How Does Personal Injury Protection Work?
If you suffer injuries in a car accident in California, you may wonder what your options are for collecting compensation for your medical expenses. Car accidents can lead to devastating consequences, such as broken bones, traumatic brain injury, lacerations, and more. However, certain types of insurance coverage in California can help you protect your wallet in the event of an injury. Insurance companies refer to this coverage as personal injury protection (PIP).
What Is Personal Injury Protection?
Personal injury protection is a type of car insurance coverage that can help you recover from your injuries after a car accident. It allows you to claim compensation for your damages whether you were at fault for the accident or not. You can receive the maximum payout from your personal injury protection no matter the circumstances of your accident.
Unlike many states, personal injury protection is not a mandatory insurance requirement in the state of California. You can choose to add this additional coverage to your existing insurance plan at an additional cost.
What Does Personal Injury Protection Cover?
Personal injury protection coverage helps pay for your medical expenses in the event of a car accident, no matter the fault. You can use personal injury protection to pay for numerous forms of medical expenses, including doctor’s visits, hospitalizations, and surgery. However, personal injury protection coverage is limited by the amount of protection you have purchased.
In addition, your personal injury protection coverage may also cover additional damages involved in the accident. This coverage extends to you, your passengers, and, in some circumstances, pedestrians involved in your accident.
How Can You Make a Personal Injury Protection Claim?
You should file a personal injury protection claim as soon as possible following your car accident. Often, insurance companies require you to submit your personal injury protection claim in a very short time frame after your accident – check with your specific insurance company to verify the details. You may have to collect different forms of documentation to file alongside your claim, such as initial medical bills.
Because this coverage often operates in a limited time frame, you do not have to wait until after you finish treatment for your injuries to file your claim. You can file your first bills with your initial claim and send your insurance company additional bills after you incur them. You may have to file a supplementary claim to receive this compensation.
California Minimum Liability Coverage
While the state of California does not require personal injury protection coverage for motorists, you do need to carry a minimum of insurance coverage under the state law. These minimum coverage amounts help you recover from damage to yourself and to other people and property.
- $15,000 for bodily injury to each person in an accident you cause
- $30,000 for total bodily injury per accident you cause
- $5,000 in total property damage per accident you cause
How to File a Successful Personal Injury Protection Claim
Since insurance companies are the ones who have to pay for your claim, they are not always the most willing to offer you maximum compensation. Filing a successful personal injury protection claim requires adhering to the details of your injuries and hiring a car accident attorney to assist you with your case. Without an airtight case, you could face a denial.
Make sure you collect as much documentation as you can that’s related to your injuries and the accident. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to represent your claim. Your attorney will be able to evaluate offers by the insurance company and help you determine if you are receiving a fair settlement amount. For best results, retain the services of a Los Angeles car accident attorney to assist you with your personal injury protection claim.