In the state of Hawaii, individuals who are involved in an auto accident may be entitled to financial compensation for damages regardless of fault if they have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. These benefits are designed to allow accident victims, with the appropriate insurance coverage, access to compensation. At Leavitt Yamane & Soldner, serving Honolulu and all of Hawaii, our auto accident lawyers can help explain PIP benefits to you and advise you of your eligibility.
WHAT ARE PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION BENEFITS?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits apply to individuals with no-fault insurance coverage. In the event of an accident, parties who have no-fault insurance coverage can file claims with their insurance providers for compensation relating to injury expenses (property damage must be covered either by Comprehensive or Collision coverage) regardless of who is at fault. The benefits may apply to any driver, passenger, or pedestrians involved in an automobile accident, but it is important to remember that a PIP claim must be filed with the insurance provider. The benefits are not automatically awarded.
In most cases, PIP benefits pay up to the policy limits for:
• Medical expenses
• Loss of wages
• Other related injuries (though in instances of gross negligence, such as in a drunk driving accident, PIP benefits may not be applicable)
In the event of an auto accident, PIP coverage is designed to cover expenses related to medical costs and other losses stemming from injury as quickly as possible. The purpose of PIP benefits is to reduce the number of lawsuits that originate from auto accident cases, though in instances in which the damages exceed the compensation allowed by the PIP policy limits, the injured parties may be eligible to file a claim in civil court. If you have filed a PIP claim which was denied by your provider or you are seeking assistance in filing a claim, our auto accident lawyers can help. Located in Honolulu, Hawaii, we are committed to protecting victims’ rights.
WHAT COMPENSATION CAN I RECEIVE?
The compensation that an individual may be eligible to receive in the event of an accident can vary based on the circumstances of his or her case.
However, individuals can typically obtain financial compensation for one or more of the following:
• Medical expenses – Any medical costs incurred as a result of your accident may be covered under PIP benefits, regardless of which party was at fault for the collision. This can include direct medical costs, rehabilitation costs, costs related to continued care, reimbursement for prescriptions and other medicines, and reimbursement for medical transportation.
• Loss of wages – If you are unable to work as a result of your injuries or your earning capacity has been inhibited by your injuries, PIP benefits may provide you with compensation to help alleviate or supplement a loss of income. If you are unable to work because you were injured in an auto accident, it is important that you file a claim with your provider as soon as possible to obtain compensation for lost income.
• Funeral expenses and wrongful death – If someone you love has been killed in an auto accident, PIP benefits may provide the family of the deceased with compensation for funerary costs and costs relating to a loss of income and loss of companionship. Depending on the circumstances of the case, our Honolulu car accident lawyers may be able to assist you in filing a wrongful death claim against the negligent party.
For individuals who lack a thorough understanding of insurance policies and the law, fully understanding PIP benefits can be difficult, as no-fault insurance policies are complex. At the Honolulu, Hawaii law office of Leavitt Yamane & Soldner, our auto accident lawyers can explain your rights to you and take necessary action to protect your interests.