Personal injury protection -- also known as PIP -- falls under no-fault insurance guidelines, meaning your medical costs are covered by auto insurance no matter who caused the accident. Coverage usually includes such additional costs as lost wages, household maintenance and child care. Policies have limits on the amount, so you could exhaust your insurance coverage when you still face medical fees. Fortunately, you have options that might pick up costs.
Your PIP coverage depends on state laws. Some states require PIP or give you the option of carrying medical payments coverage, which covers limited medical costs, usually less than PIP. Medical payments coverage, or MedPay, offers protection for passengers in your car or occupants of another car. Most states allow you to have both coverage plans, and you can use medical payments coverage to handle costs when you exhaust your PIP coverage.
Your options depend on your type of coverage and the circumstances surrounding an accident. If you’re not at fault, the other driver has the responsibility to pay for medical costs through liability bodily injury protection. This insurance, required in most states, covers medical bills of other drivers, passengers and pedestrians if you are at fault. However, it does not cover your own medical costs if you’re the one at fault. PIP and liability insurance protect you if you are a passenger in any accident.
Health insurance plans can also help if your PIP limits are exhausted. Check with your insurance provider to see what treatments your plan covers. If it applies to your injuries, send claims to the company as soon as you can. Keep track of your PIP reimbursements when your health insurance coverage kicks in. Sometimes it can be difficult reading through medical bills, especially when recovering from an injury, but maintaining clear records avoids overlapping payments, confusion and loss of coverage from each insurer.
Personal Injury Attorney
Contact a personal injury attorney if the driver of another vehicle caused an accident in which you were injured. You can do this even before your PIP allowance begins. You don’t know how fast the coverage will be used up and any lapsed time in coverage could cost you more money. Depending on your injuries, your PIP coverage could be used up after emergency treatment. Your attorney can file a letter of protection that guarantees payment to your doctor. You’ll get the medical care you need and the agreement will prevent the doctor from turning over medical bills to collection agencies.
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