard that the law requires that all drivers in Florida have insurance. That’s true but it’s really only partially true. The type of insurance that is required is known as personal injury protection, or PIP insurance. But what is PIP insurance and how does it help you?
Immediate Help for Accident Victims
When PIP insurance was created and required by the Florida government, it realized that accident victims need medical attention, and they usually need it pretty quickly. If everybody in an accident had to sue to get money to go to a doctor, it would take too long for people to get the immediate medical care they needed after an accident.
So, PIP was created. PIP is often also called “no fault insurance,” because it pays you regardless of whether you were at fault or not. In fact it will pay you even if you were the only car involved in an accident (such as if you ran into a tree).
Who PIP Covers
PIP will also cover any passengers in your car, if they don’t have their own PIP; if you are injured as a passenger in someone else’s car, your PIP “travels with you,” and you would make your claim against your own PIP policy. If you don’t have a car, but you are in an accident, you may also be covered by a PIP policy that is held by a blood relative or spouse that you live with. It even covers kids who may be injured in a school bus.
What it Pays and Doesn’t Pay
Although expedient and easy to get, PIP is somewhat limited.
The good news is that PIP will pay 80% of your medical expenses related to your accident, up to a maximum of $10,000 (and minus any deductible, which you choose when you get your car insurance policy). That money can go to almost any kind of medical specialist, and you can choose and use your own doctor.
You also have the choice of applying PIP to your lost wages related to your accident. However with lost wages, PIP will only pay 60% of those wages.
This money is paid directly to the doctor (for medical expenses), and you don’t need to sue anybody or file anything to get it, other than making a claim with the actual insurance company.
But as you see, PIP is limited; $10,000 is often not enough for more serious accidents, injuries or medical procedures. PIP also doesn’t pay for your pain and suffering, or disability or mental trauma, or any of those intangible but very real consequences of having an accident.
For that you’ll need to make a claim on the other driver’s liability insurance policy. There is no legal requirement to carry liability insurance, and problems can arise when whoever hit you, has no liability coverage insurance.
Were you in a car accident? Call the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Pike & Lustig today for help getting compensation for your injuries.