If you didn’t have enough reasons already to get personal injury protection (PIP) added to your car insurance, here are some more reason in case you are injured in a Seattle car accident.
PIP is odd because technically it is required to have under Washington State law, but there is a clause that says that you can waive PIP by signing it away in your insurance contract. YOU SHOULD NOT WAIVE PIP.
PIP is incredibly cheap to add to your plan and I definitely recommend that you max it out. PIP comes in benefits of $10,000, $20,000, and $35,000. PIP can cost you as little as $5/month to add to your plan for $10,000 in benefits to as much as $10/month to max it out at $35,000.
PIP covers any medical treatment that you need as a result of a car accident and you do not need a referral to see any of your medical providers, although it is recommended for all specialized care not including chiropractic, physical therapy, or massage therapy.
Additionally, PIP comes with $200 a week in lost wage coverage for a maximum benefit up to your PIP policy amount. However, PIP lost wage coverage only starts paying after a brief few weeks waiting period, which most people return to work after a week off anyways, so you may not see that benefit. However, if you are severely injured, $200/week is better than nothing.
You need PIP because the defendant’s insurance will not pay for any of your medical bills until you settle with them, which could send all of your bills to collections and seriously hurt your credit score. Additionally, if you have a Seattle car accident injury lawyer representing you, your Seattle car accident injury lawyer can negotiate the amount you owe back to PIP out of the settlement in subrogation down by at least 1/3 of the amount PIP paid.
There are a few exceptions to this rule where PIP is actually given to you by the defendant’s insurance company but this only happens where the other driver has PIP and you were riding your bike, crossing the street as a pedestrian, or you were a passenger in their car.
If you do not have PIP or PIP runs out, you can pay for your medical bills with your medical insurance. However, while this is a great benefit to have and can severely lower the amount of your hospital bills, medical insurance plans usually do not include chiropractic or massage therapy coverage, and if they do they are generally capped at a certain limit like 10 visits per year. PIP on the other hand will cover massage, chiropractic, physical therapy, hospital visits, doctor’s appointments, ambulance rides, etc.
If you run out of PIP or your medical insurance plan does not include certain services, a Seattle car accident injury lawyer should be able to make an arrangement with your treating providers to pay them back out of the settlement. This will allow you to continue to receive the treatment that you need and pay nothing out of pocket until you settle your case and your attorney pays them out of the settlement at that time.
If you are injured in a car accident in or around Seattle, please give us a call and we will be happy to walk you through your car accident injury case with a free consultation. (206) 850-6716 or email [email protected].