Personal injury protection, or PIP, is a provision of your auto insurance policy that will pay for various things related to an accident and resulting injuries, such as lost wages, medical expenses, and necessary services. It is a no-fault type of insurance that is available to both the at-fault party and the injured individual(s) after an accident.
In Oregon, auto insurance companies are required to include PIP in your insurance policy. Washington mandates PIP unless you waive the coverage in writing, which rarely happens. If you live in Washington and inquire whether or not you have PIP insurance with your insurance company, and they say no, you should consult an attorney to find out if that is, indeed, the case.
Personal injury protection insurance covers:
For costs like medical bills, loss of wages, and necessary services, the minimum coverage in Oregon is $15,000 for one year after the date of the accident (this has been updated to two years on any policy written after January 1, 2016). Some insurance providers will allow you to purchase higher limits of PIP coverage.
PIP covers the most basic costs related to the accident that you were involved in, such as:
First, you'll need to file a claim with either your insurance company or with the insurance company whose PIP coverage will be primary based on the circumstances of your accident. You will be required to fill out a PIP application, and then you will be issued a claim number. You can then give your medical providers the name of the insurance company and the claim number, and they will bill the PIP insurance company directly. If you've already paid out-of-pocket for some expenses, you can submit those bills for reimbursement.
It is important to note that PIP will require you to sign and send a medical release. Forward that release only to PIP, not to the at-fault driver's insurance company. If you are utilizing the at-fault driver's PIP coverage, you should be provided with two insurance adjuster contacts - one for the PIP coverage and one for the claim against the at-fault party.
Insurance companies are in the business of paying out as little as they can on claims. If you are denied PIP coverage, you should contact our office right away for advice.
Six months after PIP denies the first payment, you can sue the PIP Carrier to recover all the medical costs you are owed, plus attorney fees.
In the interim a personal injury attorney can also help you receive the necessary medical care by setting up an arrangement with your medical providers so that you continue to receive the benefit of their care, while they wait to receive payment out of the insurance settlement or lawsuit judgment.
It’s very likely that your independent medical exam (IME) will not be favorable. If the PIP insurance carrier wants to schedule an appointment for an IME, it’s important that you contact an attorney right away.
If you do not take part in the IME, your PIP benefits will be cut off. Whether or not you should participate in the IME is fact specific and you should consult an attorney.
Contact us for a free consultation. (503) 395-2135