The minute you are injured in a State with PIP insurance is the minute you will be flooded with phone calls from attorneys and doctors offering services for your injury. It’s a blessing to have such quick access to medical care, but it can also turn into a nightmare if you don’t know what you’re doing.
It can be difficult to navigate the insurance claims process when you are injured, but having PIP insurance can sometimes make things even more complicated. The minute you file a claim, insurance companies will try to find “loopholes” in your policy that can be used to deny or limit your coverage. They might also take advantage of the fact that you are injured and may not know all the details about filing an insurance claim.
On top of this, some unscrupulous medical providers and attorneys may take advantage of the fact that you have PIP insurance by inflating your bill, adding extra services you don’t need, or even charging for services they never provided. This is why it’s important to do your research when selecting a medical provider or attorney—it’s better to be safe than sorry.
What is PIP – Personal Injury Protection Car Insurance?
PIP stands for “Personal Injury Protection” and is a type of car insurance coverage required in some states. PIP covers medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses associated with an injury caused by a motor vehicle accident. It’s important to note that PIP does not cover damage to your vehicle or property—that would be covered by collision insurance.
It is important to understand that PIP insurance can be a double-edged sword. It offers great protection for those who are injured in an accident, but it can also make you vulnerable to exploitation and fraud if you don’t know how to protect yourself. That’s why it’s important to research your options and make sure you understand the coverage provided by your policy.
Having PIP insurance can give you peace of mind and financial protection in the event of an injury, but it is important to be aware of the potential pitfalls that come along with it.
In Which States is PIP Insurance Mandatory?
Currently, there are 14 states in which personal injury protection is required or partially required including:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
If you live in one of these states and do not have the minimum amount of PIP insurance coverage required by law, you could be subject to fines or other penalties.
While 8 states have it as optional, including:
- South Dakota
- Washington, D.C.
Doctors and Medical Professionals Who Take Advantage of PIP
As an experienced car accident attorney – I have a lot of experience dealing with car accident victims in states where PIP insurance is available or required. In many, many instances I have witnessed the following:
Chiropractors – claim the pain and issue are from an area that isn’t the issue. Because they want the business and will use up all of your PIP Insurance.
Example – I had a client with a torn rotator cuff – the Chiropractor claimed the pain was due to a shoulder and neck injury which they could solve with sessions of treatment. Of course, the injury never got better and the client needed to see a real orthopedic surgeon. But, by the time it had become unbearable and warranted further evaluation, the client’s PIP insurance had been used up by the Chiropractor.
Medical providers – charging for services never provided, needed, or overcharging for services entirely.
Attorneys – that try to take advantage of your situation and make false promises to get a bigger settlement from the insurance company.
How These PIP Scams Start
Not all solicitations you receive in the mail after being in a car accident are bad. But for all the clients we have worked with, there was a clear pattern when it came to PIP abuse.
- The client Received an offer in Mail after an accident;
- A convincing letter or offer was given;
- The professional stated they could help;
- they knew what the problem was and they could treat it;
- the actual injury goes untreated as the doctor, chiropractor, or other care provider treats a phantom injury.
Document Everything with a Medical Provider
Also, especially in some of these big facilities where a member of the medical staff see hundreds of patience it is okay to ask for the report of the visit before you leave. It is also okay to ask that an injury be documented. Otherwise, you will be in court or need to prove the injury and if it isn’t documented then it doesn’t exist.
By documenting every visit to a medical provider, you can make sure that your PIP insurance is used to cover only medically necessary care related to the car accident. This will help you retain as much of your coverage so that it can be used if you need additional treatment at some point in the future.
Be Careful and Don’t Fall Victim to PIP Abuse
The best way to protect yourself from becoming a victim of PIP abuse is by understanding your rights and being proactive. Make sure you read the policy before signing it, talk to your insurance company about what kind of coverage you are entitled to, and document every visit or interaction with medical providers related to the injury.
If you feel like you have been a victim of PIP fraud, contact an experienced car accident attorney immediately. They can help protect your rights and make sure that the insurance company pays for all necessary medical care related to the injury.
Remember: Always get everything relevant in writing. This includes what treatment is being prescribed, how much it will cost, and how long it is expected to take.
Stay aware and stay safe!