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December 2019

What is Personal Injury Protection Insurance? Do I Need It?

By Personal Injury

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) provides medical related benefits for injuries that drivers and passengers receive as a result of a car accident, regardless of who is at fault.  New York is a no-fault insurance state, so all motorists are legally required to carry Personal Injury Protection.   

What does personal injury protection cover? 

Personal Injury covers three main things

  • Medical costs
  • Financial losses
  • Death

Personal Injury Protection will cover all most injuries that are sustained in a car accident including:

  • Emergency Room visits
  • Doctors visits
  • Surgeries
  • Medical supplies (wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes, etc.)
  • Diagnostic testing (CT Scans, MRI, Xrays)
  • Ambulance transfers
  • Physical therapy
  • Dental treatments

If a driver or passenger of the vehicle is unable to work as a result of the injuries that occurred in the collision, PIP will cover economic losses.  It will cover 80% off the monthly earnings that are lost or up to $2,000 per month which ever amount calculates out to less.  The total amount will be paid for a period of three years or less after the accident happened. 

You will also receive $25 a day if you are unable to attend to daily chores as a result of the injuries that were sustained in an accident (unable to do laundry, clean the house, grocery shopping) and have to pay someone else to do these for you, you will receive compensation under PIP.  If a driver or passenger ends up passing away during the accident, PIP will issue up to $2,000 to assist with the cost of a funeral and burial.  If you wish to have financial protection, you can purchase additional Personal Injury Protection.  This will increase your limits but also increase your premiums.

The cost of Personal Injury Protection varies in the state of New York similar to your type of insurance coverage.  The cost of PIP is determined by your age, driving record, type of vehicle and where you reside. 

New York State provides some of the highest minimum limits on PIP in the country.  But should you purchase additional coverage? The cost of medical expenses that are associated with a motor vehicle accident may be greater than the limits under Personal Injury Protection.  If you have good health insurance coverage, additional PIP may not be necessary to purchase but if your health insurance is not great, additional PIP may be worth the investment.  There is also the option of purchasing Optional Basic Economic Loss coverage (OBEL).  This provides you will an extra $25,000 in benefits that can be put towards lost wages and medical expenses.  Depending on the extent of your injuries and how long you will be out of work as a result of these injuries, OBEL might be something you should consider.  Since your wages lost benefits are only covered up to $50,000, if you will be disabled longer or experience a sizable reduction in your monthly wages with basic PIP coverage it would be beneficial to purchase OBEL coverage. 

In New York State, you will have 45 days after the date of the start of your medical treatment to file for repayment.  You will need to show proof of your treatment from the medical doctors who are treating you and be submitted by your insurance company.  It should be documented that the injuries were caused by an accident, the extent of the injuries and the type of treatment you are receiving.  You will have 90 days to file a claim in New York State for lost wages and submit written proof of your lost wages.  Once you file a claim, your insurance company will have 30 days to reimburse you from the date your forms were received. 

The attorneys at Losi & Gangi want to ensure that all drivers are protected by insurance and stay safe while they are on the road.  If you are interested in learning more about Personal Injury Protection or have recently been involved in an auto accident call us today at 716-854-1446 and one of our attorneys can explain what your insurance will cover.

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