What are Personal Injury Protection Benefits (“PIP”) and How Do I Get Them?
In a Maryland auto accident, “PIP” stands for Personal Injury Protection benefits. This coverage is required on all vehicles insured in Maryland (except taxis, buses, state-owned vehicles and motorcycles). The purpose of PIP is to provide you with compensation in an accident, whether or not the accident was your fault. You receive PIP from the insurance company from the car you were in, from your own policy, or, if a pedestrian, from the car that struck you.
How Much Is It?
The minimum amount of Maryland PIP is $2,500. Higher amounts of PIP are usually offered at the time you purchase or renew your auto insurance, and you should buy as much PIP as you can afford. It is usually offered in the following amounts: $2,500, $5,000, $7,500 or $10,000.
How Do I Get PIP?
You will not receive PIP automatically. You must apply for it and prove that you have incurred certain losses as a result of the accident. You should request your PIP benefits in writing and keep proof of when you send your written request and application. The application for PIP benefits must be made within one year of the accident.
What Does PIP Pay?
PIP pays for your “reasonable and necessary” medical bills, ambulance and dental bills incurred within 3 years after the accident, eighty-five percent (85%) of your lost wages, funeral expense and household services.
Will My Rates Go Up If I File For PIP?
No, your insurance rate for PIP coverage will NOT increase if you make a PIP claim. Section 19-507(c) of the Maryland Insurance Article expressly prohibits the insurance company from surcharging your policy if you make a claim or receive a payment under your PIP coverage.
Is Anyone Excluded?
Yes. If you signed a waiver of PIP benefits at the time you purchased your auto insurance, you will not be able to receive PIP. In addition, your waiver will also apply to all family members over 16 years of age who live with you, and they will not receive PIP. However, people (including family members) who do not live in your house will not be excluded from PIP because of your waiver. In addition, the law in Maryland allows insurance companies to deny PIP benefits if the injury was intentional, if the person claiming PIP was in a stolen vehicle or committing a felony or fleeing and eluding the police, or if the person seeking PIP was a pedestrian and a non-resident of Maryland at the time of the injury. The law also allows insurance companies to deny PIP if the claimant was an excluded driver on the policy but was nonetheless driving at the time of the accident, or if the person seeking PIP owns a vehicle that is not insured.
Do You Have Additional Questions? Call for a Free Consultation!
If you have questions about a PIP claim or your rights to compensation in an auto accident, call at 301-942-9118 or email our office for a FREE consultation. Use the email contact form found on our website. We will be happy to provide you with more information for your particular situation.