So you’ve been in a car crash, or you’ve been struck by a car while a pedestrian or on a bicycle. If you are an Oregon resident, and bought your car insurance as an Oregon resident, your car insurance is supposed to pay your medical bills for any treatment related to the car accident. This part of your car insurance is called PIP (Personal Injury Protection) and it’s a required part of your auto policy in Oregon. Not all states require PIP be a part of every car insurance policy.
PIP pays “reasonable and necessary” medical bills for anyone covered under the policy, regardless of fault. In other words, you are covered under your PIP and possibly other policies even if you caused the collision.
You might be qualified to receive PIP benefits under multiple policies. For example, if you were injured as a pedestrian you are entitled to your own car policy and the PIP policy of the person who hit you. You could also be living with someone (family, etc.) and you might qualify for PIP under his or her policy. If you have multiple policies, you have more money to pull from to pay all of your medical bills related to the crash.
To find out, call a personal injury lawyer.
Most people have $15,000 in the medical part of their PIP policy. Some have more, but $15,000 is the required amount. The $15,000 can be used for up to one year or until the money is exhausted, whichever comes first. Your insurance company will determine whether it believes the care you are receiving is related to the car collision. If your insurance company thinks you are taking too long to get well, or thinks you need to stop treating, it can send you to a doctor of its choice to examine you.
If you get in this spot, please call a personal injury lawyer.
In Oregon, PIP also pays for wage loss. PIP pays for 70% of your wages for 52 weeks up to $3,000 a month. Wage loss reimbursement is separate than your medical payments, you can have nothing left in your medical portion but still be entitled to more weeks of wage loss. If you were out of work for a solid 14 days PIP will start to pay wage loss starting at the crash date. If you are out for less than 14 days, you don’t get PIP wage loss.
If you were injured by the fault of another, and you would like to be reimbursed all of your wage loss, please call a personal injury lawyer.
PIP also pays for other things like childcare ($25 a day if you are in the hospital), housekeeping if you are a homemaker, etc.
If your provider accepts PIP payments, PIP pays according to a schedule laid out by Oregon law. The provider cannot charge more than what he/she charges the general public or more than the payment schedule laid out in Oregon law. If your provider tries to bill you after PIP has paid on the bill for that date of service, please call a personal injury attorney.
If you are not at fault for your crash, and you have hired a personal injury attorney, then your attorney will work on whether your insurer gets paid back from whatever you get from the at-fault driver. Otherwise, if you don’t have an attorney, you will likely not be involved in your PIP provider getting paid back by the at-fault company. It will happen without your help.
If you really want to read the Oregon statutes about PIP, start at ORS 742.518, https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/ors/ors742.html.