Updated on: 11/13/2019
Perhaps the most significant difference between Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and other types of auto liability coverage is that PIP is a no-fault type of coverage, meaning that the policyholder’s medical bills and other losses will be covered no matter who was at fault for causing an accident victim's injuries.
After an auto accident, a victim may make a claim to their insurer for medical expenses and wage loss whether or not they were negligent and at-fault for the accident. While other types of coverage will typically be included in a settlement that is determined later on, no-fault PIP coverage is available as soon as the policyholder makes the claim.
Damages Covered by PIP
There are a number of losses that an accident victim may be reimbursed for through their own PIP coverage. Medical bills and lost wages – stemming from missed time at work – are some of the more common damages that victims claim under PIP coverage.
But when an accident victim’s injuries are so severe that they have to undergo medical treatment and miss time at work, everyday household chores and other otherwise simple tasks are most likely going to fall through the cracks as well. And when you can’t mow the lawn or cook meals for your family because of your injuries, who is going to pick up the slack?
Many people don’t know that everyday responsibilities can be included in a personal injury claim as a loss of essential services. These essential services may include, but are not limited to, any of the following:
- Mowing the lawn and gardening
- Routine cleaning of the home
- Preparing meals for the family
- Running regular errands
- Home repairs and maintenance
Filing a Claim for Loss of Essential Services
PIP coverage will compensate claimants for hiring a person to complete any of these tasks while the victim is recovering from their injuries. It is important to remember that simply experiencing pain or discomfort does not mean a person can claim a loss of essential services; the victim’s physician must provide the insurance company with documented evidence showing that their injuries prevent them from accomplishing routine tasks.
The monetary value of coverage for a loss of essential services claim depends on state law, but claimants in Washington are typically allowed a $40 daily limit and a maximum limit of $5,000. These details ultimately depend on the type of insurance coverage you have and your policy limits.
Consulting with your personal injury attorney or the insurance company will help you to better understand how much coverage you will be eligible for in the event of an accident.