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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

Is Personal Injury Protection Required in Texas? | Evaluate Your Options

Talking to an insurance company is one of the most important steps to take before going on the road. Even though people can prepare for a potential car accident as much as possible, they can't control how other people behave out there. In the case they were to get into an accident, Texas law offers quite a few options for auto insurance.

When getting auto liability insurance from a company, the representatives will also offer PIP insurance, as it's required by law. Do drivers have to accept this auto insurance policy, though?

To put it simply: Drivers have the right to deny PIP coverage. However, this may not be such a wise decision to make, especially considering how common car accidents in Texas are. According to a report from the Texas Department of Transportation, at least 239,709 people were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes back in 2021.

PIP insurance can be a great complement to auto liability insurance, allowing victims to pay for their medical bills or lost wages without having to get money out of their pocket. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can explain questions such as what does personal injury protection cover in Texas?

This page will cover how important Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is and whether there are other options available for those who don't want it.

Is Personal Injury Protection Coverage Important?

Is Personal Injury Protection Coverage Important?

PIP insurance may not seem like the greatest option if the victim is already getting auto insurance. However, the main benefit of this type of coverage is that it protects people during unexpected scenarios.

Hit-and-run cases, for example, tend to be complicated, as it can be hard to track down the driver who fled the scene. In these scenarios, PIP coverage works perfectly, as it reimburses the victim anyway.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) also works if the at-fault party doesn't flee the scene but doesn't have insurance. If the other driver has insurance, but it isn't enough to cover all medical bills, PIP coverage may offer just enough to give the victim peace of mind.

Finally, it's important to note that PIP insurance doesn't only protect the driver; it also protects the passengers. This ensures that the other people in the vehicle get the care they deserve after an accident, whether it was their fault or not.

In other words, PIP coverage gives drivers the reassurance that they will get protected in most cases surrounding car accidents. It never hurts to get as much protection as possible. Predicting car accidents isn't easy, so it's always better to be safe than sorry.

How Does Personal Injury Protection Insurance Compare to Med-Pay?

Insurance companies can offer PIP, Medical Payments Coverage (Med-Pay), or both. However, drivers can only choose one option. It's important to note that these companies aren't obligated to offer Medical Payments Coverage as they are with PIP.

In essence, PIP offers more benefits than Med-Pay, while the latter is more affordable. Most of the time, Med-Pay offers coverage for:

- Expenses related to injuries that appeared within one year of the accident.

- Health insurance deductibles.

- Co-pay reimbursements.

Unfortunately, Med-Pay doesn't offer coverage for essential services or lost wages. Med-Pay tends to make more sense for retirees who won't benefit in any way from lost wage reimbursements. Other than that, it will always be better and more convenient to get PIP coverage.

How Much Can Someone Get in PIP Coverage in Texas?

According to Texas law, insurance companies must offer at least $2,500 of PIP coverage. Depending on the driver, they could also get $5,000 or $10,000 if they pay more.

Regardless of the amount, victims can use PIP to cover:

- Reasonable medical expenses for injuries that happened within three years of the accident.

- Funeral expenses.

- At least 80% of lost wages because of injuries related to the accident. This also applies to replacing essential services the driver used to do before getting injured, such as childcare.

- Protection for other vehicle passengers.

What Happens If the Driver Denies PIP Coverage?

What Happens If the Driver Denies PIP Coverage?

Technically, nothing will happen for denying PIP coverage. However, the driver risks getting less money to cover their medical bills if they get into an accident.

Moreover, drivers should consider that insurance payments aren't always immediate. Drivers often have to wait until the insurance company investigates and determines who is at fault. Even then, the other party may make a counter-argument in their favor. In other words, the victim may have to wait a lot of time to receive their benefits, which can be a problem if their bills are piling up.

PIP, on the other hand, gets paid out regardless of who was at fault. This means that the driver will not wait as long to receive their benefits.

In many cases, the wait times to receive settlement money can make the difference between life and death. Even if the PIP coverage isn't too much for some injuries, it's still something that can be used to cover the treatment until the victim gets the rest from the other driver.

Getting PIP coverage isn't mandatory, but it's highly recommended to take it. It could save a driver's (or their passenger's) life. PIP can also provide the victim with enough money to get treatment while a professional personal injury attorney in Houston TX builds their case.

Bottom Line

Getting auto insurance coverage is only one measure people can take for better protection in case they get involved in an auto accident. Unfortunately, filing a PIP claim doesn't necessarily mean the victim will get all the money they want for their medical treatment.

Health insurance companies don't always have their client's best interests at heart, which is why it's crucial to talk to a professional personal injury attorney to ensure maximum compensation. They can also help with questions like Does homeowners' insurance cover off-property injuries?

The team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys has former insurance company workers on their side, meaning they know all the tricks these companies use to get their clients a lower compensation amount.

Dealing with huge medical expenses can be devastating for any victim and their family, so those interested in evaluating their options should schedule a free consultation with this law firm today.


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