No one ever wants to be in an accident, but unfortunately, they can happen at any time. It's important to be informed about the kinds of insurance coverage available to you so that you can make informed and considered decisions to protect your future. For Maryland drivers, personal injury protection coverage or PIP is a type of optional insurance coverage that provides financial protection for medical expenses after a car accident, regardless of who was at fault. This kind of insurance coverage can also cover lost wages, funeral costs, and other damages related to personal injury resulting from a car crash.
Even though Maryland drivers are not required to carry PIP insurance, personal injury protection is an important type of coverage to consider when shopping for car insurance. It can provide financial security in the event of a serious accident, and it can be added to any existing policy at a reasonable cost.
At The Law Office of Justin A. Wallace, we understand how difficult it can be to navigate your legal options for compensation following an accident. We are committed to providing compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance to help you understand your rights and options. Our experienced legal team can answer any questions you have about personal injury protection coverage, as well as help you file a claim if necessary.
What Is Personal Injury Protection?
PIP is often referred to as 'no-fault' coverage because it pays regardless of who caused the accident. This means that even if you are at fault in an accident, PIP will still pay out compensation for your injuries and losses. Typically, funds from PIP will be available more immediately than other forms of compensation, which can provide a financial lifeline in the aftermath of an auto accident. In other words, if you are injured in a car accident, PIP will generally pay out benefits first before any other type of insurance.
In Maryland, automobile insurance carriers must offer PIP insurance, but it can be declined. The minimum amount of coverage offered is $2,500 per person per accident, but you may choose to increase your coverage amount.
How Does Personal Injury Protection Work?
PIP coverage in Maryland typically includes the following:
- Medical expenses: PIP can pay for medical expenses related to your injuries, including hospital bills, doctor's fees, and prescription medication.
- Lost wages: If you are unable to work due to your injuries, PIP can pay for lost wages up to the limits of your policy.
- Essential services: PIP can also pay for essential services that you may not be able to perform as a result of your injuries, such as household chores and childcare.
PIP benefits cover the policyholder, as well as other passengers in the vehicle, and pedestrians injured in an accident. It can also cover family members living with you who are injured while riding in someone else’s car, as well as any household members who drive your insured vehicle with your permission.
If you have PIP coverage, it should be used before relying on insurance from another driver. However, it's important to realize that your PIP insurance will only cover expenses up to the monetary limit of your policy. If your expenses exceed that amount, you may be responsible for paying the difference out of pocket.
How to File a PIP Claim
If you have been in a car accident and opted for personal injury protection coverage, you should contact your insurance provider to file a PIP claim as soon as possible. The insurer will likely provide you with a PIP claim form to fill out and can help explain the details of your coverage. You will need to provide documentation of your injuries and any related expenses, such as medical bills and proof lost wages, to prove your claim. Your insurance provider may also require you to undergo a recorded statement or examination under oath to confirm your injuries.
It is important to realize that you have a limited amount of time to file a PIP claim. The statute of limitations in Maryland for PIP claims is 12 months from the date of the accident. It’s also important that you keep organized and accurate records of your expenses related to your accident so that you can receive the proper compensation to which you are entitled.
Getting Help with Your Personal Injury Claim
If you have questions or concerns about your PIP claim, it's wise to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the PIP laws in Maryland and can help you navigate this process. At the Law Office of Justin A. Wallace, our team has extensive experience handling PIP claims. We can help you understand your legal rights and options and can negotiate with insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve after a car accident.
If you've been injured in an accident and need help filing a personal injury claim, don't hesitate to contact us online or call us at (410) 996-4488 to discuss your situation in detail.