By: Pastrana & Garcia Injury Law, Published: October 15 2022

What Is Personal Injury Protection, and Do I Need it?

Personal Injury Protection

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    An auto accident occurs once every 56 seconds in Texas. Would you be able to afford your medical bills if you’re hurt in a crash? If not, personal injury protection (PIP) could be the answer to paying for your medical expenses.

    While Texas auto insurance companies must offer PIP, many Texans waive it. However, it may be worth paying for PIP. Find out more about PIP insurance benefits below, then contact Pastrana & Garcia Injury Law if you have questions about an auto accident.

    How Texas PIP Works

    PIP is car accident coverage that would compensate you for medical and related costs after a car accident, even if you were at fault. PIP coverage varies, but Texas requires insurance companies to offer at least $2,500 in coverage. Some costs that your PIP insurance covers are:

    • Medical bills related to auto accident injuries
    • Ambulance costs
    • Physical therapy
    • Lost earnings
    • At-home care expenses
    • Funeral and burial costs

    Most PIP policies in Texas pay up to 80% of last wages and reasonable household expenses. So, for instance, if you can’t shovel snow from your driveway because of your injury, PIP would provide you the resources to hire someone to do it.

    PIP is worth the cost for many Texas families who need money for their injuries and damages. PIP insurance pays regardless of fault. So, you can expect a relatively fast payout after an auto accident. In addition, PIP gives you a financial cushion while waiting for the other driver’s insurance company to resolve a claim.

    Why Should You Have PIP Insurance?

    PIP is often a lifesaver for Texas car accident victims because it covers the unexpected. PIP has you covered in these situations:

    • You’re hurt, and the liable driver flees the scene
    • You’re hurt, and the other driver has no auto insurance
    • The other driver has auto insurance but not enough to cover your injuries

    PIP offers peace of mind that you’re always covered if you’re hurt in an accident. No matter the circumstances with the other driver, you will have at least some coverage for your injuries and other losses.

    Many Texas auto accident attorneys see PIP as free money you can tap quickly after an accident. It’s easy to access; many accident victims can get paid within a few weeks. In addition, PIP can cover your initial recovery while your lawyer negotiates a settlement with the other insurance company.

    PIP Insurance vs. Med-Pay

    Med-Pay is like PIP, but insurance companies are not required to offer it. It covers your accident-related expenses for one year and pays your health insurance deductibles and copays. However, Med-Pay will not pay your lost earnings.

    Texas drivers usually pay for PIP instead of Med-Pay because the former covers lost wages. For example, PIP will pay for some of your lost earnings if you’re hurt in a rear-end crash and can’t work for a month. On the other hand, Med-Pay could be a good choice if you are retired and won’t benefit from lost wages.

    PIP vs. Health Insurance

    Many Texans who waive PIP coverage think it works like their health insurance. PIP is similar to health insurance, but there are several differences.

    First, most health insurance policies feature a clause that puts them below other liability insurance. So, if you are in a car accident, your health insurance policy may deny the claim and tell you to talk to the other driver’s insurer. If the other driver denies liability, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for medical expenses when you can least afford it.

    Second, even if the other driver’s insurer accepts liability, they won’t pay your medical costs immediately. They only will issue payment when you have finished your medical treatments and made a claim. With that in mind, some accident victims may never finish their treatments and have health complications for years.

    With PIP, you just make a claim when you incur out-of-pocket expenses. Per policy limits, personal injury protection will pay for your medical costs and lost wages. So while $2,500 is the minimum coverage offered, it’s wise to pay for at least $5,000 or $10,000 if you can afford it.

    Filing A Texas PIP Claim

    When filing your PIP claim, provide all of your medical bills, receipts, and lost earnings statements to ensure your claim is processed quickly.

    If you have questions about filing a PIP or personal injury claim, the Austin car accident lawyers at Pastrana & Garcia Injury Law can help.

    Were You In An Auto Accident? Call a Personal Injury Lawyer Who Delivers Results

    If you were in an auto accident caused by someone else in Pflugerville or Austin, you might be eligible for compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact Pastrana & Garcia Injury Law for a complimentary consultation today.