If you have been injured in a car accident in Utah, you need to know about PIP insurance benefits.
PIP stands for personal injury protection. In Utah, except for motorcyclist, each motorist is required to carry at least $3,000 in PIP insurance for medical expenses. You can receive PIP benefits regardless of who is at fault for the accident. So, even if you caused the accident, you may still receive these benefits. Therefore, PIP insurance is referred to as “no fault insurance” coverage in Utah.
In some cases, outside of car accidents, such as a slip and fall accident on business property, you may be entitled to med pay coverage.
PIP insurance covers certain types of losses after a motor vehicle accident. These benefits must be paid within 30 days you make the claim. These losses include:
Utah requires at least $3,000 in PIP medical coverage. Some car insurance policies include up to $5,000 or $10,000. In rare circumstances, some policies carry $100,000 on PIP insurance. PIP medical coverage goes toward medical bills that you incur following a car accident. You need to exhaust all the PIP coverage before your health insurer will pay any medical expenses. Once the PIP coverage is spent, have your PIP adjuster send the “PIP exhaust letter” to your health insurance company.
If you miss work due to a car accident, you can get wage loss payments within 30 days following an accident. You are entitled to up to $250 per week or 85% of your wages, whichever is less. This benefit is not meant to replace 100% of your wage loss. It’s only meant to provide you with some money until you can return to work full-time.
When injured in a car accident, you may not be able to perform household chores, such as house cleaning, laundry, cooking, yard work, shopping, etc. If someone performs these services for you, even if you don’t pay them to do so, you can make a claim for household services. You are entitled to $20 per day or $140 per week for these services.
To open a PIP claim, you’ll need to contact the claims department for the car insurer of the car you were in at the time of the accident. If you were a pedestrian, you’ll contact the car insurer of the vehicle that hit you. The process takes about 15-20 minutes.
A PIP insurance adjuster is assigned to the claim. He or she will be your point of contact. You’ll need to provide the following information to receive PIP benefits:
Once you provide the appropriate documents to the insurer, the insurer has 30 days to pay you the benefits. For PIP medical, the money typically goes directly to the medical provider.
To make a third-party claim against the at-fault driver, you must meet one of the following criteria:
If you’re in a car accident, you may receive PIP benefits even if you’re at fault for the car accident. If you are not at fault for the accident, you can make a claim for bodily injury against the car insurance of the person that caused your injuries. This is called a third-party claim.
Under a third-party claim for bodily injury, you are entitled to more than just PIP benefits. You can recover for all your damages: past and future medical bills, past and future wage loss, pain and suffering, impairment, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience, and other losses.
If you experienced one of these criteria, you may seek compensation for all your losses. If this is your situation, you should contact a personal injury lawyer near you to help you get compensated.
If you are not at fault for the car accident, the insurance company of the at-fault party reimburses your insurance company for all the PIP benefits it paid to you. This is referred to as Right of Reimbursement. It’s up to your insurance company to notify the at-fault insurer that it has a right to be reimbursed for all PIP benefits paid. In other words, your insurance company is advancing you the PIP money until it can get reimbursed for what it paid to you.
Generally speaking, your insurance premiums should not go up when making a PIP claim. This is a first-party benefit that you pay extra premiums for under your insurance contract. However, speak to your insurance agent as each insurer has different policies and procedures.
Yes, you still want PIP coverage, even if you have health insurance. PIP insurance will cover the patient responsibility portion that your health insurance does not cover. Also, PIP insurance can go toward your deductible, which keeps you from having to pay out-of-pocket. Also, PIP coverage is cheaper than health insurance premiums. Lastly, PIP coverage provides you with compensation for not just medical coverage, but also for wage loss and household services.
PIP coverage is inexpensive. It’s a good idea to purchase as much as you can afford to purchase. It’s a good idea to have at least $10,000 in PIP coverage. It will cost you only a few extra dollars a month in premiums. Also, if you’re in an accident and need a personal injury lawyer, your lawyer will not take a fee on the PIP coverage you receive. This can save you thousands in attorney’s fees.