Most people with car insurance don’t realize that, under Kentucky law, they automatically have access to $10,000 to cover injuries sustained in a car accident – even if they caused the accident. And the best part – you don’t have to pay the money back!
In Kentucky, these benefits are referred to as Personal Injury Protection Benefits (or “PIP”) or Basic Reparations Benefits (or “BRB”). These benefits all fall under the umbrella term “No-Fault Benefits” and are available to you no matter who is responsible for causing the accident.
When you are injured in a car accident, you can use PIP benefits to cover your medical expenses. This is extremely important for people without private health insurance – even if you don’t have health insurance, PIP will cover your accident-related medical care. All you have to do is give your doctor or hospital your auto insurance information, and they will send the bills to your auto insurance company for payment.
PIP benefits also will cover any lost wages you sustain related to a car accident. In fact, PIP will pay you up to $200 per week towards your lost wages. If your injuries prevent you from working after a car accident, and you want to designate a portion of your PIP benefits to cover lost wages, you should contact your insurance company and complete a PIP application. You also will need to provide the insurance company with a doctor’s stating that you must be off work, and proof of your wages (such as a recent pay stub or a wage verification form completed by your employer).
As the injured party, you have control over how to use your PIP benefits. For example, if you want all of your PIP benefits to cover your lost wages, you can direct your auto insurance company to do that. If you aren’t going to miss much work, but have substantial medical bills, you can direct your auto insurance company to pay off the medical bills before covering your lost wages. You also may be able to utilize your PIP benefits to cover certain out-of-pocket expenses resulting from your accident. You have control over the process.
Deciding to how best use your PIP benefits is a tricky process, and you should work closely with your attorney to decide on the best options for you. For example, availability of short and long-term disability, private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and workers’ compensation benefits will impact how you use your PIP benefits. In you have elected to purchase more than the $10,000 in PIP benefits automatically available to you (known as “Added Reparations Benefits”) you may have access to substantially more funds. An experienced attorney can help you decide how to best utilize these benefits.
If you have questions about how PIP benefits work, or if you were injured in a car accident, please contact personal injury and auto accident attorney Chris Haden at The Haden Law Office.