If you get into an accident and find out you have PIP, getting PIP to pay for your medical bills, wage loss, and loss of household services can be tough. Though you may have diligently paid your insurance premiums, when an accident happens insurance companies are sometimes quick to withhold money for necessary treatment. So how can you wade the PIP waters on your own?
Immediately after a collision, call your insurance company, open a claim, and find out if you have PIP. If you were a passenger in a vehicle, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian that was involved in a collision, you may need to get the driver’s policy information to open the claim. If you are too injured to open one, go to the emergency room immediately and worry about opening the claim after you are checked out.
When there is PIP, the type of claim you will need to open is called a bodily injury claim. You will then be assigned an adjuster and given a claim number. After any medical treatment, make sure you give the provider the claim number and adjuster information.
If you pick up prescriptions to manage the pain from the accident, send the receipts you receive from the pharmacy to your adjuster along with a copy of the prescription written by the doctor. Instead of reimbursing the pharmacy directly, you will likely pay out of pocket for the prescriptions and then be reimbursed through PIP once they receive the receipts.
Unfortunately, giving your medical providers your claim information may not be enough for your insurance company to pay them with PIP. Adjusters may request your medical records to figure out if the injuries you sustained in the accident were pre-existing. If they were, the adjuster may deny payment. Contesting such denials requires you to send in doctor’s notes that indicate the condition was exacerbated by the accident and even then you may have an uphill battle ahead of you.
In order to collect wage loss reimbursement from PIP in Washington State you must be out of work for 14 consecutive days. In addition, it’s more likely PIP will reimburse your wage loss if you have a doctor’s note that explicitly states you are too injured to work. Talk to your doctor after the accident and if he or she gives you a note to give to your employer that states you should be out of work for more than two weeks, make a copy and send that note off to the bodily injury adjuster as soon as possible.
If you go back to work at any point in the two weeks after the accident, PIP will not reimburse you for the few days you missed. PIP will also not reimburse you if your doctor instructed your employer to put you on light duty. However, keep track of any time missed or pay cuts due to light duty if you are seeking a settlement from the other driver’s insurance.
Loss of Household Services
If you are too injured to take care of chores around the house and need to hire a professional service to help you, PIP will reimburse you for that expense. Make sure you keep the receipts you get from these services and send them to your adjuster. Similar to prescriptions, once the adjuster has the receipt, they should reimburse you.
Unfortunately, if you have a family member or a neighbor come over to help you, PIP will likely not reimburse you. If you need to have someone help you out, hire a professional service that can give you a receipt and detailed description of what they did while working for you.
What Do I Do if PIP Denies Payment?
As mentioned earlier, insurance companies don’t necessarily like paying out money. When you’ve exhausted your options of sending in receipts and bills, or having your doctor state your treatment was necessary, you may want to seek out a skilled attorney. The Advocates are attorneys that specialize in dealing with getting PIP to pay for your treatment, as well as getting you a substantial settlement once your treatment is over.
If you are having problems dealing with PIP after an accident, don’t hesitate to call us. We are here to help you anytime day or night!
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