How Does Personal Injury Protection Work?

Personal Injury Protection

Personal Injury Protection (PIP), also referred to as no-fault insurance, covers medical expenses for drivers and their passengers regardless of who was at fault for a car accident in Hawaii. This allows you to file a claim with your own insurance company without dealing with the other party’s insurer, depending on the severity of your injury(s) and other losses.

In many states, PIP covers more than just medical bills. It may also include coverage for lost wages, substitute services such as cleaning or childcare, or funeral expenses if the victim passes away. Here, we’ll discuss how PIP works and how to claim your benefits if you suffered injuries in a Hawaii car accident.

How Does PIP Coverage Work in Hawaii?

Hawaii’s no-fault insurance law requires all drivers to purchase at least $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection car insurance. This coverage provides money for injuries and lost income resulting from motor vehicle accidents. These benefits are paid no matter who was at fault up to the policy limits.

In addition to PIP coverage, the state’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs requires drivers to purchase liability insurance. The mandated minimums include:

  • $20,000 for injury liability coverage per person
  • $40,000 for injury liability coverage per accident
  • $10,000 for property damage liability coverage per accident

What Does PIP Cover?

In Hawaii, PIP covers all accident-related medical treatment such as:

  • Hospital stays
  • Surgeries
  • Nursing care, including advanced practice nursing
  • Dental care
  • Eye care
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and chiropractic care
  • Ambulance trips
  • Prosthetic services and other medical equipment and supplies
  • X-rays
  • Psychiatric care
  • Therapeutic massage by a licensed massage therapist (if prescribed by a medical doctor)

Hawaii residents must add an optional wage loss coverage to their overall PIP insurance policy to compensate them for time off work as they recover from their injuries.

Benefits of PIP Coverage

PIP coverage allows accident victims compensation for their medical expenses and lost income much sooner than those filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Litigation can take months or years to resolve, and trials are risky.

PIP also reduces the number of lawsuits filed in the Hawaii courts, which can also help accident victims who need to file lawsuits to get their case before a judge much sooner.

Does PIP Insurance Cover Car Damage?

PIP does not cover vehicle and other property damage. Victims would need to go through the at-fault driver’s insurance company for that compensation.

Is There a Difference Between PIP Coverage and Medical Payments Coverage?

Yes. PIP coverage and Medical Payments Coverage (often referred to as MedPay) are separate. MedPay focuses on immediate medical care payments, while PIP is more comprehensive and covers longer-term medical costs like rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and chiropractic treatments.

Should I Get Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) can help cover your losses if you are injured by a driver without adequate insurance coverage. UM/UIM coverage may also provide additional wage loss coverage not covered by PIP. Since the minimum amount of PIP coverage required in Hawaii is only $10,000, UM/UIM coverage could provide sufficient supplemental coverage given the high costs of medical care.

Injured in a Crash in Hawaii? Call Recovery Law Center For Help

If you were seriously injured in an accident in Hawaii, PIP coverage might not be enough to compensate you fully for the harm you’ve suffered. Fortunately, the law may allow you to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver in addition to your PIP insurance claim. A car accident lawyer from Recovery Law Center can determine your legal options and fight for the outcome you deserve.

There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain by scheduling a free case review. Call us, chat with us live, or reach out to us online today.

Author Glenn Honda

For over 25 years, attorney Glenn Honda has helped people injured in accidents throughout Hawai’i get the best outcome for their case, whether it’s maximizing their settlement, or balancing costs and risks vs. putting the whole experience behind them. As the founding attorney of the Recovery Law Center, he is passionate about helping his clients with their physical, emotional and financial recovery. Mr. Honda will fight to get you coverage for your medical bills, lost wages, damaged property and other costs related to your accident.