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Understanding Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Understanding Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

When getting behind the wheel of a car, nobody likes to think about the scary “what ifs”. Being the driver of a 3,000 pound vehicle, you want to feel confident and at ease, not panicked about the unknowns lurking around every hair pin turn. Still, we recognize that there are some things out of our control. While we may do our best to follow the speed limit, be vigilant of other drivers and pedestrians, and heed every stoplight and stop sign, we know there are some people out there who, for whatever reason, just don’t. And when we find ourselves at the wrong end of their irresponsibility, we end up with a wrecked car and could find ourselves resting uneasily in a hospital bed.

When that does happen, our confidence as a driver is shaken. Our trust in the road and our abilities is rocked. Fortunately, there is something you can do preemptively that, in the event of the unthinkable, might help you regain normalcy and your confidence a little quicker: Personal Injury Protection (PIP).

PIP is an extension of your car insurance that can help cover lost wages, medical bills and other expenses that can result from injuries suffered in a car accident. Unlike most other types of insurance, PIP is not fault based. Meaning, expenses stemming from your accident will be covered regardless of who caused the crash.

Seven Categories of Covered Individuals

Under Maryland Insurance Code 19-505a, there are seven categories of covered individuals: the insured, guest in the insured vehicle, the insured’s family members that live in the insured’s household, permissive users, passengers in the car and injured pedestrians. All of these individuals are covered by the insured’s PIP policy.

Waiving PIP

There are some states in the U.S. that require drivers to get PIP extension coverage; Maryland is not one of these states. However, insurance companies are still obligated to at least offer PIP to their clients. Clients can then choose whether or not they want to waive this coverage, as it does mean a slightly higher monthly bill.

How does it work?

Having PIP becomes doubly beneficial when you are injured in a car accident in Maryland. Thanks to the collateral source rule, you are essentially able to recover your lost wages and medical bills twice.

How’s that now?

Let’s say you are insured with Auto Insurance A, with no-fault PIP coverage that grants you and additional $20,000 automatically, and you get in an accident with a driver who has insurance with Auto Insurance B. Driver B was found to be at fault for the accident. You can not only recover $20,000 through your PIP coverage with Insurance A, but another $20,000 from Insurance B because their driver was found to be at fault.

Be wary of deadlines!

Maryland Insurance Code 19-508 allows insurers in the state to set a one-year statute of limitations as the time in which a no-fault claim must be made. If you make a claim outside of the 12-month period following your accident, you may be ineligible to receive PIP or other insurance benefits.

Let us help!

In the past, Ferrante & Dill, LLC partner and Personal Injury attorney Nick Ferrante has worked for many of the major insurance companies and represented well known national retailers and trucking companies defending these types of claims.  But now he works exclusively on the side of people who are injured – helping them to get compensated for the losses they have incurred as a result of someone else’s negligence. If you have been in an auto accident, please give him a call or email him today at (410) 535-6100 or info@ferrantedill.com.