In the event of an automobile accident, there are various ways in which to receive compensation for your injuries. In many cases, this will be through a personal injury lawsuit, but there may be other options as well. For instance, certain insurance policies provide personal injury protection (PIP) to drivers. This will work a little differently from a lawsuit, and the compensation you receive for damages will be somewhat limited, but this can still be a good option in certain cases.
Personal injury protection is intended to cover medical expenses and lost wages due to an accident. You make PIP claims against your own insurer, not against the other driver. As such, it may or may not affect your premiums.
The coverage you receive may be subject to certain limits depending on the policy and your insurance provider.
The main benefit of PIP coverage is you can receive it regardless of your own fault in an accident. If your injury resulted from your own negligent actions, you wouldn’t be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, but you could still receive compensation from your own insurance policy.
PIP in Illinois
Various states have “no fault” laws which require insurance companies to provide PIP coverage. Illinois is not one of those states, though some insurers still provide personal injury protection. If you have this type of coverage, you have the option to make a PIP claim to cover medical expenses and lost wages that would result from the accident.
Since there is no legal requirement in the state with respect to personal injury protection, the exact amount of coverage you receive will vary, as will the rules and limitations your insurer will have in place.
Should I Make a Personal Injury Protection Claim?
PIP claims are especially useful in those instances where you wouldn’t be able to recover damages for an injury, as would be the case if you caused the accident. Illinois’s rules on who can pursue a personal injury lawsuit limit damages to those who are less than 50% at fault for the accident, and partial fault can still reduce the payout, so in some cases, a PIP claim is the most efficient way to handle the situation.
In other cases, it’s not ideal. While you could have your medical costs and lost wages covered by your insurance policy, this could affect your premiums, and you won’t be able to get damages for pain and suffering, property damage, and so forth. Depending on the situation, you can get a lot more from a personal injury lawsuit than you could from PIP insurance coverage.
When making decisions about whether to pursue a lawsuit or make a PIP claim, there are many factors you’ll need to consider. Speaking with an attorney as soon as you can will help you pursue the best possible course of action, so contact Hart David Carson LLP if you have been involved in a vehicle accident. We can advise you on what to do to receive what you deserve for your injuries.