What does Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Cover?
Car accidents can be unexpected and debilitating, causing physical and emotional distress and financial burdens. That’s where Personal Injury Protection (PIP) comes into play. Personal injury protection is a critical component of auto insurance that covers your own medical expenses and related costs resulting from injuries sustained in a car accident. It’s essential to understand how it works and what the benefits of obtaining this type of coverage are.
What is Personal Injury Protection?
Personal injury protection is a type of auto insurance that covers your medical expenses and lost income if you’re injured in an accident. Importantly, PIP takes care of both you and any passengers within your vehicle at the time of the incident. PIP coverage applies no matter who was at fault for the collision.
What Does Personal Injury Protection Cover?
The exact coverage details of Personal injury protection may vary based on your state of residence, but here’s what it typically includes:
PIP helps pay for medical bills from injuries sustained in a car accident. This most commonly includes:
- Hospital stays
- Doctor visits
- Physical therapy
Personal injury protection can help compensate for lost wages if your injuries prevent you from working. It provides coverage for the income you would have earned had you been able to work during your recovery period.
PIP also covers rehabilitation expenses, including ongoing therapies or treatments to regain physical abilities after an accident. Whether it’s physiotherapy, occupational therapy, or other forms of rehabilitation, personal injury protection can help you access the necessary treatments for a smoother recovery.
In unfortunate cases where a car accident leads to a fatality, personal injury protection can help cover funeral and burial expenses. This aspect of PIP supports the families affected by such tragic events, relieving them of this financial burden during an already challenging time.
Personal injury protection may include coverage for essential services you require while recovering from injuries. This can include expenses such as assistance transportation to medical appointments or at home care. These benefits ensure that you have the necessary support during your recovery period.
How Does Personal Injury Protection Work in Texas?
Personal injury protection functions differently in Texas than in other states. Here’s a breakdown of how PIP works in Texas:
Coverage Must Be Offered, But it is Not Mandatory For Drivers
Under Texas law, insurance companies are obligated to offer a minimum of $2,500 per person in coverage. However, this requirement can be waived if you – the policyholder – provide a written rejection of it.
Basic PIP Benefits
Texas PIP policies typically provide a minimum of $2,500 in medical coverage per person involved in the accident. This coverage extends to the policyholder, their passengers, family members living in the household, and any driver with permission to drive the covered vehicle.
In Texas, PIP covers medical costs at 100% up to the limit set by your policy. The minimum coverage stands at $2,500 per person for each accident. However, if you desire more comprehensive protection, you can opt to increase this amount to either $5,000 or even up to $10,000. The policy will cover any reasonable accident-related medical expenses.
There’s an important time frame to keep in mind when filing a PIP claim. Insurers must settle reasonable medical and funeral costs linked to the accident, provided you file your claim within three years from the incident date.
Lost Income Coverage
Another significant benefit of PIP is its coverage for lost income. Specifically, it pays 80% of your lost wages following an accident. Additionally, if you’re unemployed at the time of the incident, PIP steps in to cover essential services that you normally perform for your family – this includes tasks such as childcare and lawn maintenance, for example.
What is Not Covered By Personal Injury Protection?
While personal injury protection provides valuable coverage for various expenses, there are certain limitations to what it covers. Here are some examples of what is typically not covered by personal injury protection:
Personal injury protection does not cover damage to your vehicle or other property from a car accident. It is solely focused on providing coverage for medical expenses and related costs.
Personal injury protection generally does not cover injuries sustained in non-collision incidents, such as slip and falls in a parking lot or injuries incurred while working on your vehicle. These incidents may fall under different insurance policies or require separate coverage.
PIP typically does not cover injuries caused intentionally, such as those resulting from a physical altercation or self-inflicted harm.
Injuries to Those in Other Vehicles
PIP generally does not cover injuries sustained by drivers or passengers in other vehicles involved in the accident. It is primarily designed to benefit the policyholder, their immediate family, and passengers.
Understanding Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
Reviewing your specific insurance policy to understand the exact limitations and exclusions of your personal injury protection coverage is important. Remember that coverage may vary depending on the insurance company, state regulations, and the specific terms of your policy.
If you have any doubts or questions about what is covered, you are strongly advised to seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer in Houston and Pasadena, Texas, and consult your insurance provider for clarification. Let us help you; contact The Callahan Law Firm to schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer.
Q: Do I need personal injury protection?
A: Personal injury protection is mandatory in some states and optional in others. Check your state’s requirements or consult your insurance provider to determine if you need PIP coverage.
Q: What does liability insurance cover?
A: Liability insurance provides coverage if you are responsible for an accident and cause injury to another person or damage to their property. There are two primary types of liability coverage:
Bodily Injury Liability: This helps cover the costs related to another person’s injuries, such as medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering.
Property Damage Liability: This covers the repair or replacement cost of another person’s vehicle or property that has been damaged in an accident where you were at fault.
Liability insurance does not pay for your own injuries or damages to your own vehicle; it solely extends protection when others have been affected due to your actions while driving.
Q: How much PIP coverage should I get?
A: Determining the amount of PIP coverage you need should be based on your state’s requirements, personal budget, and individual needs. Take into account possible medical expenditures due to an accident, potential lost income during recovery, and the extent of financial safeguards you want in place (in addition to any safeguards you already have in place, like savings and health insurance policies).
Q: Do I need PIP insurance if I have health insurance?
A: While having health insurance is helpful when you’re injured in a car accident, it doesn’t act as a substitute for the benefits offered by PIP coverage — namely covering lost wages and services you can’t perform due to injury. Therefore, adding PIP to your auto policy provides an extra layer of protection, which can be invaluable should you be involved in an accident.
Michael S Callahan is an attorney and founder of The Callahan Law Firm. He focuses his practice on representing individuals and families in personal injury cases involving motor vehicle and truck accidents, workplace accidents and defective products. With over 25 years of experience, he is dedicated to fighting on behalf of people whose lives have been forever altered by the negligence and carelessness of corporations and individuals. Originally trained as a mechanical engineer, Michael has been practicing law and fighting for justice for those who need it most since 1994. He is board-certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and a member of various esteemed legal associations. Outside of work, Michael enjoys spending quality time with his family, outdoor activities, and continually striving to improve as a trial lawyer and human being.