“PIP” stands for Personal Injury Protection. If you were injured while using, occupying, or operating a motor vehicle or if you were injured by a motor vehicle as a pedestrian or bicyclist, your medical treatment may be covered by the PIP benefits of an auto insurance policy. Payments for loss of income may also be covered by PIP if you are unable to work for at least 14 days, and PIP can also provide coverage for “essential services,” child care, and funeral expenses. (See ORS 742.520 and ORS 742.524.)
In Oregon, all auto insurance policies must include $15,000.00 of medical coverage per person for one year after an accident–or for two years starting in 2016*. This coverage pays reasonable and necessary medical bills, and it is available regardless of who was at fault in an accident. You may have more than $15,000.00 of PIP coverage per person available on your policy, but $15,000.00 is the minimum in Oregon. The PIP coverage on your auto policy applies to you as the insured on the policy, and it can also apply to family members living with you in your household, passengers occupying your vehicle, and pedestrians struck by your vehicle. While PIP coverage is required on all auto insurance policies in Oregon, it is not required on motorcycle insurance policies. It is a good idea to check with an attorney to learn about the specifics of coverage in your particular situation.
If your auto insurance company stops making PIP payments or informs you that it will not provide you with PIP coverage at all, there may be a way of fighting the PIP denial. It is a good idea to talk to an attorney. I represent individuals in fights with auto insurance companies over PIP denials. For information or to schedule a free consultation, call 503-451-3656.
*The start date for the two-year requirement is January 2, 2016 for policies written or renewed on that date. The start date can be later, depending on the date on which the policy is written or renewed.