What is Personal Injury Protection?

Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of insurance individuals can obtain that allows them to receive coverage regardless of who causes an injury. PIP is considered a “no-fault” type of auto insurance, but California does not have PIP coverage available to drivers. However, California does offer something very similar to personal injury protection insurance coverage, known as “Med Pay.” Here, we want to review PIP, examine California’s Med Pay, and discuss the benefits of this type of coverage.

Why is PIP Helpful?

Personal injury protection insurance is considered a “no-fault” type of insurance that pays for medical bills and other costs related to a vehicle accident, regardless of who caused the incident. When a PIP policy is in place, it typically covers the policyholders and any passengers in the vehicle, even if some of them do not have personal insurance themselves.

Auto insurance requirements differ from state to state, and we primarily see PIP coverage available in states that mandate no-fault insurance coverage. In a no-fault state, individuals will turn to their own insurance carrier for certain types of compensation after an accident, regardless of who caused the incident. However, not every state is a no-fault state concerning auto insurance, so PIP coverage is not available in every state.

California is not a no-fault state, but it still does have Med Pay.

How Does Med Pay Work in California?

Med Pay in California does have certain advantages, and we encourage drivers in this state to consider purchasing a Med Pay add-on to their policy. Current state law requires that all drivers carry the following types of insurance:

  • $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident of personal injury liability insurance
  • $5,000 in property damage liability insurance.

Med Pay is not required under state law, but individuals who carry this type of coverage will be able to receive compensation for their medical bills after an accident, regardless of who caused the incident. This coverage typically allows for claims to be paid for medical bills much faster than if a crash victim had to rely on waiting for a settlement from an at-fault party’s insurance carrier.

Med Pay covers the individual who purchases the policy, their immediate family members, and passengers in the vehicle. Med Pay Will handle reasonable and necessary medical expenses following an accident, including emergency room visits, medical equipment, follow-up doctor visits, physical therapy or occupation, dental work, prosthetics, etc.

Do You Need an Attorney to Get Med Pay Benefits?

In most situations, individuals will not need an attorney specifically for their Med Pay benefits. These types of benefits are typically paid without the insurance carrier putting up too much of a fight, mainly because this is no-fault insurance, so there will not need to be any determination of liability.

However, it is not uncommon for individuals to struggle to recover compensation from an at-fault party after an accident. Individuals may use their Med Pay benefits to hold them over while waiting for a larger settlement through an ongoing vehicle accident claim against a negligent driver. We encourage any person struggling to recover compensation after a vehicle accident to reach out to a personal injury lawyer who can assist them throughout the entire process.

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