We Handle PIP Insurance Claims
Our attorneys can help get your medical bills paid
After a car accident, many of the challenges you'll face will be financial. Medical bills will need to be paid. You may be unable to work while recovering from your injuries. You may need help with household expenses such as childcare or house cleaning.
Ultimately, if the accident wasn't your fault, the at-fault driver's liability insurance should pay for those expenses. However, that coverage doesn't help you much in the immediate aftermath. That's because the insurance company won't pay out until you have completed your medical treatment. Even then, it may be months or years before a settlement is reached or a verdict awards you compensation. In the meantime, how can you pay your bills?
Under Washington law, your insurance company is required to offer you another type of coverage: personal injury protection (PIP). Your PIP insurance should pay for your medical bills and certain other expenses arising from your accident on a no-fault basis - meaning you are entitled to coverage regardless of who caused the accident.
However, actually collecting your PIP benefits, and making the most of them, can be difficult. That's why you need the accomplished car accident attorneys at NLE Law on your side.
What is PIP insurance?
PIP (personal injury protection) is a type of no-fault coverage that provides certain benefits for people injured in car accidents. While PIP is not a mandatory coverage type in Washington, insurance companies are required to offer it, and the insured person must decline coverage in writing to have it removed from the policy.
Who is covered by PIP insurance in Washington?
In addition to the person named on the policy, a PIP insurance policy covers all household residents who are related to the policyholder by blood, marriage or adoption; step or foster children of the policyholder; and any non-family passengers or pedestrians involved in an accident with the insured vehicle.
How much does PIP insurance cover?
The minimum coverage on a PIP policy includes $10,000 for medical bills, $2,000 for funeral expenses, $10,000 for lost wages and $5,000 for loss of services such as household chores. Insurance companies must also offer additional coverage for up to $35,000 in medical bills, $35,000 for wage loss, and $14,600 for loss of services.
How do PIP wage loss benefits work?
Once you have been disabled for 14 consecutive days after the accident, your PIP benefits for wage loss kick in. PIP will provide up to 1/50th of the total coverage per week to replace your lost wages for up to one year after the accident. For example, if you have $10,000 in PIP coverage for wage loss, you can claim up to $200 per week you are disabled, starting with the third week of disability and continuing until one year after the accident.
How do PIP loss of services benefits work?
If you’re injured in a car accident and can no longer perform household services, like cleaning or chores, PIP pays up to $200 per week for you to hire a non-family member (such as a cleaning service) to take on those chores.
How long do PIP benefits last in Washington?
PIP coverage for medical expenses applies to medical bills incurred within three years of the date of the accident. Coverage for lost wages and essential services only applies for one year after the accident.
Do I need PIP insurance if I have health insurance?
Your health insurance policy likely has co-pays and deductibles, whereas PIP does not. In addition, your health insurance may not pay for all the services you need – and your health insurance company may not want to pay your bills at all if they know that your injuries were sustained in a car accident. PIP coverage can help “fill in the gaps” in your health insurance by covering those copayments, deductibles and additional procedures.
This is where having an attorney on your side can be especially helpful. We have extensive experience helping car accident victims cover all their expenses by combining PIP coverage, health insurance and any other applicable insurance. We’ll also help you file a claim for your lost wages and other expenses that are covered by PIP.
Our legal team will stand up for your rights and help you collect your benefits
If you pay for PIP coverage, you should be able to collect your benefits. However, some insurance companies can make it difficult to receive the benefits you need after a collision. For instance, your insurance company may require you to meet with a doctor of their choice for an “Independent Medical Examination” (IME) prior to receiving benefits. They may also argue that a particular service is not “reasonable or necessary,” or that a particular injury is not related to the accident. If your insurance company is trying to restrict or deny your coverage, contact us today. We’ll thoroughly investigate and, if necessary, take legal action on your behalf.
Remember, insurance companies are required to offer PIP in Washington, and if you don’t decline it in writing, they have to add it to your policy (and charge you for it). If your insurer says that you don’t have coverage, we can look at your insurance documents and determine whether they did in fact offer you coverage that you declined in writing. If they did not follow the law, we’ll take action on your behalf.
Our law firm has extensive experience dealing with PIP claims, and our mission is to help injured people get better. If you've been hurt in an accident, reach out to the attorneys Seattle trusts. Call (206) 623-7520 to schedule your free consultation.