Maryland Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
What is PIP?
If you were involved in a car accident, you have undoubtedly been told that you need to make a PIP (Personal Injury Protection) claim. If you have never heard of or have no idea what PIP is, you are not alone. PIP coverage is a form of no-fault insurance that allows an insured to recover for medical expenses and lost income resulting from a motor vehicle accident. Section 19-505(a) of the Insurance Articles provides that, “[u]nless waived in accordance with § 19-506 of this subtitle or rejected in accordance with § 19-506.1 of this subtitle, each insurer that issues, sells, or delivers a motor vehicle liability insurance policy in the State shall provide coverage for the medical, hospital, and disability benefits described in this section for each of the following individuals:
(1) except for individuals specifically excluded under § 27-609 of this article:
(i) the first named insured, and any family member of the first named insured who resides in the first named insured’s household, who is injured in any motor vehicle accident, including an accident that involves an uninsured motor vehicle or a motor vehicle the identity of which cannot be ascertained; and
(ii) any other individual who is injured in a motor vehicle accident while using the insured motor vehicle with the express or implied permission of the named insured;
(2) an individual who is injured in a motor vehicle accident while occupying the insured motor vehicle as a guest or passenger; and
(3) an individual who is injured in a motor vehicle accident that involves the insured motor vehicle:
(i) as a pedestrian; or
(ii) while in, on, or alighting from a vehicle that is operated by animal or muscular power.
What does income mean?
In terms of PIP, income means:
wages, salaries, tips, commissions, professional fees, and other earnings from work or employment;
earnings from a business or farm owned individually, jointly, or in partnership; and
to the extent earnings are paid or payable in property or services instead of in cash, the reasonable value of the property or services.
Does Maryland mandate a minimum level of PIP, if not waived or rejected?
Yes, the minimum medical, hospital, and disability benefits provided by an insurer under for PIP 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.
Do I need to provide my entitlement to PIP?
The PIP statute provides, in pertinent part, that “[a]s a condition of providing loss of income benefits under this subsection, an insurer may require the injured individual to furnish the insurer with reasonable medical proof of the injury causing loss of income.”
Is there anything that may be excluded from coverage?
Yes, an insurer may exclude PIP coverage for:
An individual, otherwise insured under the policy, who:
1. intentionally causes the motor vehicle accident resulting in the injury for which benefits are claimed;
2. is a nonresident of the State and is injured as a pedestrian in a motor vehicle accident that occurs outside of the State;
3. is injured in a motor vehicle accident while operating or voluntarily riding in a motor vehicle that the individual knows is stolen; or
4. is injured in a motor vehicle accident while committing a felony or while violating § 21-904 of the Transportation Article; or
The named insured or a family member of the named insured who resides in the named insured’s household for an injury that occurs while the named insured or family member is occupying an uninsured motor vehicle owned by: 1. the named insured; or 2. an immediate family member of the named insured who resides in the named insured’s household.
In terms of motorcycles, mopeds, or motor scooters, an insurer may: (i) exclude the economic loss benefits described under the PIP statute; or (ii) offer the economic loss benefits with deductibles, options, or specific exclusions.
Henderson Law is accepting new cases in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Henderson Law is willing to take new clients across the State of Maryland, including, but not limited to, new cases arising in the following cities: Annapolis, Crofton, Bowie, Upper Marlboro, Crownsville, Davidsonville, Edgewater, Millersville, Odenton, Severna Park, and Pasadena. Please call Henderson Law for an initial consultation.