Personal Injury Protection

“No-fault” is a type of automobile insurance in which each person’s own insurance company pays for injury up to a certain limit regardless of whether its insured was at fault. By “own insurance” I mean the insurance of the car you were in at the time of the accident, since policy provisions make you an “insured” of that vehicle.

If you live in one of the no-fault states and are injured in a car accident, regardless of fault, your insurance, must pay certain benefits. These benefits are known as Personal Injury Protection or “PIP”.

  • Medical Bills
  • No-fault pays your medical bills reasonably and necessarily incurred because of the car accident. It probably won’t cover aromatherapy but it will cover chiropractic care. This is limited by the coverage you purchased. In some states you must have at least $3000, but it is possible to get $10,000, $25,000 or even $100,000 of this type of coverage.

  • Lost Wages
  • No-fault pays your lost wages (or lost income if you are self employed). This usually has a rather small cap such as “up to 85% of the income you lost from work, up to a maximum of $250 per week.”

  • Household Services
  • No-fault covers the cost of paying others to perform household services you can’t perform because of your injuries. This benefit is usually limited to $20 per day.

  • Death Benefit
  • No-fault often includes a death benefit that you as a survivor can apply for if your loved one is killed in a crash.

  • Applying For Benefits
  • To apply for your Personal Injury Protection benefits you need to contact your agent to report the accident. He will notify your insurance company who will open a file and assign a claims adjuster. Once an adjuster has been assigned, contact her and ask for an “Application for Benefits.” This is the form most insurance companies use to start the payment process.

  • Subro What?
  • If you were not at-fault, your insurance company may be able to get paid back for the money it spends on your no-fault benefits. This is commonly known as “subrogation.” To do this it will need to submit a bill to the company of the at-fault driver.

    If you have hired an attorney to help you on your injury claim, your insurance company may ask him to help recover the subrogation money from the other insurance company. Sometimes insurance companies have staff lawyers who handle this and sometimes they hire outside law firms.

  • Conclusion
  • No-fault or Personal Injury Protection is a system where your insurance company pays you benefits regardless of fault after a car crash. These benefits usually include: medical expenses, lost income, household services and a death benefit.

    Start the process by reporting the crash to your agent. He will open the claim and an adjuster will be assigned by your insurance company.

  • Disclaimer
  • This article is for informational purposes and is not intended to substitute for legal advice specific to your state and circumstances.

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