If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, then you may be suffering damages to more than just your car. Accidents can cause serious injury leading to expensive medical bills and lost wages. Under vehicle liability insurance, the policy of the driver who causes an accident generally must pay any resulting costs, including property damage and medical care for others. But in Maryland, personal injury protection (a.k.a. PIP) is a “no fault” form of coverage available to everyone, even if you happen to be the one who caused the accident.
Do I Need PIP?
Luckily, the law answers this one for you. PIP coverage is mandatory for drivers in Maryland. Motorists must buy their vehicle insurance from approved providers that are licensed in the state.
Drivers can choose limited PIP or full PIP coverage. Limited PIP does not pay benefits for you or any other individual in your family who is at least 16 years old. In contrast, full PIP provides coverage benefits for you, anyone else in your family, and anyone else in your vehicle at the time of the accident. The additional people in your car do not need to be a member of your family. Limited protection costs less and may be a better option if you have other insurance for medical expenses and hospitalization insurance.
What does PIP Cover?
As we mentioned above, Maryland PIP is considered “no-fault” coverage. This means that, regardless of who was at fault in the accident, PIP may cover medical bills for the owner of the policy and for passengers that were in the owner’s vehicle.
PIP can help you with various kinds of expenses related to injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident. While it varies on a case by case basis, expenses generally covered by PIP include:
- Lost wages.
- Medical bills, including but not limited to medical and surgical treatments, nursing services, ambulance transportation, dental services, and medications.
- Substitute services for duties you are unable to perform in your home, such as cleaning and maintenance.
- Child care.
Although included in PIP coverage, it should be noted that PIP only pays a portion of any medical expenses and/or lost wages up to the amount you are insured. However, if you are found not to be “at-fault” for the accident in which you were injured, then the other motorist’s insurance carrier will also be responsible for the same medical expenses or lost income. This means that you could collect twice for the same accident-related expenses.
Although every policy is different, PIP coverage often falls into the following few guidelines. The minimum amount of PIP insurance that is available for purchase is $2,500 while the maximum is $10,000. This coverage is per person.This means that up to $10,000 could be given out to help pay for medical bills and lost wages. Typically, Maryland will only cover about 85 percent of lost wages through the use of PIP.
Another important note is that insurance carriers in Maryland are allowed to set a one-year statute of limitations from the date of the accident for PIP claims to be brought. This means that if an insured makes a claim after 12 months from the date of the accident, then they may be deemed ineligible to collect their PIP benefits.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to make sure that you understand your insurance plans. The Law Office of Jack Sturgill has the dedicated experience needed to help you in your personal injury case. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at 410-296-6485 to discuss your case.