Personal injury protection insurance, also called PIP in short, is one of those important but sometimes overlooked types of insurance coverage that’s nonetheless crucial for protecting yourself against personal disaster. PIP insurance essentially works as an extended type of automotive insurance coverage that gives you extended coverage for medical and related “out-of-pocket” expenses caused by personal injuries during a car accident.
Having PIP coverage can not only mean the difference between effective and timely access to quality medical care that can save you from long-term suffering, it can also protect you from financial catastrophe caused by necessary but expensive medical bills.
What Kind of Coverage Does PIP Offer?
Personal injury protection is generally obtainable in states with no-fault and add-on insurance laws. In many of these states, it also happens to be mandatory by law, though Texas Personal Injury Protection Insurance coverage is optional in this state. With PIP, you can offset the costs caused by steep medical expenses and lost time resulting from injuries sustained during a car accident.
In other words, this type of insurance coverage not only covers a certain part of your direct medical expenses but also delivers protection against financial losses caused by lost time and secondary accident-related personal costs stemming from your injuries.
PIP insurance in Texas is particularly helpful in situations where the other driver in an accident, who may have been at fault, has only minimal liability protection that isn’t enough to cover your own medical bills. With Texas PIP coverage, you can gain access to compensation enough for sound healing time from your own provider instead of having to fight other parties or their insurance companies in court after an accident.
Specifically, PIP insurance partly overlaps with medical payments coverage but by itself offers protection against the following additional expenses:
Direct Medical Expenses: Medical expenses can accumulate extraordinarily quickly after a car accident and if your own expenses aren’t covered by the other driver’s liability insurance or if the accident was complicated and is still working its way through dispute, PIP can protect you early against ruinous medical spending.
Personal Injury Protection insurance coverage in Texas can pay for your medical treatments quickly and even cover the medical expenses of any others that are included in your policy coverage who were with you in the accident. PIP may even cover you for medical expenses if you were the pedestrian victim of a car accident, without having been in a vehicle of your own.
Lost Work income: PIP coverage can offer a measure of protection against the possibly huge income losses an accident causes by making you unable to work. With this additional coverage, you can arrange to have your typical earnings from work sources covered for the duration of your physical and therapeutic recovery. Speaking of therapeutic costs, we come to the next major benefit of PIP.
Rehabilitation and Therapy Costs: Direct medical expenses caused by a car accident are often wholly or partially covered by medical payments coverage but often, this type of more basic coverage doesn’t include protection against secondary medical expenses such as physical and rehabilitative therapy costs. Personal Injury Protection can however cover exactly these additional costs of accident recovery that include physiotherapy, bodily rehabilitation and other therapies deemed necessary for effective healing.
Home Support services: One other major benefit of PIP coverage that medical payments insurance likely won’t include is payment for home support services. These may include hiring assistants to help you with household chores or childcare costs during rehabilitation. It could also possibly include the costs of installing mobility aides in your home while you recover. Personal Injury Protection coverage could offset or wholly cover the costs of all such expenses if arranged well by personal injury law professionals.
Death Benefits: Finally, some PIP policies include payment of death benefits to your family or other beneficiaries in case you suffer an accident that’s fatal. This payout from personal injury coverage can be enormously helpful in letting your family cover funeral and medical expenses while keeping more compensation from any life insurance or other policies you may have bought as well.
What’s the Difference Between PIP and Medical Expenses Coverage?
Medical Payments coverage in your auto insurance policy can be great for payouts of medical bills such as clinical specialist visits, scanning equipment costs and hospital time. What it normally does not cover though are all the associated costs that a serious accident can pour onto your head. As we mentioned above, PIP covers you against expenses from lost work time, household services during recovery and physical therapy costs. Medical payments coverage normally does not.
Do You Need Personal Injury Protection Insurance in Texas?
Personal injury Protection insurance in Texas is often included by default in car insurance policies. However, it’s an optional feature that you’re not obligated to have. You may opt out of it if you specifically request to do so.
With that said, it would be a good idea to include this extremely useful coverage as part of your overall insurance simply because it’s so helpful when it unexpectedly most counts. It’s impossible to know when or under what circumstances you might suffer a car accident, or how well covered the other driver will be. If their coverage is low or if the accident was complicated and involved multiple vehicles, you might find yourself fighting for payouts while also battling your own medical difficulties.
This is not a good situation to be in, for you or your family. PIP can make dealing with an accident much smoother while costing very little extra over your typical car insurance payments.
How Do I Get PIP Coverage and File a Claim?
If you live in Texas, PIP will probably be automatically included with your auto insurance policy. If you should suffer an accident as a driver or even as a pedestrian victim of another car, you can file your Personal Injury Protection claim with your insurance provider. Legal time limits for filing PIP claims can be highly specific in some states and subject to regulatory change, so it might be a good idea for you to consult with a specifically qualified personal injury lawyer in Texas if you think you need additional coverage or are having problems claiming your Personal Injury Protection coverage.
If you have questions or need a free consultation call our Houston Car Accident Lawyer for a free consultation if you live in Houston or surrounding areas. If you live in Austin, Round Rock, or in central Texas call our Austin Car Accident Lawyer for a free consultation.