Auto Insurance PIP, what is it?
Oregon law requires that all insurers provide personal injury protection (PIP) when issuing your insurance policy. PIP is mandatory by law in the State of Oregon, but not in the State of Washington.
Auto insurance PIP pays for your medical bills and certain other living expenses, such as medication, ongoing lost wages if you can’t work, and in-home assistance care while you are recovering, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. It protects you from going into debt while you are treating and gathering evidence for your insurance claim. The PIP monies paid by your insurer are reimbursed to your insurer after you have recovered money from the at-fault driver. This is called subrogation and the at-fault or “adverse” car insurer will reimburse the PIP insurer what they have paid for these expenses.
Under auto insurance PIP, your auto-related medical expenses get paid up to $15,000, but this amount can be higher if you paid for a larger benefit on your insurance policy. Lost wages also will get paid under an additional $15,000 PIP benefit. Your auto carrier will pay 70% of your wages during the time you are getting medical care. The 30% difference will be paid to you at the time your case settles. If you have your own disability insurance separate and apart from PIP, you can get paid by both at the same time, but you may have to reimburse your disability insurer if your policy language requires it.
You receive auto insurance PIP benefits for up to a year after the car accident, or more than a year until you reach the PIP money cap that your policy has. The PIP insurer can stop paying PIP monies on wages and medical bills if an Independent Medical Examination (IME) indicates to them that you no longer need treatment for the injuries suffered in your accident. An IME is performed by a doctor who is selected and paid for by the PIP insurer. They can schedule the exam at a time of their choosing. Most IMEs in Oregon and Washington are triggered by excessive medical care or bills which appear unreasonable to your PIP insurer.
Practical Tip: Always ask your insurer to send you a PIP application right away after a car accident. The insurer will usually defer any payment until the signed PIP application is returned to them.
Although Washington State does not require that personal injury protection be provided, they do have something called “med-pay” under which your car accident medical bills and lost wages can be paid.
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