What is PIP?
PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection – also known as no fault insurance. This is an optional insurance plan that covers medical expenses for injured policy holders and the other passengers inside the car at the time of the accident. Like other insurance policies, it comes with different limitations and benefits that vary state-by-state.
PIP Coverage in the District of Colombia
In D.C., you have the option to choose between PIP benefits or filing a legal claim, but you lose the right to sue the driver that caused the accident unless there are extreme injuries involved. The deadline following the accident is 60 days to make this decision. The minimum coverage is $25,000 per person, $50,000 for accident (bodily injury or death), and $5,000 for property damage. Pursuant to DC Code 31-2405, if you have chosen PIP benefits, you can file a claim if you have (1) substantial scarring/ disfiguring, (2) impairment that’s permanent, or (3) anything that prohibits you from doing your usual professional and or daily activities for more than 180 continuous days. You can also file a legal claim if your medical expenses exceed the amount of PIP benefits available.
If there’s an instance where an individual dies in an auto accident, nothing in the law will prevent survivors of a deceased victim from maintaining civil action based on liability of another person.
In this case, the insurance company must notify any identifiable victim in writing of the 60-day election period. The election period can also be extended with a written mutual agreement of the victim and the insurance company. The closest relative can make a PIP application for anyone incapacitated. If the individual does not have a closest relative, an individual who is taking responsibility of victim’s affairs can take over this process. Keep in mind, if the covered victim fails to make an election within the 60-day period, the mandatory liability insurance coverage applies.
PIP Coverage in Maryland
Maryland PIP insurance covers the same essential requirements above. However, no matter who is at fault, PIP insurance provides primary coverage. In some cases, this may be before health insurance policies are applied. This does not cover car repairs, damages to the property of others, or damages that occurred on buses or in taxis. In short, this coverage only includes medical expenses and lost wages. In Maryland, there’s a $2,500 minimum PIP coverage, maximum of $10,000. Maryland Section 19-508 PIP states there’s a one-year statute of limitations on PIP claims in MD.
MedPay Coverage in Virginia
Virginia’s no fault coverage insurance is referred to as “MedPay”. Maryland and Virginia’s coverages are fairly similar, as they reimburse medical expenses regardless of who is at fault. As far as lost wages, they offer up to $100 a week until you’re able to return to your occupation. Pursuant to VA code 38-2-2201, this coverage also includes (1) anyone in the car at the time of the accident and (2) the residential spouse and relatives of the insured who are stuck by a vehicle, even if not occupying a vehicle at the time.
If you are in an accident, please do not hesitate to call us at 703-655-9148.