PIP is also known as personal injury protection and is an car insurance policy that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, and lost services when you are injured in a car accident, no matter whose fault the car accident was.
PIP insurance coverage is a very valuable insurance coverage to have in your policy because contrary to popular belief, the defendant’s insurance company will not pay for your medical treatment while you are healing. The defendant’s insurance company will only pay one settlement for all your injuries, lost wages, and medical bills and will not pay for your medical treatment as you go. You cannot bill the defendant’s insurance company.
PIP insurance comes in coverage amounts of $10,000, $20,000, $35,000, $50,000, and $100,000, depending on how much you want to pay each month. Most people choose to get the $10,000 coverage. $10,000 will generally be enough to cover chiropractic, massage, or physical therapy bills. However, if you go to the hospital, the hospital and ambulance ride alone will most likely exhaust these benefits with one visit. Most people would more likely benefit from a higher amount than $10,000, for this reason.
Here are three instances where you will receive PIP coverage by default, i.e. you don’t have to pay for it:
1. No signature:
PIP insurance must be offered by your insurance company for any new policy and must be rejected by you in writing, as mandated by Washington State law RCW 48.22.085. If the insurance company is unable to produce the written mandatory rejection of the policy by you, the insurance company must then give you the benefits of the lowest PIP policy or $10,000 to be used for your medical costs, medications, lost wages, and others. 99% of the time they are able to provide a signature of your rejection of the policy, but sometimes they can’t.
Additionally, if you are a pedestrian struck by a car, you will be offered PIP coverage by the defendant’s insurance company. This is a rare exception where the defendant’s insurance company will cover your medical expenses and lost wages as you accrue these costs. RCW 48.22.005(5)(b) states that if you are a pedestrian struck by a defendant, the defendant’s insurance company must offer you PIP coverage for no cost.
3. Passenger or Permissive driver of friend’s car:
If you are driving another person’s car (or are a passenger) with their permission and you get into a car accident, whether your fault or not, you are afforded PIP from the insurance company of the person who owns the car. This is another instance where you are afforded PIP insurance coverage where you otherwise have not paid for it. In effect, you receive the PIP coverage by default. RCW 48.22.005(5)(b) also authorizes this type of default coverage like the pedestrian scenario above.
If you have been injured in a car accident, you need a Seattle personal injury lawyer today. Call today for a free consultation. I charge my clients on a contingency fee basis, meaning I don’t get paid until and unless you recover a settlement from the third party insurance company. The amount of money that you will gain by hiring a Seattle personal injury lawyer will more than outweigh the cost of hiring a lawyer and then some. Most personal injury victims can stand to gain at least double what they could have obtained on their own, when they hire a Seattle personal injury lawyer including all lawyer fees and medical bills that are paid. Make a claim today, the only people you are saving money are insurance companies and not the driver who hit you. Get healed and relieve stress now!
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