What is Personal Injury Protection, or PIP?
If you sustain an injury that is the result of the use, maintenance or occupancy of a motor vehicle then your car insurance will pay up to $15,000 towards your medical treatment through your personal injury protection coverage for up to 1 year after the injury. You may receive higher limits, but only if you paid the higher premiums.
PIP is an incredible resource to turn to in the event of an accident. It is an excellent means to getting rid of medical debt after a car crash. Personal injury protection helps pay for your medical bills. Use your PIP first, before health insurance, for several reasons:
- Your health insurance most likely will not pay because they know PIP should pay.
- PIP only pays for treatment up to a year, or $15,000 (whichever comes first).
- Once your PIP has expired, you can use health insurance to pay your medical bills until you receive a settlement.
- PIP is great even if you don’t have health insurance, because within reason you may see any physician you like.
- Some PIP policies have a deductible, but Oregon law does not allow this to exceed $250.
PIP is also a good resource to turn to if you’ve been injured and cannot work. PIP will cover some of your wage loss, normally 70 percent, at a maximum of $3000 per month. 70 percent of your income may not sound like a lot, but generally speaking, this help in income is untaxed.
There is a catch though: PIP will only pay toward your wage loss if you miss 14 consecutive days of work. Insurance companies can be pretty strict about this requirement, so if you find yourself in a situation like this, it’s best to stay home and not return to work for any reason. If needed, make arrangements with a co-worker to drop off any items you may need off, because a simple trip back to work could cost you a PIP wage loss denial. Also, make sure your time off from work can be verified by a doctor. Request a written note from your physician saying that you cannot work for 14 days or more.
Be careful if you use your sick or holiday days for your absences from work—PIP, in the end, may just pay your employer directly, instead of you. It is then your responsibility to negotiate with your employer to get the sick or holiday days put back into your account in exchange for the PIP money that you have given back to your employer.
If you’re a stay-at-home mom or dad, PIP may work for you too. If you are unable to perform normal household functions such as cooking, cleaning, or childcare as a result of your accident-related injuries, PIP will pay up to $30 per day for you to hire someone to do these tasks for you. $30 isn’t a lot, but it’s better than nothing.
PIP is a valuable resource that can make the reality of an accident-related injury a little bit easier. But you might still need medical treatments after your PIP is exhausted, at which point you might want to consider hiring a Portland personal injury lawyer to help you get compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
For more information on PIP, and other tools to help you with your Oregon personal injury case, please feel free to contact us, or read 7 Common Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Oregon Personal Injury Case.