Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of auto insurance the State of Texas does not require. In general, PIP pays for your damages and losses after an at-fault accident. Understanding personal injury protection, when you might need it, and how to pursue benefits from a PIP policy could help you recover financially after a car accident in Texas.
Contact a car accident lawyer near you for answers to your specific questions about personal injury protection coverage.
Texas is a fault-based insurance state, meaning that an at-fault driver or party will be liable for crash-related damages. If you cause an accident, you will have to pay for damages.
If you only carry Texas’ minimum required amounts of insurance, your policy will not cover your own damages in an at-fault accident. Personal injury protection is optional, but you must tell the company in writing if you wish to reject this coverage. Personal injury protection auto insurance pays for a few different damages the policyholder suffers if he or she needs extra coverage.
Most PIP insurance plans provide $2,500 to $5,000 or more in coverage for the at-fault party and his or her passengers. As someone involved in an auto accident, you may be eligible for coverage under PIP insurance as well as other policies, including that of an at-fault driver, vehicle owner, employer or multiple parties. If you do not have PIP coverage, you may have other policies available to take your claim.
After an auto accident, if you wish to recover compensation through your policy’s PIP coverage, you will need to document your accident, injuries, medical expenses and related losses of income. Your insurance company will need proof of the losses you are claiming.
Report the car accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Most companies make it mandatory to report a wreck within 24 to 72 hours. You will submit the necessary documentation for your insurer to review, then wait up to 30 days to hear back from the insurance company. The insurer will either accept your claim and offer a settlement or deny coverage.
You may not need to file a PIP claim with your insurer if someone else caused your auto accident. If another driver or party is to blame, that person’s policy may be liable for your damages. Hire an attorney to investigate your crash if you are not sure of the cause. If the at-fault party does not have enough insurance or you caused the accident, file a claim seeking PIP benefits from your insurer.
If your insurance company accepts your claim, it will offer a settlement according to the perceived value of your losses and the limits of the policy.
Your insurance company might not offer a high enough settlement for your losses depending on the situation. Insurance companies often try to protect their bottom lines more than their clients.
If you believe your medical bills and lost wages combined are worth more than your insurer has offered, negotiate for a higher settlement with help from an attorney.
A Dallas personal injury lawyer can take over communications with your insurer to pursue the fair amount of your claim or the maximum under your policy’s limit. A lawyer could also help you explore recovery options outside of a PIP settlement for greater compensation.