Understanding Personal Injury Protection Coverage in DC
Personal injury protection coverage, also known as PIP and also known in the District of Columbia as no-fault coverage. It is a first-party coverage, meaning it is available on an insurer’s owned vehicle, and it pays or may pay medical expenses and lost wages ahead of any claim against another party.
If you are unsure about the various types of automobile coverage and how it relates to an accident, you should speak to a diligent attorney. A car crash lawyer could explain the various types of car insurance and help ensure you have the right type of coverage. Understanding personal injury protection coverage in DC is essential when driving on the road.
The Nuances of PIP Coverage
In the District of Columbia, if a person makes a PIP claim under their own policy, they may be precluded from making a claim against the negligent third-party. An injured party must make an election within 60 days of the date of accent as to whether or not they want to make a PIP claim or a third-party claim.
There are exceptions to PIP coverage. Some exceptions would include if the medical bills are over a certain amount if there are serious permanent injuries involved. The problem arises early when a claimant does not know whether their injuries or their medical expenses rise to the threshold, which would allow that party to make both the PIP and third-party claim.
In those circumstances, a car collision lawyer will request that the PIP carrier extend to provide the extension for the insured to make the election.
Important Elements of PIP Coverage
The most important thing for District of Columbia residents to keep in mind regarding PIP is if their accident happened in another state. For example, Maryland, they could make a PIP claim and a third-party liability claim without precluding the liability claim. The PIP application would need to be filed within 60 days. It is important that a person involved in an accident in the District of Columbia area speak to a qualified accident lawyer.
Common Misconceptions About PIP Coverage
The most common misconception about PIP is that everyone has it and everyone can use it and they can get it right away. They are the benefits of that coverage. If a DC resident is in an accident and has PIP coverage, they would not want to use it unless they were at fault or if their bills and their injuries rise to above the threshold, which would allow them to make both the liability claim and the PIP claim.
How Does PIP Coverage Impact The Car Accident Case In DC?
In most circumstances, even if PIP coverage is available on a claimant’s vehicle, that is a DC insured vehicle, PIP would not be used because the threshold would not have been met. By making the PIP claim, they would not be able to make a claim against the liable party.
Not being able to use the PIP claim does not affect the value of the claim against the other party. It is not considered in settlement discussions. So it does not affect the claim itself or the viability of the third-party liability claim. However, it does mean that any medical expenses have to be paid for the recovery or by a health insurer, which then subrogates from the recovery.
How a DC Car Accident Attorney Could Help
PIP is a complicated issue, especially in the District of Columbia because there is a short window to file an application. It is very important that somebody injured in an accident in the District of Columbia speak to a lawyer to decide whether or not making a PIP claim makes sense for them.
Most cases with soft tissue or non-permanent injuries and with relatively small medical expenses and the accident happened in Washington DC, commonly, it would not make sense to make both the claim against the at-fault party in the PIP claim. Since a PIP can be difficult to understand it is best to speak with a lawyer who handles the claims in Washington. Call today to understand personal injury protection coverage in DC.