Personal injury protection (PIP) is a highly misunderstood type of insurance coverage that causes many accident victims considerable anxiety. If you’ve been injured and are concerned about when your PIP benefits run out, better understanding how this insurance coverage works and better understanding personal injury claims in general can help. Additionally, if this is the challenging situation you find yourself in, reaching out to an experienced Austin personal injury attorneys is always well advised.
What’s In This Guide
In Texas, car insurers are required to include Personal injury protection or PIP coverage in their car insurance policies, and this means that unless you waived the coverage in writing, you do have PIP coverage. This coverage is intended to cover you for specific losses as they relate to the car accident in question, including:
- Your reasonable medical expenses
- Emergency medical care, including ambulance services
- Lost income that is related to the accident in question (at a specific percentage of your earnings)
- The replacement of necessary services provided by you (such as childcare and/or maintenance of the home if you are a stay-at-home parent)
The truth is that, even if the injuries you sustain are relatively minor, you can blow through your PIP coverage fairly quickly. Often, PIP coverage is used to help accident victims cover their expenses while they pursue car accident claims against at-fault motorists. It’s important to note that PIP coverage applies regardless of fault, which means that, even if the accident was caused by your negligence, your PIP coverage will kick in.
If Your PIP Benefits Run Out
As mentioned, it is not unusual for PIP benefits to run out before an accident victim’s losses are fully addressed. The best path forward if you have been injured by another driver’s negligence is filing a car accident claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. The losses (or legal damages) associated with car accidents tend to be considerable, and in order to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled – and that covers your full range of losses – is with a car accident claim that addresses the primary categories of your damages, including:
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Medical expenses (for current and ongoing healthcare needs)
- Lost earnings that include any lost earning potential
- Physical and psychological pain and suffering
Making sure that your complete damages are addressed in your personal injury claim helps to ensure that you’ll have the opportunity to pursue your fullest recovery.
The Other Driver’s Negligence
Driver negligence is often the cause of dangerous traffic accidents, and such negligence comes in wide-ranging varieties.
Distracted driving is so dangerous that it continues to garner more and more national and international attention. In order to drive safely, motorists must focus on the road ahead and must react safely to whatever they encounter on it. When a motorist’s nose is his or her phone, for example, he or she can’t pay adequate attention to driving safely, and accidents become far more likely. In fact, it’s generally accepted that it takes about 5 seconds to compose or read a text, and during this time a motorist who is traveling at highway speeds can travel about the distance of a football field – which is far too great a distance to drive blind.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is one of the most dangerous driving practices out there, and drivers are well aware of the risk involved. Nonetheless, far too many motorists get behind the wheel when they are over the limit, and they put everyone with whom they share the road in danger.
Exhaustion can cause impairments that are similar to those experienced by drivers who are under the influence of alcohol, which makes them dangerous drivers (who may not even recognize the risk involved).
The higher a motorist’s speed, the less time he or she allows himself or herself to react to dangers ahead. That excess speed also helps to ensure that any accidents that do occur are more likely to be deadly.
Aggressive drivers typically engage in multiple dangerous practices all at once, including any combination of the following:
- Speeding excessively
- Flying in and out of lanes
- Honking and/or flashing one’s car lights incessantly
- Attempting to engage other drivers through obscene gestures and/or verbal taunts
- Passing illegally
- Refusing to yield the right-of-way
- Ignoring the rules of the road
If you believe it is warranted, you should notify the authorities when you spot a dangerously aggressive driver in your midst. You could help prevent a life-threatening accident.
The Insurance Company
Another driver’s negligence has left you injured, and your PIP insurance will help you cover your expenses while your car accident claim is pending. It’s important to note, however, that – although the insurance company is paid for exactly this reason (covering your related losses) – obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled is likely to be more complicated than you expect. Insurance companies – like other business enterprises – are in the business of making money, and they keep their profits exceptionally healthy by keeping their settlements low (whenever they can get away with doing so). As such, it’s important to be on the lookout for insurance tactics that are designed to thwart your rightful compensation, including:
- Making an early settlement offer that is far too low to cover your complete losses
- Artificially complicating and/or prolonging the insurance process (which is complicated and lengthy enough to begin with)
- Denying the extent of your covered damages
- Casting doubt on fault in your claim
- Denying your claim early in the process (in the hope you’ll simply go away)
Discuss Your Claim with an Experienced Austin Personal Injury Attorney Today
The accomplished Austin personal injury attorneys at The Patel Firm understand the gravity of your situation and are standing by to help. Your claim is important, so please don’t delay reaching out and contacting or calling us at 361-400-2036 today.