If you’ve been involved in a vehicle accident, you may have suffered damage to much more than your car. Accidents can result in serious injuries that mean significant medical bills, time lost from work and other expenses. A type of insurance coverage known as personal injury protection can help you cover various costs related to an accident.
Under vehicle liability insurance, the policy of the driver who causes an accident typically pays any resulting costs, including property damage and medical care for victims. But personal injury protection is considered “no-fault” coverage, meaning that it may cover some medical bills for the owner of the policy and for passengers in the owner’s vehicle, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. The protection is mandatory in some states, including Maryland.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance in Maryland
The state of Maryland requires that motorists buy vehicle insurance from approved providers that are licensed in the state. Insurance also can be purchased from authorized agents of approved companies. Maryland requires several types of vehicle insurance:
- Liability insurance covers harm that you cause and that another party suffers. Harm can include injuries, death and damage to property. You’re required to carry coverage of at least $30,000 for injury to one person, $60,000 for injury to multiple people, and $15,000 for damage to property.
- Uninsured motorist coverage pays for harm caused to you by another motorist who does not have insurance at all or who has insufficient insurance coverage. The state requires that you carry at least $30,000 in coverage for injuries to one person, $60,000 for injuries to multiple people, and $15,000 for damage to property.
- Personal injury protection coverage, known as PIP, pays benefits that cover medical bills, hospitalization and disability. Payment can be as much as $2,500 for reasonable expenses that result from a vehicle accident. PIP coverage can range from a minimum of $2,500 to a maximum of $10,000. This coverage is per person.
Maryland drivers can choose limited personal injury protection that does not pay benefits for you and any other individual in your family who is at least 16 years old. You also can opt to get full personal injury protection coverage that provides benefits for you, anyone else in your family, and anyone else in your vehicle — even if the individual is not a member of your family — at the time of the accident. Limited protection costs less and may be a better option if you have other insurance for medical expenses and hospitalization.
What Types of Expenses Does PIP Cover?
PIP coverage can help you with a number of expenses related to injuries you suffer in a vehicle accident. Expenses can include bills for medical care and hospitalization, along with expenses that your health insurance policy does not cover. The exact coverage can differ depending on the state in which the coverage is written, but PIP typically can act as a supplement to health insurance.
Expenses covered by PIP may include:
- Continuation of your income if you’re unable to work.
- Medical bills, including any medical and surgical treatments, nursing services, transportation by an ambulance, dental services, medical supplies, medications and prostheses.
- Substitute services if you are unable to perform duties for which you’d normally be responsible in your home, such as cleaning and maintenance.
- Child care.
If you purchase only the limited PIP protection required by the state of Maryland, you may not be covered for lost wages, substitute services and other expenses. Consider raising the limits of your PIP policy to meet the specific needs you and your family would have if you were seriously injured in a vehicle accident and temporarily lost the ability to work.
PIP sometimes is referred to as “no-fault” coverage because it is designed to be paid regardless of fault, or liability, in a vehicle accident. That means that if you are injured in an accident, you can make a claim under your PIP policy whether the accident was caused by another motorist or by you. Even though the claim is paid regardless of fault, however, your premium still may increase if you are found to be at fault in an accident.
If someone else has caused an accident that left you or a loved one injured, you may be entitled to additional compensation for your medical expenses, time lost from work, pain and suffering, and other harm you’ve suffered. To request a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney, please contact DuBoff & Associates, Chartered.