Maryland Drivers: Please Stop Waiving Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage under Your Automobile Insurance Policy!
What is (PIP) coverage? (PIP) coverage provides payment for medical expenses related to injuries you have sustained in an automobile accident including, but not limited to, medical and surgical treatment, hospital stays, medical supplies, x-rays, physical therapy, and chiropractic services. In Maryland, eligible medical expenses are paid up to 100% of the PIP coverage amount.
For example, if you elect (PIP) coverage in the amount of $2,500, eligible medical expenses related to the accident are paid by your automobile insurance provider up $2,500. If you elected PIP coverage in the amount of $5,000, eligible medical expenses related to the accident are paid by your automobile insurance provider up to $5,000. Under the foregoing examples, instead of having to pay these medical expenses yourself, your insurance company will pay the eligible medical expenses pursuant to your (PIP) policy. Simply put, this adds up to more money in your pocket!
(PIP) coverage also pays 85% of lost wages related to your injuries sustained in the automobile accident. For example, if your doctor did not clear you to return to work right away and you were forced to miss a few days from work as a result, you would be paid up to 85% of your regular wages for the time you missed from work. Additionally, even if you were paid through sick leave for this period of time you missed from work, you will still receive an additional payment for the same time period under the PIP provision of your automobile insurance policy.
Why not waive (PIP) coverage? The answer is simple. If you pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver, without (PIP) coverage, you will be required to pay the medical expenses related to the accident directly from your settlement proceeds or court Judgment, thereby reducing the amount of money you walk away with.
Like so many of us who drive in the DMV region on a regular basis, you have probably been in at least one automobile accident. (PIP) coverage is something that you should not waive lightly. I understand that due to this unprecedented economic crisis that we are facing, you may be tempted to waive PIP coverage. But if you can afford (PIP) coverage, it is something worth having.
Alphonso S. Hearns, Esq.
Managing Attorney, Hearns Law Group, LLC