If you have been involved in a car accident where you are not at fault, you may be wondering why you still have to use your own PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance. If you live in New York and other no-fault states, then the law provides that your insurer needs to cater for some of your medical bills or lost wages if you have to be away from work. This law stands regardless of who was at fault in the accident. This legislation was introduced in no-fault states to make the process of filing and paying insurance claims easier. This is especially so for smaller claims. Bear in mind that you would otherwise have to wait for the party at fault to be determined before you can make a claim for bodily injuries.
Personal Injury Protection Benefits
No-Fault PIP is designed to offer prompt payments regardless of whether the accident was due to negligence. PIP is not contingent on who was at fault. It is important to understand that PIP insurance covers for medical or health expenses, loss of earnings, and other medical expenses as a result of the injuries you have sustained. There is often a set limit as to how much PIP you can receive. It is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer to know the limit that applies to you.
The main objective behind PIP is to help restore the health of injured parties to their state before the accident. New York is a no-fault state, as such, you can only file a lawsuit if the economic loss of your injuries exceeds the benefits provided by your PIP. This is especially the case for serious injuries such as head concussions, loss of limbs, and temporary or physical disabilities.
It is important to bear in mind that, No-fault PIP will not cater for auto body repair or damages to property. For this, you will have to settle with the insurance of the driver at fault. You can seek the expertise of a personal injury or car accident lawyer to help your recover for damages to your car or property. PIP is also tied to health insurance. This means that it will pay first for injuries sustained in a car accident.
PIP can also cover for child care expenses. If you have suffered injuries and cannot attend to your children, the cover can pay for a baby sitter. This policy can also pay for household services if you can no longer perform your household chores.
PIP also pays for relatives who live with you and sustained injuries in a car accident. The same will cover for any economic losses to your relatives caused by the injuries. PIP also covers for passengers in your car provided they reside in New York. There are polices that will also cover for injuries outside of New York. You need to talk to your insurer to determine the coverage scope.
In New York, PIP pays $50,000 per person, a death benefit of $2,000, 80% of lost earnings, payable up to $2,000/month, and $25 per day for additional services that you may require as you recover.
Cooperation is expected when filing a claim
When filing for a PIP insurance claim, you need to cooperate for your claim to processed faster. There are state laws enacted to this effect. For instance, the insurance provider expects a recorded statement explaining the details of the accident. The insurance company may also send you to one of the doctors in their networks for examination. They may also need to talk with your employer to ascertain your employment and remuneration information. Failure to comply or cooperate can lead to a claim denial or a legal termination of the claim benefits.
Policy holders should note that the claims will not be paid if you were committing a felony at the time of the accident. PIP does not also cover for intentional injuries. You might feel it is unfair for you to file a PIP claim if you were not at fault. However, the law stipulates that each driver should be compensated for medical expenses by their own insurer. It is crucial to ensure that you get PIP insurance. Having to pay for injuries from your own pocket can leave you financially drained.
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