If you are seriously hurt in a car or pedestrian accident, you may wonder who will pay for your medical treatments and lost earnings. One option is to add Personal Injury Protection — or PIP for short — coverage to your auto insurance policy in Texas.
PIP can help cover many auto accident injury expenses without hassling with the other driver’s insurance company. In addition, this coverage pays for your damages, no matter who was at fault for the accident.
What Is Personal Injury Protection?
Personal Injury Protection is first-party insurance coverage that will pay your medical bills, lost earnings, and other financial losses if you’re hurt in a car accident. PIP will also pay for your car passengers’ medical bills if they are hurt in the crash.
In Texas, PIP coverage is required. However, you can sign a waiver that declines the coverage. However, turning down PIP may leave you unprotected if you suffer a serious injury in a car accident and face thousands in medical bills and lost wages.
PIP offers relief for your financial needs when you cannot wait for the outcome of a lawsuit or insurance settlement. With this in mind, it’s important to understand exactly what a PIP will — and won’t — cover.
What Does Personal Injury Protection Cover in Texas?
PIP coverage in Texas pays you and your passengers if the auto accident causes injuries. The coverage kicks in regardless of who caused the accident. So, PIP is an effective way to cover your medical bills and lost earnings quickly and without insurance company hassles. PIP typically covers these expenses in Texas:
- Reasonable medical bills, such as essential surgeries, X-rays, eye and dental treatments, medical procedures, and professional nursing
- Ambulance services
- Rehabilitation for your injuries
- Funeral and burial costs
- Costs of hiring someone to care for you at home
- Lost wages resulting from the auto accident
- Replacement of essential services, including household maintenance and family care, if the injured party doesn’t work outside the home
Texas requires all drivers to be offered PIP coverage of $2,500. However, you also can buy $5,000 or $10,000 of coverage. This could be a wise choice if you want a higher level of protection in case of a serious accident.
Do You Need PIP If You Have Health Insurance?
Many drivers believe they don’t need PIP coverage if they have health insurance. But did you know that your health insurance policy may not cover all of your medical bills if you’re in a car accident? Health insurance won’t cover your lost wages, either.
Also, after a serious accident, the last thing most of us want is to worry about who or what is going to pay for our medical bills and lost earnings.
Personal Injury Protection gives you peace of mind if the worst ever happens. PIP ensures you will have your medical bills, lost earnings, and related expenses covered quickly if you’re in an accident.
If your expenses exceed your PIP coverage, check with your health insurance provider if they’ll cover additional medical bills. You also can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover other damages.
How Do You File a PIP Claim?
PIP only gives you coverage for losses that happen within three years of an auto accident. Remember to report all personal injuries and expenses to your PIP provider as soon as you know them.
Remember to include all bills, receipts, proof of payments, and related documents when filing a PIP claim. Doing so will ensure the case is processed quickly.
Depending on the expenses you have, your PIP claim may have various reimbursement levels:
- PIP coverage pays for 100% of your medical treatment, ambulance trips, and funeral expenses. Remember to document all treatments and costs. Also, get documentation from your service provider to prove the expenses are related to the accident.
- PIP typically only covers 80% of lost earnings because of an accident. You will need to provide proof of income before the accident and that the injuries were the direct cause of your loss of income.
How Much Does PIP Insurance Cost?
The cost of PIP in Texas depends on where you live, your driving history, and how much coverage you want. Comparing PIP quotes from three or four insurance companies is recommended before selecting a policy.
How Can Johnson Garcia Help?
When you are injured in a car accident, you may have serious injuries that require weeks or even months of painful recovery. You also could be out of work and unable to pay any of your bills. Fortunately, you can purchase PIP coverage in Texas. Having PIP gives you peace of mind that your health and financial needs will be met if you’re ever in an accident.
That said, it can be a confusing time if you’re in a car accident and unsure of your legal options. Fortunately, the attorneys at Johnson Garcia have over 35 years of combined legal experience litigating personal injury claims. Contact Johnson Garcia today to see how they can help.