Medpay, or Personal Injury Protection (PIP), is a type of motor vehicle insurance that covers medical bills, wage loss, and other costs associated with vehicle accidents regardless of fault. This means that even if you caused an accident or multiple parties are at fault, it doesn’t affect your coverage and ability to cover expenses associated with damages in a car accident.
If you have been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, speak with an experienced Washington car accident lawyer for an assessment of your case. You may be able to recover additional compensation for your losses.
PIP Insurance Coverage in Washington State
In Washington State, the law does not require that policyholders acquire PIP insurance coverage. However, insurance companies are obligated to offer it to their motor vehicle insurance customers. They may opt-out of PIP coverage by documenting it in writing.
At a minimum, PIP coverage includes the following in Washington:
- $2,000 for funeral expenses
- $5,000 – $14,600 in service benefits for home and transportation assistance
- $10,000 – $35,000 for medical bills
- $10,000 – $35,000 for lost wages
If the insurance company does not obtain the written rejection of the PIP coverage, they are obligated to add it to your policy.
Essential Information about PIP Coverage in Washington State
After a collision, there is essential information you need to know to cover medical expenses and other costs associated with PIP insurance.
PIP Insurance Is Primary Insurance Coverage
If you have PIP coverage, you will have to notify your medical providers after your accident. PIP is considered a primary insurance, and your health insurance becomes secondary coverage. For example, if you have $50,000 of PIP coverage, your health insurance wouldn’t kick in until you’ve spent the entirety of your PIP amount. Once you’ve spent $50,000, the PIP carrier will issue a letter advising that the coverage is exhausted.
Car Insurance Companies Pay Higher Rates
Car insurance companies usually have to pay more than health insurance companies for the same medical care. The reason for this is because health insurance companies can negotiate in-network rates with medical providers who agree on a discounted rate for referrals. Your car insurance company has to pay out-of-network rates with medical providers. This can be an issue once PIP runs out.
Insurance Pays for Bills Received
Car insurance companies pay bills as they are received; this can be problematic when medical bills for severe injuries quickly use up all of your PIP. An example of this would be if your PIP pays for your physical therapy bill that could have been covered by your health insurance just because they received that bill before the hospital bill, which your health insurance may not cover.
Tracking every invoice from a medical provider is important with PIP insurance. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer can mitigate some of the complexities of keeping track of invoices and obtaining important documentation.
Insurance Companies Do Not Coordinate Care
When you have exhausted all of your PIP coverage, your medical insurance coverage kicks in. This can be an issue because medical care that is covered by PIP might not be covered by your health insurance. Making sure that providers are in-network can save you the hassle of paying out-of-pocket down the road.
You May Have to Pay Covered Costs Back
An important detail to be aware of is that when your car insurance pays your medical bills, they may try to recover some of their expenses by obtaining it from the insurance company of the person liable for the incident.
You may also need to reimburse your car insurance company for the PIP used if you win a settlement or verdict from a lawsuit related to your accident injuries. When working with an experienced personal injury lawyer, they may negotiate bills and work with lien holders to minimize the amount you have to pay back.
Speak with an Experienced Washington Car Accident Lawyer at Premier Law Group
If you have been injured in a Washington accident due to someone else’s negligence, using PIP insurance can be beneficial to cover costs due to medical bills, lost wages, or funeral expenses. If you are needing long-term medical care, it may be essential to consult a personal injury Washington lawyer at Premier Law Group for an assessment of your case. You may be able to obtain past and future compensation for the losses associated with your accident and future medical expenses.
The legal team at Premier Law Group is proud to offer compassionate and diligent representation to those who have been terribly injured due to someone else’s negligent actions. We are dedicated to making sure your rights are protected and you get the compensation you deserve. Call (206) 880-7518 or fill out our contact form for a complimentary consultation.