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Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Under Kentucky Law

4 October 2010

Kentucky has had a no-fault law since 1974. It applies to motor vehicles that ply the roads of Kentucky. Part of the heart of no-fault is personal injury protection, called PIP.

If you are in a wreck in the Commonwealth of Kentucky you will probably have PIP protection. You will have at least $10,000 to cover medical bills and lost wages and related bills. You must contact your insurance agent immediately after an accident and get a claim number, show your auto insurance card at the emergency room and tell them not to bill your health insurance carrier! Your health insurance will seek the return of the money they pay at the emergency room and your auto insurance will not.

You must secure the services of an attorney as soon as possible to assist you with important decisions that will need to be made early in your claim, for example do you have health insurance? If so, should you have your medical bills paid by your health insurance and reserve the $10,000 PIP for your lost wages? Kentucky law allows you to direct the payment of your PIP benefits among the various claimants. (K.R. S. 304.39-241) PIP coverage is provided first by the vehicle you are riding in or driving. If you have no auto insurance at all, there is an assigned claims plan that may assign you to an insurance company to pay your providers up to $10,000.( K.R.S.304.39-160) Once you have incurred $1,000 in medical bills you may file a claim or file suit.

Some people wait until their bills total several thousand dollars to hire a lawyer; this is a mistake, get legal advice early. Your lawyer will advise you of your options in dealing with the insurance carriers early in your treatment to see that you are treated fairly and your PIP money is properly allocated between your providers and you.

Lastly, review your auto insurance coverage with your agent to see that you have sufficient PIP coverage, an extra 10 or 20 thousand can often be purchased for less than $100 per car per year and the extra 10 or 20 thousand can be stacked upon your basic coverage if you get injured in an auto accident, no matter who is at fault. PIP is the cheapest health and disability insurance you can buy. Auto insurance is no place to cut corners, merely “keeping you legal” isn’t enough, save money elsewhere and protect yourself in the event of unexpected injury.

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