In any discussion aboutpersonal injury laws in Maryland, it is important to touch on the subject of personal injury protection, also known as PIP coverage. Everyone can, AND SHOULD, purchase PIP coverage through their insurance company. It is relatively inexpensive and provides additional coverage for your medical bills and lost wages even if the accident is your fault. If you have PIP coverage, you and everyone in your vehicle may be eligible for up to $2500 per person toward payment of medical and hospital expenses and lost wages.
Maryland’s Required Minimum PIP Coverage for Drivers
Maryland drivers are not required to purchase PIP coverage, but automobile insurance providers operating in Maryland are required to offer it. Beware if your agent recommends that you waive PIP coverage. The minimum amount of PIP coverage Maryland auto insurance providers may offer is $2,500 per covered person. Many states have some form of no-fault auto insurance law on their books, and in each of these states, the laws vary somewhat from no-fault insurance laws of other states.
How a PIP Claim Works
PIP claims are filed directly with the injured person’s insurance provider. When you file a PIP claim, be sure to provide copies of all the documents you have related to the accident and your expenses, like copies of your medical bills and the corresponding medical reports. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate this process.
Through a PIP claim, you can recover compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses, including hospital and rehabilitative therapy;
- A portion of the injured victim’s lost wages;
- Funeral expenses for victims killed in car accidents; and
- Coverage of domestic services the victim needs but cannot perform while injured.
The Differences Between a PIP Claim and a Personal Injury Claim
The primary difference between a PIP claim and a personal injury claim is the insurance provider paying out for the damages incurred. With a PIP claim, the coverage comes directly from your insurance provider. With a personal injury claim, it comes from the negligent party’s insurance provider. A PIP claim is no fault, meaning it doesn’t matter who caused the accident. To recover compensation from a negligent party’s insurer, you must provide a sufficient amount of evidence to prove that your damages resulted directly from the other party’snegligence.
In Maryland, a PIP claim must be filed within one year of the accident. For comparison, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is three years from the date of the accident. In Maryland, drivers have the option to purchase full PIP coverage or a more limited version that only covers parties other than the driver and family members age 16 or older. This latter type of coverage benefits unrelated passengers and children.