The term PIP does not seem to match with the serious subject of insurance coverage. Yet those 3 letters stand for personal injury protection. That 3-word phrase describes a coverage provision that is also called no-fault insurance.
Features of personal injury protection (PIP)
A policy that promises personal injury protection covers the medical expenses of the driver and passengers in a car that has been involved in an accident. That coverage has been guaranteed, regardless of who might be found at fault.
Most such provisions contain a per person maximum. That means that each passenger gets covered up to the point where the total expenses have exceeded the maximum. At that point, the passenger’s health insurance must handle the balance of the expenses.
What PIP is not:
It should not be seen as a substitute for liability protection. That ensures payment of the injuries to a second or third party, if the policy holder gets involved in an accident. Unfortunately, not every driver carries liability protection. Consequently, other drivers should protect themselves by purchasing a policy with PIP.
As stated above, PIP’s terms normally dictate payment of a maximum amount of money for any given person. That means that someone would be foolish to pay for PIP’s coverage and not pay for a health insurance policy, as well. Such a decision demonstrates a readiness to tempt fate, and to hope for a future that remains free from any serious or catastrophic injury.
The lawyer’s role in relation to personal injury protection:
PIP’s addition to an insurance policy does not guarantee a willingness by the insurance company to suggest that one or more passengers might stand in need of medical benefits. Consequently, a parent that has purchased such protection should make a point of checking on the health status of any passenger, especially a minor.
Yet an insurance company might be pressuring the same parent to agree to an early settlement. The parent’s agreement would eliminate the chances for coverage of any complications that an injured passenger might experience. That fact underscores the role of the lawyer. That member of the legal profession can delay the time for the settlement.
Additional payments that a PIP-holder may enjoy:
In an effort to encourage the purchase of PIP-equipped policies, some insurance companies have added more benefits, on top of the payment for medical expenses. Those added benefits might include payment for lost income, child care or funeral expenses.
Admittedly, an adult might benefit from payment for lost income and better access to child care, during a time when he or she is in recovery. Yet an older youth would not. So, the significance of the lawyer’s role does not diminish, just because an insurance company has made some other benefits possible.