What is Personal Injury Protection and How Does It Work in Texas?

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What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP)?

Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of insurance that you may have inadvertently waived without having a full understanding of what it can provide. When you carry PIP insurance, you can file a claim with your own insurance company following a car collision. Personal injury protection applies to the driver and passengers in your vehicle, regardless of whether you were at fault for the accident. PIP insurance addresses healthcare expenses resulting from your automobile accident, whether you have health insurance or not.

If you do have health insurance and the cost of your treatments exceeds your PIP limits, your healthcare insurance can cover the overage. PIP policies do have a per-person maximum, and while it is not required in the state of Texas it can be a good idea to have as an add-on to your car insurance. When you have personal injury protection, not only are your initial health care costs covered, but you may also be eligible for lost wages following the auto accident, as well as payment of deductibles.

Personal injury protection insurance can be especially helpful if the other driver has minimal auto insurance coverage or no coverage at all. If this is the case, you could be left with health care and lost wages expenses that you simply can’t pay if you don’t have PIP insurance. While multi-car collisions are much less common than two-car collisions, if an at-fault driver causes an accident involving several cars—and you are one of them—you could find yourself scrambling for a percentage of the driver’s insurance benefits.

Texas PIP can give you a little breathing room to pay for your immediate expenses when the at-fault driver’s coverage offers no such buffer. Few people realize that many health care insurance coverages have a clause that places them second to other forms of liability insurance. What this means in practical terms is that if you are involved in an auto accident that is not your fault, your health insurance might require you to file with the at-fault party’s insurance. If the at-fault party disputes liability, you may have to pay for your medical expenses out-of-pocket until the issue is resolved.

What Does Personal Injury Protection Cover in the State of Texas?

Personal injury protection (PIP) in the state of Texas can cover the following, regardless of liability for the accident:

  • Lost wages resulting from your injury
  • Funeral costs
  • The expenses associated with an ambulance
  • Replacement costs for necessary services provided by the injured party such as childcare and household maintenance
  • Medical costs including the cost of surgery, prescription medications, CT scans, x-rays, PET scans, nursing care, physical therapy, prosthetics, and medical devices for you and any passengers in your vehicle

Am I Required to Have Personal Injury Protection?

Texas law requires that you carry liability insurance that will pay to repair or replace the other driver’s vehicle and pay for medical expenses for those in the other car if you are judged to be the at-fault driver. Under the law, you must have a minimum of $30,000 in liability coverage for each injured person, up to $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident (30/60/25). Texas law requires insurers to provide personal injury protection coverage along with your auto liability policy. The PIP coverage requirement does not apply only if the policy holder rejects personal injury protection in writing.

Since the cost of automobiles and medical care has skyrocketed, these minimums may not be sufficient to cover all damages if you are at fault in a car accident. This means that you could be sued for the difference so it could be worthwhile to consider purchasing more than the minimum limits. Aside from the required liability insurance, you can choose to purchase:

  • Collision insurance which pays for damage to your car
  • Comprehensive insurance which pays for damage to your vehicle from fire, hail, vandalism, and theft
  • Personal injury protection (PIP) which pays medical bills and more resulting from a car collision
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist which pays your medical expenses, lost wages, auto damage, pain and suffering, and more if the at-fault driver had no insurance, insufficient insurance, or left the scene of the accident

If I’m Involved in An Accident What Can Personal Injury Protection Provide?

The minimum amount of PIP coverage offered is $2,500, although you can purchase a higher limit. Personal injury protection coverage will pay your medical bills, as well as up to 80 percent of lost income. Personal injury protection insurance also covers “reasonable” household duties that you are unable to do as a result of your injuries. For instance, if you are the person who typically mows your lawn and cleans your home, but your injuries have left you unable to do so, PIP coverage will pay for you to hire someone to take care of those tasks.

How Does Personal Injury Protection Relate to My Current Personal Injury Case?

Following a car collision, getting the medical care you need should be your priority. Once you have done so, however, complications can set in. If you have no health insurance, you may worry about how you will pay for your medical treatments, particularly if the at-fault driver has minimal auto insurance coverage—or no insurance coverage at all. If you were involved in a multi-car accident, the difficulties are compounded as minimum coverage amounts must be split between multiple injured parties.

These situations are where personal injury protection (PIP) insurance can help, as it immediately pays for your medical expenses, lost wages, and more while your attorney is pursuing a personal injury claim on your behalf. While PIP coverage is similar to health insurance, there are significant differences. Your health insurer can potentially deny your claim, forcing you to rely on the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. Unfortunately, personal injury claims can take time and you may not have the funds on hand to pay for your medical expenses out-of-pocket. Personal injury protection insurance will provide the safety net you need while your personal injury attorney works hard to secure a full and fair settlement amount.

How Can an Experienced Attorney from Noteboom—The Law Firm Help?

Being involved in a Fort Worth car collision can be a frightening, anxiety-ridden experience. You may be severely injured, through no fault of your own, unable to return to work and make a living. The medical and lost wages expenses you are facing can devastate your financial future. This is where Noteboom—The Law Firm comes in. We have been helping people in similar situations since 1982. Our firm specializes in severe or catastrophic injuries and we bring a level of knowledge and experience to every car accident claim that is truly unparalleled in the industry.

Our knowledgeable lawyers will comprehensively investigate your accident, gathering all necessary evidence, and building a case that will result in a full settlement. If the insurance company refuses to pay a fair settlement amount, we never hesitate to take your case to court. You should never put your future at risk with a less experienced law firm. Noteboom—The Law Firm, will aggressively pursue justice on your behalf following your car accident. We have a wide array of necessary resources, including an on-staff investigator and relationships with experts who can prove liability and contribute to your case. If quality legal representation is important to you, contact Noteboom—The Law Firm today.

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