Everyone knows that they must obtain automobile liability insurance to drive a car legally in the state of Kansas and in every state in America. But did you also know that in Kansas we have something called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits? When I meet with people who have been injured in an automobile accident, I will often hear them say, Kansas is a “no fault” state. They believe that somehow this prevents them from being able to recover for their injuries, even if someone else is at fault in causing the accident. The truth is that PIP coverage is what allows you to get immediate treatment and wage replacement while you are recovering from your injuries and waiting to receive a fair settlement for those injuries caused by the negligence of another.
Kansas law requires that every insurance company give you PIP medical benefits at a minimum of $4,500. You may also be entitled to some additional rehabilitation and substitution benefits if you qualify. Your insurance company is also required to provide wage replacement for part of your wages for up to one year if you were working at the time of the accident and have been restricted by a doctor. These benefits are included as part of the premium you pay. Your insurance agent (or online insurance company) may not even tell you that you have this benefit and as a result, you may just be given the minimum limits required by the law. With the skyrocketing costs of healthcare and the uncertainly of the Affordable Care Act, $4,500 will barely cover the cost of one diagnostic test and certainly will NOT cover an ER visit. Therefore, it is very important for you to ask about the options available to you under the PIP coverage of your policy. PIP coverage is relatively inexpensive compared to the rest of the premium. The coverage is usually offered in predetermined increments way beyond the minimum limits of $4,500 required by the law.
These limits will cover not only you but all the people in your household who are listed as insureds on your policy. Buying higher limits may give you peace of mind knowing you have enough coverage to get the treatment you need without having unpaid medical bills stack up. Even if you are sure the accident that caused your injuries was totally the fault of the other driver, you still may not have your bills paid by their insurance company for a long period of time. Additionally, they may deny you the type of treatment that you want to recover from your injuries. Or you may be denied treatment from providers because you don't have health insurance.
If you've been in an automobile accident, an attorney can help you better understand your PIP benefits. Having adequate PIP coverage will help ease the stress caused by an automobile accident and allows you to concentrate on recovery and getting back to your life.