Personal Injury Protection or Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage, Should You Get It?
In short, “Yes.” Why? Because the personal injuries and damages caused by the collisions in many of the cases we handle are much greater than the amount of insurance carried by the drivers that caused the damages and injuries.
Minimum Auto Liability Insurance Limits in Texas
Texas requires all drivers (except drivers of commercial vehicles like 18-wheelers) to carry a minimum of what is called a 30/60 auto liability insurance policy. This means that these drivers only need to have $30,000 in insurance to cover one person injured by them and $60,000 in insurance to cover all (two or more) persons injured by them. In the auto collisions we handle, a 30/60 policy often is not enough to pay our clients for their injuries and damages. Your injuries and damages from an auto collision can include the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost earnings/wages
- Mental anguish
- Physical impairment (physical limitations)
- Disfigurement (e.g., bruises, cuts, burns, and scars)
If you are injured in a car collision caused by someone else, you are owed the above damages in the past and the future. Your past damages include the weeks and months immediately after the collision. Your future damages can include the months and years long after the collision. Often, past and future damages exceed the $30,000 for an individual and the $60,000 if more than one individual is injured in the collision. This is where Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist insurance can help you get more money.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Personal Injury Protection or PIP is auto insurance coverage that you pay extra for to help pay your medical bills and lost earnings or wages caused by the collision. For example:
Our client was hit in an auto collision and broke his nose. He had $1,210.80 in medical bills. We settled his claims for a total of $60,000 (i.e., $30,000 from the insurance company of the person that hit him and $30,000 from our clients Underinsured Motorist coverage). However, the $1,210.80 in medical bills did not come out of his $60,000 settlement. Why, you ask? Because he had PIP from his auto insurance company at the time of the collision. So, his auto insurance company paid PIP coverage in the amount of $1,210.80 on top of the $60,000 for a total of $61,210.80. Our client got $40,287.20 after attorney fees, case expenses, and payment of his medical bills.
This is why PIP can help you.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance (UM or UIM)
In the case above, the person that hit our client only had a 30/60 policy. That meant, our client could recover a maximum of $30,000 from the insurance company of the person who injured him. A broken nose is worth than $30,000.
Question: How did we get more money for the broken nose, who paid it, where did it come from?
Answer: Our client’s Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Insurance coverage from the auto liability insurance company covering the car that he was a passenger in.
The owner of the car that our client was a passenger in paid extra for UM/UIM for situations just like the one described above. The owner of the car had a 30/60 UM/UIM policy limit, so we were able to recover the limits of $30,000 not only from the liability insurance of the person that hit him, but also another $30,000 from the UM/UIM insurance coverage on the car our client was a passenger in. Without UM/UIM, our client gets only $20,287.20 instead of $40,287.20. That is a $20,000 difference.
There is another scenario where UM/UIM can pay you. If you are injured in an auto collision by someone who does not have insurance or the driver of the other vehicle drives off before you can get their information (this does happen), having UM/UIM can save you. For example:
Another one of our clients was hit and injured in an auto collision. However, in this case, the person who hit our client was driving with no insurance coverage. Fortunately, our client had UM/UIM to cover injuries in cases where the person causing injuries has no liability insurance. Our client had a 30/60 UM/UIM policy. Our client’s insurance carrier offered her the $30,000 limits.
This is why UM/UIM can help you.
If you are deciding on whether to purchase PIP or UM/UIM, we hope this article helps you make that decision.
Talk to a skilled Houston personal injury attorney
An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to pursue PIP and UM/UIM coverage. Get the money you deserve. If you have injuries involving a personal injury accident of any kind,contact the Houston personal injury attorneys at BadassInjuryLawers.com today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your options to get your money.