Most motorists have PIP coverage, but far too many don't understand it. Here's how it works:
After a car accident, you've got more options than simply suing the other driver. You may also be able to recover money from your own insurance carrier. One common type of insurance coverage you may have is known as Personal Injury Protection, or "PIP." Below, we'll discuss what a PIP policy could mean for you, and how best to pursue it.
Questions Answered on This Page:
- What exactly is PIP coverage and how does it impact a car accident case?
- Why don't insurance companies want to pay PIP coverage?
- How does PIP coverage work?
What does PIP coverage really do?
PIP is no-fault coverage. Unlike the other driver's insurance which you can be compensated from on an at-fault basis, PIP is paid simply for meeting certain eligibility criteria. It's designed to kick in when you've been hurt and incurred medical bills and/or lost wages as a result of a car accident. It's insurance that is supposed to pay these damages regardless of who's at fault for the accident. In other words, even before the results come out in a police report---much less after a trial---your insurance company should pay you money. This can be a huge help while your case is ongoing.
When you've been in an accident, you're probably aware that the other driver SHOULD have insurance. Further, even if they don't have sufficient coverage, you likely have underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage for yourself and your family. But here are a couple secrets:
- The other driver's policy won't just pay you automatically. Unless you're after pennies on the dollar for what you're truly owed, no Texas insurance adjuster will take your word for how the accident happened, nor will they accept the damages you're claiming. Their job is to undercut your claim, not help you.
- Your insurance company won't pay, either. Even if you made the responsible decision to purchase insurance to plan for just such contingencies, your insurance provider has no incentive nor automatic legal obligation to pay you.
So, while your attorney is fighting it out with the other driver's carrier and your UM/UIM provider, he could help get your PIP money flowing.
There is no pre-set dollar amount for this coverage. Personal Injury Protection insurance is usually offered in increments of $2,500, $5,000, or $10,000. And whichever amount you choose to purchase, that amount is available to each person who is injured in your car. This means that if you and two passengers are all injured in the car, each person can receive up to $5,000 worth of insurance if you purchased this amount of coverage.
What if I am having trouble getting my Texas insurance company to pay my PIP claim?
Oftentimes enough, people first reach out to us after their PIP claim has been denied. That's usually the first sign to car accident victims that this won't be the smooth process they were hoping for. Victims are often confronted with two main insurance company tactics:
- Delay: You've submitted your bills, filled out the paperwork, spoken to an adjuster several times and...nothing. They don't call you back, answer your emails, and you've not gotten a check yet. Maybe you got a letter in the mail that your claim is held up because X or Y, or maybe it's just radio silence.
- Denial: Some clients come to us after their PIP provider outright denied their claim. It's usually from "lack of proof" of damages. This, despite the fact that they provided all the hospital bills and lost wages info they had.
How you can fight back:
If your PIP provider refuses to heed our demand that they pay you, we are more than willing to file a lawsuit against them for "bad faith." Under Texas's Insurance Code, we're allowed to file a claim for unfairly-denied coverage of your injuries.
Also, a successful bad faith claim against an insurance provider can result in treble damages, meaning the insurance company wrongfully denying your claim could have to pay you triple what they actually owe you. You will need a strong attorney who understands how to deal with insurance companies, however, as this is a complex area of Texas law with many potential pitfalls and challenges. Usually, our firm has experienced that if the insurance company knows that you are represented by a knowledgeable law firm, they are less likely to fight the claim and quick to reach a settlement. But if not, we're ready to fight it out in court.
Why should you call Grossman Law Offices?
If you have been injured in a car accident and would like to know more about your Personal Injury Protection and your rights under this type of insurance, contact Grossman Law Offices at (855) 326-0000. We have over 25 years of experience handling car accident claims in the state of Texas. We've won thousands of cases and we know we can help you. Give us a call today
Other articles about car insurance that might be helpful: