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What is PIP and what does it mean for Kentucky drivers?

Imagine you are driving down the street when suddenly, out of the corner of your eye, you see another vehicle headed right toward you. They have failed to yield the right of way at a traffic signal. As a result, they collide with your vehicle, causing damage to both your car and yourself.

If you were sure you did nothing wrong, you would likely want the other driver to pay for the damages to your car and any medical expenses and lost wages you incur as a result of the crash. But let's say the driver leaves the scene of the crash, gives you false insurance information or does not have enough insurance to cover the damages. How will you cover your expenses? 

In Kentucky, the answer to this question is PIP, or personal injury protection coverage.

PIP is part of Kentucky's Motor Vehicle Reparations Act, also called the no-fault law, that was enacted in our state in 1975, explains by the Kentucky Department of Insurance. Under Kentucky law, all drivers, with the exception of motorcyclists, must carry basic PIP coverage in order to drive in our state. This means that even if the other driver does not have insurance or not enough insurance, your own PIP policy could kick in to cover the damages.

What does PIP cover?

A basic PIP policy typically covers up to $10,000 per person after a crash, allowing that person to recover lost wages as well as medical costs and other costs associated with accident injuries. For those who realize this may not be enough to cover all injury costs, higher benefits and deductibles are available.

If I have PIP coverage, can I still sue after a crash?

Even though PIP coverage waives your right to sue an at-fault driver after a crash, you still may be able to sue if the cost of your injuries exceeds certain state thresholds. Under KRS 304.39-060, this threshold is "$1,000 in medical expenses, a broken bone, permanent disfigurement, permanent injury, or death."

You're covered whether you realize it or not

Because of PIP coverage, you have a better chance of recovering at least a portion of the damages you suffered in a serious crash. Of course, if you receive pushback from your insurance provider or believe you may need to take legal action in the form of a lawsuit, then consulting with a skilled accident attorney is something you should consider.

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