Legal insights and tips from the veteren Attorney of 40 years.
HOW TO USE YOUR PIP (PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION) AND PROTECT YOURSELF AFTER A VEHICLE ACCIDENT
We have previously discussed PIP (Personal Injury Protection), which is basically no fault medical expense insurance coverage that you would have for an automobile accident involving an insured motor vehicle. If you have automobile insurance, you have a minimum of $10,000 PIP coverage per person on your vehicle. You can buy more PIP coverage than this.
Medical providers know that you probably have at least $10,000 PIP coverage when you arrive at the ER, and it will be used up quickly. If you are airlifted, the $10,000 will not come close to covering that cost. After an accident, when you are able, our advice is to complete your PIP application and direct which providers are paid, or you can have the PIP coverage sent to you directly to pay the providers yourself. Some PIP providers will try to pay your medical providers only a percentage of what is due, leaving the balance for you to pay. This is wrong and you should protest or hire counsel.
Let’s assume that after the ER, you have some PIP coverage left, and your doctor sends you to a specialist or physical therapy. They will gladly accept your PIP coverage. However, beware. They may want you to sign an agreement that provides that your attorney will pay them in full from your personal injury proceeds if your PIP coverage runs out. If you sign such an agreement, they can sue you and you will you have to pay them and their attorney’s fees. Our advice is, do not sign such an agreement. There are specialists and physical therapists who will treat you without signing this type of agreement.
In addition, you need to determine before your treatment if your health insurance will be accepted by the specialist or physical therapist after your PIP coverage runs out. If not, do not use them. You want to go to a specialist or physical therapist who will accept your regular health insurance coverage, if treatment expenses exceed your PIP coverage.
We recently had a case where the medical provider used up the PIP and then would not accept our client’s medical insurance. The client had signed an agreement for physical therapy to pay in full for the services provided. When, the client could not pay the additional charges, the provider sued the client for $1,200 plus attorney’s fees, while her personal injury case is still pending in court. That is chicken s---. This is just making money for their attorney.
Be careful and stand up for your rights - David O.
For a meeting with one of our lawyers, call our office in Corbin at 606.528.5001. Personal injury and bankruptcy clients are entitled to a free initial consultation. We maintain flexible office hours to accommodate your needs.
Please Note: David Smith, Marcia Smith are independent attorneys with individual areas of practice.