What’s Personal Injury Protection & Insurance?

A countless number of personal injuries happen every day throughout the state of California. Many of them are the result of motor vehicle accidents. While it’s not something most people want to think about, its important to have a plan for how you will cover costs if you or a loved one suffers a personal injury in a car accident. Expenses can mount up pretty quick if you have to pay for things such as medical bills and household services you cannot perform while injured. Even worse, you may be unable to work and are no longer receiving a paycheck. You’ve already been in an accident? Talk with our experts and see if you are entitled to conpensations.

Just as we plan for other major life events, it is important to plan in the unfortunate event you are injured in a car accident. Personal injury protection (also known as PIP insurance) should probably be part of that planning. Before making any decisions it is important to understand what personal injury protection is and how it can be a lifesaver when dealing with the expenses of a personal injury from a car accident.

What is Personal Injury Protection?

Personal injury protection (PIP) is a no-fault insurance that covers certain expenses when you or another passenger in your vehicle suffer a personal injury as the result of a motor vehicle accident. This protection is provided regardless of who caused the accident. There is no definitive list as to what PIP insurance covers and can vary from policy to policy. However, typical expenses that this insurance may cover include things such as (1) medical bills, (2) household services (e.g., house cleaning, childcare, etc.), (3) rehab costs, (4) short or long -term care, and (5) lost wages if you are unable to work due to your injuries. It may also provide a death benefit if the insured individual passes away to cover things such as funeral costs.  

There are some significant benefits to having personal injury protection. Those include the following:

Passengers are Covered – PIP insurance provides the same coverage for expenses (e.g., medical bills, lost wages, etc.) for your passengers as you receive. Whether those passengers are your children, a friend, or your neighbor it is good peace of mind to know that, if any of them suffer a personal injury while in your vehicle, they will have certain expenses covered. 

Quick Pay Out – Payment from a third-party insurance company can take a long time to receive. Even longer for any payment you may receive from a personal injury lawsuit. PIP insurance is designed to provide you a quick payout to ensure there is no unnecessary added stress of paying medical expenses or having no money to pay for your essential needs because you are not receiving a paycheck. 

 Fault is Irrelevant – This has been touched on already but its important to reiterate, PIP insurance pays out regardless of who is at fault. It doesn’t matter if you were at fault, another driver, or if it was the result of some act outside of your control. That also means that the results of any investigation or lawsuit are irrelevant as well. PIP insurance is designed to provide quick relief by taking negligence out of the equation. 

Covers Unique Situations – If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you are still protected by PIP insurance. While there is still plenty of reason to hope the cops find the driver, at least your livelihood and ability to pay your expenses will not be dependent on finding them. PIP insurance also provides coverage when the other driver is at-fault and is either underinsured or uninsured. 

If you have PIP insurance and are involved in a motor vehicle accident, make sure you contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Most insurance providers require you to submit a claim within a certain period of time after the accident occurred. In addition, make sure you submit bills and receipts for any expenses covered by your PIP insurance. This will ensure your claim does not get denied and you receive your benefits in a timely fashion. 

Do I Need Personal Injury Protection?

California is a “Fault” state which means drivers are financially liable if they cause an accident and are required to have liability insurance. However, in California it is not mandatory to have personal injury protection. 

While you may not be legally required to have this added protection, you may still need it. For instance, what if you are in an accident that is caused by an individual that failed to have liability insurance and they have no other financial resources. The only means by which you may be able to pay any expenses you incur would be through a personal injury protection insurance policy. Or, if the accident was your fault, personal injury protection may be the only means for paying for any personal expenses stemming from your injury without having to pay out of your own pocket. 

Personal injury protection, especially for minor incidents, can also prevent you from having to deal with the time and hassle of having to file a personal injury claim. In cases where the injuries are minor and the expenses are limited, it may be more costly to file a lawsuit than to cover the expenses with your PIP insurance. 

While there are some great benefits to PIP insurance it is not a requirement, so you should also consider any potential downsides. The most obvious is that it is an additional monthly cost you would be required to pay in addition to state-required liability insurance. Also, PIP insurance only covers a limited number of expenses. For instance, PIP will not provide you any type of compensation for pain and suffering. That will only be paid out by the at-fault party’s primary insurance.


Personal Insurance Protection may not be for everyone. It may be that you simply do not have the extra money for this additional monthly expense. However, it is something you should strongly consider. You never know when you may be in an accident and suffer a personal injury. The additional monthly expense may be worth the peace of mind to know that you will not have to deal with the headache of much bigger expenses down the road. 

Even if you have PIP coverage, there may be more you need to do if you were in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver. Do not simply settle with an individual’s insurance adjuster as they do not have your best interests in mind.  If you were in an automobile accident and suffered from a personal injury, it is highly recommended that you seek the opinion of an experienced California personal injury attorney before taking any further action. Our attorneys are eager to help and represent you in the court. Contact our experts now and we will determine your best course of action moving forward.