Here are the essential things to note in PIP vs Bodily Injury In A Car Accident Claim.
Suppose you have been injured in a car accident. In that case, you probably know that you are supposed to file an insurance claim because insurance money will help you recover some of the expenses associated with the accident.
Insurance companies and personal injury attorneys can offer help calculating damages. There are several different types of accident insurance, and it is helpful to know which kind of insurance will pay your bills.
Medical bills will be paid for by either Personal Injury Protection insurance or bodily injury liability insurance.
PIP coverage pays for a driver’s medical bills. Liability insurance pays the bills of a driver who was injured in an accident due to the fault of another person.
Understanding Insurance Laws in Florida
There are two different types of insurance rules in the United States; fault and no-fault. In a fault or tort state, the driver who caused the accident is responsible for its associated bills.
In a no-fault state, such as Florida, a driver’s own insurance must pay for their bills no matter who caused the accident. Hence in a fault state, you would file a liability insurance claim, and in a no-fault state, you would file a PIP Claim.
Uninsured Drivers in the Tort States
If a driver in a tort state causes an accident and they do not have insurance, they will get a big ticket.
Although it may punish the uninsured driver, this does not do the injured person much good. Many tort states require drivers to have both PIP insurance and liability insurance. You must have uninsured motorist insurance if you live in one of the following fault states:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
What if my injuries exceed the amount of insurance coverage?
A driver in the state of Florida is required to carry $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. They must also have $10,000 of property damage liability insurance.
The largest deductibles allowed are $1,000 for PIP coverage and $500 for property damage liability.
If your medical bills exceed the amount of money for which you are covered, the state will not necessarily allow you to sue the other driver.
However, if another driver was at fault for permanent injuries, you may be able to sue that driver. If the other driver was uninsured, you might be able to sue them as well. However, most attorneys would advise you not to sue a person who has no money.
If your accident happened out of state, and the other driver was insured in that state, you may be able to recover money from their insurance or sue them.
Your personal injury protection coverage will only cover you if you have an accident in the state of Florida. If you intend to drive in another state, you may want to buy both liability insurance and personal injury protection insurance for that state.
If you have an accident in another no-fault state, you may have to pay your own medical bills no matter who is at fault. The no-fault states are:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
How to Make Sure You Get Paid
No matter what state you may live or operate a vehicle in, an insurance company is certain to try to lowball you when you file an insurance claim.
It is the job of an insurance adjuster to keep the company’s money in-house. It is very important to document your expenses carefully and act in a timely fashion.
- What to do at the Scene
When you have an accident, you should pull over to the side of the road and find out if anyone is hurt. Call the police and wait for them to arrive. Take pictures of the accident scene if you can, and get the names and numbers of anyone who might have seen the crash.
If an ambulance arrives at the scene, take any treatment that the EMTs offer and go to the hospital if they tell you to. You should always go to the doctor even if you do not think you have been injured.
There are some injuries that you may not be able to feel right away. Some of them can be very serious.
Save copies of every medical bill you get, including physical therapy. You should also save the bills for alternative treatments such as massages or flotation therapy. Save the receipts from medications that you take as well.
Document expenses you have for help around the house or childcare. If you are unable to drive after an accident, save the receipts for taxis and ride-sharing services. Get a letter from your employer stating the number of hours that you have missed from work.
Dealing With the Insurance Company
You should report your accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. The sooner you turn in your documentation, the sooner the investigation of the accident will begin.
When the investigation is complete, the insurance company will accept or deny your claim. If they accept the claim, they will make you a settlement offer. Talk to a personal injury attorney before you accept the claim.
The first offer an insurance company makes is likely to be too low. An injury attorney can negotiate with the insurance company and get you a better offer. If you have to take the insurance company to court, the attorney will be able to represent you.
No matter what kind of insurance you have, you want to get the most compensation that you can. Insurance is expensive, and you should be able to use it when you need it.
A fair settlement won’t make the pain go away completely, but it will help you heal. When you can afford the best medical care, you will be better able to get on with your life.