Kentucky motorist are required to maintain specific levels of automobile insurance. Many drivers are confused about the “no fault’ or PIP insurance policies followed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We will attempt to clear up some of the confusion.
What is PIP?
Personal injury protection or “no fault” insurance means if you are involved in an accident regardless of fault your claim will be filed with your own insurance company. The at fault driver is not required to pay anything out of pocket to the victims of an accident if those victims have PIP coverage.
Is PIP mandatory?
While it is not mandatory in order to waive this insurance, you have to file specific documents with the Department of Insurance. This document must be filed with the Kentucky Department of Insurance and provides motorists the option to refuse to accept only the limited compensation allowed when using this coverage. Otherwise, claims for injuries are limited by the policy and will pay only $10,000 in medical bills and lost wages.
In addition, PIP coverage does not apply if the other vehicle in an accident is uninsured, it’s an accident is related to employment activities or if the accident involved a motorcyclist who has not purchased PIP coverage. When you are involved with an accident with a motorcycle, it is important to know if they have elected special PIP coverage.
Does PIP rejection include all family members?
In most cases all family members are rejecting the coverage. However one notable exception is that your spouse must sign the rejection form themselves to be excluded. If your spouse does not sign the PIP rejection form and you are both involved in the same accident, they would be limited to PIP reimbursement.
What about deductibles on PIP Policies?
Some policies do include deductibles which can be problematic for drivers. For example if you have two family members injured each would pay an equal portion of the required detectable. therefore, if you are deductible amount is $1000, each person would have to sustain $500 in monetary losses. This means that injuries would have to exceed this amount before any reimbursement for medical costs is available to victims.
Does PIP include lost wage benefits?
Well there is some coverage for lost wages, the maximum amount you can collect is $200. In addition, you can only collect 85 percent of your lost wages. For someone earning only $200 a week, the maximum amount that can be collected is $185. In addition, if a person is collecting Worker’s Compensation benefits at the same time, their total PIP payout may be further reduced.
What if my injuries exceed PIP?
PIP will cover injury expenses up to $10,000 and will only cover your expenses that are at least $1000. Only in specific situations may you pursue additional compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
If you have rejected personal injury protection coverage for your medical costs and lost wages are in excess of 10,000 dollars, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney to help determine your options. Since the personal injury protection rules are very complicated and exclusions may apply to bicycle riders, pedestrians and motorcycle operators it is important to speak with an attorney who can explain your rights.
If you have been involved in an accident and you have rejected PIP coverage and the other driver has PIP coverage there may be additional options for getting compensation for your injuries. Additionally, even if you have PIP coverage, if your claims are rejected by your insurance company, you may need an attorney to assist you with getting the reimbursement that you are entitled to under the policy.
Any time you have suffered an injury because of someone’s negligence or inaction, it is important that you have someone working to protect your rights. In addition to the injuries you have suffered, you should not have to suffer financially because of an accident. Whether you are injured in a construction accident, a car accident or a motorcycle accident, you have the right to ensure that you understand how the personal injury laws can work for you and an attorney who understands these laws can serve as your advocate. Contact our attorneys for a free consultation today to talk about your legal rights.