Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Maryland
Submit a timely claim for PIP benefits!
If you have just been involved in a car accident, then you may have spoken with a lawyer that asked you how much “PIP” that you have under your auto insurance policy. If you are like a lot of people, you may have no idea what your lawyer is talking about. Do not feel alone. Your lawyer is talking about personal injury protection (“PIP”) coverage. Unless you waived or rejected it, your auto policy should contain PIP coverage. You have the option of using your PIP coverage for your lost income, your medical bills or some combination thereof. In terms of lost wages, the PIP statute refers to a loss of income, which it defines as: (i) wages, salaries, tips, commissions, professional fees, and other earnings from work or employment; (ii) earnings from a business or farm owned individually, jointly, or in partnership; and (iii) to the extent earnings are paid or payable in property or services instead of in cash, the reasonable value of the property or services.
The minimum medical, hospital, and disability benefits provided by an insurer under the PIP statute shall include up to $2,500 for: (i) payment of all reasonable and necessary expenses that arise from a motor vehicle accident and that are incurred within 3 years after the accident for necessary prosthetic devices and ambulance, dental, funeral, hospital, medical, professional nursing, surgical, and X-ray services; (ii) payment of benefits for 85% of income lost: 1. within 3 years after, and resulting from, a motor vehicle accident; and 2. by an injured individual who was earning or producing income when the accident occurred; and (iii) payments made in reimbursement of reasonable and necessary expenses incurred within 3 years after a motor vehicle accident for essential services ordinarily performed for the care and maintenance of the family or family household by an individual who was injured in the accident and not earning or producing income when the accident occurred.
So, typically, an injured person will have access to $2,500.00 to cover his or her medical expenses, 85% of lost wages or some combination thereof. If you have been injured in a car accident and are entitled to PIP coverage, then it is important that you or your counsel timely submit a claim for PIP benefits. That is because Maryland law provides that an insurer may “set a period of not less than 12 months after the date of the motor vehicle accident within which the original claim for benefits must be filed with the insurer.” So, if you do not submit your claim within the deadline set by your insurer, then you may be barred from doing so. A lot of attorneys will include a request for the insurer to provide them with the insurer’s form PIP application, if the attorney does not already possess one. Importantly, you simply need to keep the time deadlines in mind and act as soon as reasonably possible.
If you feel overwhelmed by insurance jargon and the law, you are not alone. There are car accident attorneys, such as the ones at Henderson Law, that are ready, willing, and able to assist you with your uninsured/underinsured motorist claim. Please feel free to call today for a free consultation.