Personal injury protection could turn out to be handy. If you suffer losses in an Orange County accident, you can file for damages with the at-fault driver. A good Orange County car accident attorney can help you prove the other driver’s liability. However, the process can take some time. This is because you will need to support your claim for damages with evidence and arguments.
It is possible to recover damages after a car crash without going through all the hassle of proving your claim. PIP coverage makes this possible. Here is a look at what it is and the benefits as well as downsides of PIP.
What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP)?
Personal Injury Protection Coverage, also known as PIP coverage, covers basic losses following a car accident. The losses covered under PIP include medical costs and lost wages. In crashes that result in the death of a victim, PIP also covers funeral costs. A stand-out feature of PIP coverage is that you are covered for the aforementioned losses no matter who caused the crash.
Losses Covered Under PIP
PIP coverage typically covers the following types of losses and expenses:
Medical expenses: When an accident results in injuries, you may be in for extensive medical costs related to your injury including hospital bills, medical tests expenses, medication costs, and so on. PIP covers these costs up to a certain limit, which is typically between $10,000 and $15,000.
Lost Wages: A crash-related injury can often force you to take time away from work. This results in lost wages which are covered under PIP coverage.
Funeral expenses: If a crash victim dies due to crash-related injuries, PIP also covers the funeral costs for the victim.
PIP in No-Fault and At-Fault States
California is an at-fault state. This means that in the event of an accident, you will typically seek compensatory damages from the at-fault driver. This is in contrast to no-fault states where you must first seek damages from your own insurer under PIP coverage. This is why personal injury protection is mandatory in no-fault states.
Although PIP is not compulsory in at-fault states like California, you can still enjoy a number of benefits for carrying PIP. Here is a look at these.
Benefits of Personal Injury Protection Insurance
There are many benefits of having PIP coverage.
You get paid irrespective of the fault: You get compensation for medical costs and lost wages after an accident whether or not you were at fault.
You get paid quickly: With PIP coverage, you are able to recoup damages immediately. This is simply because you don’t have to prove fault or negligence, or show that you were not at fault. Instead, you simply have to file for damages and then get paid to take care of your crash-related losses instantly. In at-fault states, you must first prove that the other party was negligent and you weren’t. This can take quite some time which means that you are able to recover damages after a long time.
Coverage for the passengers: A great feature of PIP coverage is that it also applies to any passengers traveling in the vehicle at the time of the accident, up to the policy limit.
Coverage in uninsured/underinsured motorist crashes: This is particularly useful for at-fault states like California. If you suffer a crash caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, you can’t recover your full losses through a claim or a lawsuit. This is where PIP coverage helps you cover your losses.
Coverage in hit-and-run crashes: In hit-and-run accidents, the at-fault driver typically flees the scene of an accident. This means that you can’t file a damages claim against the other driver. PIP coverage is applicable in such scenarios as well and it can help you cover your losses after a hit-and-run accident.
Downsides of PIP
Despite its many benefits, PIP insurance also has its downsides. These include the following:
Extra financial burden. You are required to pay up for the additional coverage every month.
Limited coverage. PIP is limited in that it offers a limited amount of damages. Even this amount is available when you have a medical emergency – for non-emergency injuries, PIP offers an even smaller amount.
No non-economic damages. PIP doesn’t offer coverage for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. In more severe crashes, you will need to separately file for such damages.
Find a Professional Orange County Car Accident Attorney
If you have suffered a crash in Orange County, we can help you. Here at Crockett Law Group, we help car accident victims recover compensatory damages. Our attorneys help you explore all the insurance options you have so that you can get maximum compensation to cover your losses. Call us today to schedule a free consultation with our lawyers.