Twelve states and the District of Columbia follow no-fault auto insurance rules and require drivers to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Georgia and Missouri are not among the no-fault states. However, both allow insurance companies to offer PIP as a coverage option. PIP will cover your medical expenses related to the accident as well as treatment for injuries suffered by any of your passengers. This is true regardless of who is ultimately found at fault for the accident. It may also cover some or all of the following costs:
- Lost wages while your or passengers recover from injuries
- The deductible from your health insurance plan
- The cost of hiring someone to provide services you could not perform on your own as you recovered such as housecleaning and childcare
- Funeral costs if applicable
How to File a Personal Injury Protection Claim
You should notify your insurance company immediately of any car accident, regardless of who was at fault. If you had medical expenses or had unpaid time away from work, let your agent know that you need to file a PIP claim as well. You should receive reimbursement up to the limits of your policy or the limit imposed by your state. Depending on the laws in your state, your medical insurance company may be responsible for paying a portion of your expenses as well.
You Are Responsible for Anything Your Policy Does Not Pay
You must pay the remainder of your medical costs once your personal injury protection policy has contributed up to the limit. If you receive Medicare or Medicaid, those programs should cover the rest of your medical bills. You will need to make financial arrangements with the healthcare facilities that provided your care if you have no other insurance that will pick up the remainder of the bills.
PIP Auto Insurance Claims Can Get Complicated
Your insurance agent will walk you through all steps necessary to file a PIP claim and recover damages. Although it can get complicated and you may feel frustrated, it is in your best interest to cooperate and provide all requested information. This includes making a statement to your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident even if it appears the accident was your fault. Your agent will let you know about all applicable limits and the laws in your state that govern whether you can sue the other driver.
Consider Hiring a Lawyer if You Have Significant Injuries
If you have a serious injury such as broken bones, a traumatic brain injury, or permanent paralysis, it is likely that the personal injury protection portion of your auto insurance will not come close to covering your expenses. In this situation, you may wish to speak to a personal injury attorney in your state to learn more about filing a lawsuit against the party responsible for your injuries. This would give you greater financial resources as you recover from or learn to adjust to your injuries. 1-800-WE-TREAT provides multiple resources for car accident victims in a single location. Whether you’re searching for an attorney, a doctor, or another professional, we can help you find what you need.