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What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or No-Fault Insurance?

The damages following a car accident can involve more than just a few dents in your vehicle. Experienced personal injury lawyers typically see victims of car accidents who are struggling with medical bills and financial problems accumulating due to lost wages. Personal injury protection (PIP), also known as no-fault insurance, may be able to reduce the chance of financial devastation by protecting you and possibly even your friends and family.

What is PIP insurance?
PIP insurance a type of insurance that extends your regular car insurance. PIP insurance is not a replacement for your car insurance. Instead, it is an added bonus that builds onto the coverage you already have. The purpose of PIP insurance is to make sure that any medical expenses are covered in the case of a car accident. Many types of PIP insurance also provide protection for any lost wages that you may incur after a car accident. Additionally, some policies may cover transportation expenses related to your accident. A good example of this type of expense includes transportation to medical appointments.

Do the Circumstances of the Accident Matter?
The reason that PIP insurance is often called “no-fault” insurance is because its coverage does not depend upon determining fault. Whether you were responsible for the accident or the other party was responsible does not play a factor in determining whether or not you are entitled to your claim. The “no-fault” aspect of the insurance is designed to be comprehensive and does not punish you for being at fault.

Are You Required to Have PIP Insurance?
In certain states, you are legally required to have PIP insurance. These regions include the following: Utah, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, Florida, North Dakota, Hawaii, New York, Kansas, New York, Kentucky, New Jersey, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Michigan. Since New York requires PIP insurance, personal injury lawyers typically have experience with handling PIP insurance claims. The state you live in may also affect what kind of benefits are covered under PIP insurance. Some states, such as Utah, allow acupuncture to be covered for treatments under PIP insurance, while other states do not.

Why is No-Fault Insurance Beneficial?
It may not seem immediately apparent why you might want to have additional coverage on top of the coverage you already have for your car in case of an accident. But waiting on the claims process for your car insurance policy can be one of the most frustrating aspects of having a car accident. Typically, car insurance policies take their time in determining who was to blame, and they may take even longer to determine which payments or lawsuits should be filed. When you are covered by PIP insurance, you will not have to wait as long to receive coverage for medical bills and lost income.

How Does PIP Insurance Work With Your Car Insurance Policy?
When you are injured in a car accident, you will draw from your PIP benefits before using benefits from your car insurance policy. You will most likely still be waiting on results from your car insurance company while you draw PIP insurance benefits, because they may still be determining blame and doing a full assessment of the situation. After you have exhausted your PIP coverage, any leftover costs may be recovered under the bodily injury liability policy of the other drivers. If another party is to blame, you may be able to file a claim with their auto insurance company.

Overall, PIP insurance is designed to get you the money you need to cover your financial hardships immediately. However, there may be some situations in which you may need an experienced lawyer to help you. These include instances of severe financial distress or bodily injury. In either of these cases, experienced personal injury lawyers may be able to provide advice about filing a lawsuit.

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