This is only a guide to help you determine what kind of coverage you may have and how you can use it.
Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, is the most common form of coverage we see used to treat injuries after a car accident. This protection covers the medical expenses of everyone in the car regardless of who caused the car accident, earning it the “no-fault insurance” title. Unlike the highly aggressive world of healthcare insurances, PIP will pay for your treatment until you have fully recovered to pre-injury status, or until your PIP limit has been reached.
This means that you have the freedom to choose any healthcare provider or clinic that you want. Most importantly, PIP fully covers chiropractic care, a proven method of treating whiplash injuries using Croft Guidelines. The biggest requirement is that the healthcare provider must prove the medical necessity of the treatment and that the injury being treated was indeed caused by the car accident. At Dr. Ibolit, our chiropractors do this type of documentation during our initial examinations to create a strong foundation, showing your insurance your current condition and during the following re-examinations to document progress.
Sound too good to be true? Here are a couple of scenarios that might affect you
If you live in Oregon, congratulations, you automatically have PIP as long as you have valid car insurance. It’s state law!
If you live in Washington, things might get a little more complicated. Most people make sure their health is covered under their car insurance, but Washington state doesn’t require you to have personal injury protection. Unfortunately, that means there are many people who opt out of having it.
The important keyword here though is that you must opt out of having this coverage by either signing a waiver or verbally agreeing that you do not want this coverage. From our experience, there have been several cases where the patient did not purchase PIP, but with the help of an attorney, they were able to get the coverage anyway because their insurance company could not produce a record of the opt-out waiver.
PIP has a limit. Different insurances offer different levels of coverage. It is usually presented as option A, B, or C, but the only difference is the amount of money your insurance will pay on your behalf. Think of it as a pool of money that can be used for one very specific purpose, such as the medical treatment of you and anyone in your car in the case of a car accident. Once that money is gone, they don’t owe you anything else, regardless of how serious an injury may be! If this is the situation that you’re in, check if you have access to additional PIP or third-party coverage.
Are you the passenger in the car accident? You may have more options!
Additional PIP coverage may be available to you if you were not the driver. As mentioned before, PIP insures everyone in the car at the time of the accident, so in the case that the driver has PIP, you are automatically covered through their insurance. In addition, you may also be able to claim your own PIP coverage if your insurance policy is different than that of the driver!
Obviously, this gets complicated very quickly. A good first step is always to report the incident to both insurance companies. When you schedule an appointment at Dr. Ibolit, we will have a dedicated billing specialist talk to your adjuster about all the options you have available. Additional legal assistance is always suggested.
How can Dr. Ibolit help you?
We work with car accident injuries daily, and this means we can work with your insurance too. Schedule an appointment with us today and begin your recovery. Meanwhile, we will take care of everything else in the background.