Is Coverage for No-Fault and Personal Injury the Same?
Personal injury protection (PIP) is sometimes referred to as no-fault insurance – but Georgia is not a no-fault insurance state. PIP is not required or available to most drivers in our state, but many insurance providers offer a similar type of optional coverage, MedPay. MedPay can help insured drivers receive additional compensation for their medical bills and other damages related to injuries sustained in a car accident. This often allows you to be compensated for out-of-pocket accident medical costs instead of needing to wait for the other driver’s insurance to pay your injury claim. No-fault insurance states require drivers to carry personal injury protection because each driver is technically responsible for paying for their injuries. However, in an at-fault state like Georgia, the at-fault driver is required to pay for the other party’s damages through their insurance coverage. If you’re in Georgia, you can use the additional protection afforded by MedPay insurance to:
- Pay for initial out-of-pocket costs before your claim is honored by the other driver’s insurance company
- Pay for medical care if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured
- Supplement the claim payment from the other driver’s insurance company if your costs exceed their liability limit
- Supplement your own uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage
MedPay and UM/UIM coverage are not the same thing, but they do offer some synergistic benefits. If you don’t have UM/UIM but you do have MedPay, you will at least get some compensation if an uninsured driver hits and injures you. If you have both, then your UM/UIM benefits would provide coverage in addition to your MedPay coverage.
What Exactly Is Personal Injury Protection Coverage, and What Does It Cover?
Personal injury protection cover is a requirement in no-fault states. Currently, there are 12 no-fault states, including Florida. Minimum insurance requirements in those states include PIP insurance on top of property damage liability. This generally means drivers in no-fault states have less protection. The PIP minimum of $10,000 in Florida will cover less than the $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident bodily injury liability coverage required for drivers in Georgia. Personal injury protection covers a wide range of damages, including:
- Past and future medical bills of the driver and any passengers
- Medical expenses related to physical therapy, prescription medication, and medical equipment
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Funeral expenses if the accident results in the death of the driver or passengers
- Injury-related caretaking expenses, like help getting around, doing chores, or caring for children
Am I Required to Have Personal Injury Protection in Georgia?
PIP coverage is not available to most drivers in Georgia. As an alternative, insurance companies provide optional medical payments insurance, commonly known as MedPay, which serves the same purpose and helps drivers pay for accident-related medical bills. Like most states, Georgia is an at-fault state, meaning drivers don’t need to purchase PIP or MedPay, but they are required to have bodily injury and property damage liability auto insurance coverage to pay for other people’s injuries or damages if they caused an accident.
How Can I Find the Right Auto Insurance Coverage for Me?
Choosing the right auto insurance coverage can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. By understanding your needs, familiarizing yourself with the different types of coverage, and comparing offers from various insurers, you can land the most suitable protection for you. Whether you live in a no-fault state requiring personal injury protection or an at-fault state like Georgia, it’s crucial to ensure you have adequate coverage.
Understanding Your Auto Insurance Needs
Firstly, it’s crucial to assess your personal needs in the context of auto insurance. This involves considering factors like the value of your vehicle, your driving habits, and your financial capability to handle out-of-pocket costs in the event of an accident. Remember, the goal of insurance is to give you peace of mind and protect you from financial disaster.
Familiarizing Yourself with Different Insurance Coverages
Auto insurance is not one-size-fits-all. Various insurance coverages cater to specific damages and situations. For instance, MedPay or personal injury protection (PIP) covers medical expenses regardless of who’s at fault. Understanding what each coverage entails is essential in making an informed decision.
Comparing Insurers and Plans
Once you understand your needs and the different coverages, it’s time to shop around. Comparing offers from various insurers allows you to gauge the market and find the most value for your money. Look at factors such as premiums, deductibles, coverage limits, and customer service.
Considering Additional Coverages
While basic coverages can provide sufficient protection, you might want to consider additional coverages for added security. Uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage, for example, protects you if an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you.
Is it Possible to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in a No-Fault Insurance State?
Auto accident injury cases are not uncommon in normal at-fault insurance states like Georgia. When someone causes an accident, their insurance company should pay for the injuries they cause. If the insurance company undervalues or denies an injured person’s claim, the injured party may need to file a complaint and seek damages through the civil court system. The process is a little different in a no-fault state like Florida. Your insurance is responsible for paying for your injuries – so does that mean you would sue your own insurance company? Not necessarily. In a no-fault state, you can still hold the other driver liable for negligence if the cost of your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering exceed your PIP policy limits. However, you would need to exhaust your PIP policy before you could go after the other driver’s insurance and assets.
Our Atlanta Attorneys Will Help You Handle Your Personal Injury Claim
At the Dressie Law Firm, we help auto accident victims file personal injury claims. We negotiate on behalf of injured Atlanta drivers to increase the likelihood of maximizing their compensation. If the responsible driver’s insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement offer, we won’t hesitate to take your case to trial. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in or around Atlanta, we would be happy to discuss your situation during a free consultation. Call (678) 679-0569 or send us a message for more information.