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Aaron House

Understanding Auto Insurance: How Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Med Pay Work

If you’re injured in a car accident, and you’re not at fault, how do you get your medical costs covered? The answer is a little different, depending on whether you live in Missouri or Kansas. In Kansas, every automobile insurance policy is required to provide personal injury protection benefits, but in Missouri, these medical benefits are optional. Here’s what you need to know about personal injury coverage if you’re the injured party in a car accident.

 

Medical Payments (Med Pay) Coverage in Missouri

 

Medical payments coverage is available in Missouri, but it’s not mandatory. Therefore, you must specifically purchase medical payments coverage as it is a separate provision under your auto policy.

 

Why Buy Med Pay?

 

Med Pay insurance is relatively inexpensive, and it provides coverage for medical bills when you have been injured in an accident.  It is a form of “no-fault” insurance, meaning you can collect these benefits regardless of who was at fault.

Med Pay offers you coverage above what you may be able to pay after an accident. Even with legal assistance, it may take time to get a settlement or other payment from the at-fault driver, and you’ll need to cover medical costs in the meantime.

Another benefit of Med Pay insurance is that the medical payments do not have to be paid back. What does that mean?  When you are injured in a car accident, and the other party is at fault, and your insurance company has paid medical bills under your medical payments coverage, your insurance company is not entitled to be reimbursed from the at-fault driver if you receive a settlement from the at-fault driver.

Many people have med pay and don’t realize they have it.  A personal injury attorney will help verify whether you have such coverage and will help obtain those benefits for their injured clients.

 

What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Kansas?

 

Personal injury protection is a no-fault form of auto insurance that pays for medical bills and other related expenses when you are injured in a car accident.  It is mandatory in Kansas, and these PIP benefits provide you with compensation for all reasonable and necessary medical costs and lost wages that you may incur from an accident, regardless of fault. In many instances, the insurance company that provided the PIP benefits will have a legal right of subrogation—that is, they have a right to be reimbursed by the at-fault party.  They do not have the right to reimbursement if the benefits are duplicative, which normally occurs when the at-fault party is underinsured.

 

What Does PIP Cover in Kansas?

 

What is covered under personal injury protection varies from state to state and policy to policy. At a minimum, in Kansas, you must have $4,500 of PIP coverage. Of course, you may purchase additional PIP coverage from your auto insurance company (but it would likely be better to purchase additional medical payments coverage instead).

In Kansas, PIP may cover the costs of any medical expenses incurred from the accident, such as:

  • X-rays
  • Surgeries
  • Dental care
  • Medications
  • Prosthetic devices
  • Physical therapy
  • Psychological therapy

PIP can also cover the losses you suffer from missing time at work, as well as the cost of hiring someone to perform household tasks that you are no longer able to perform due to the accident. In Kansas, the minimum PIP coverage for lost wages is $900 per month for a minimum of 12 months in the case that you have to miss work or are disabled. Plus, PIP provides $25 per day for household assistance.

PIP also includes a minimum of $2,000 for accidents resulting in death to cover funeral and cremation or burial costs.

You should also get speak with a personal injury lawyer to be sure you receive all of the PIP coverage you are entitled to and to ensure that you do not have to pay your insurance company back for any PIP benefits in the event that those benefits are duplicative.

 

Refer to Your Personal Injury Lawyer First

 

Not sure how personal injury insurance or medical payments coverage affects you? Your personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the legal system after your accident and help you make the most of your insurance coverage and any settlement from the at-fault party.  Call Aaron House today for a free consultation at 816-875-4260.m

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