You were in injured in a motor vehicle accident and purchased your auto insurance in Oregon. Your Oregon auto insurance policy provides at least $15,000 in coverage for “reasonable and necessary” medical costs related to the crash. This no fault medical insurance in your own auto insurance policy is commonly known as “PIP” coverage. PIP is short for for Personal Injury Protection. Oregon PIP benefits expire one year after the accident.

Immediately after a traffic crash, notify your own auto insurer of the crash and your need for treatment. Ask for a PIP claim number. Think of your PIP claim number as money and present bring the claim number at all medical and therapy visits.

If you were a passenger in an auto or truck accident, PIP coverage under your driver’s auto policy is primary. After the driver’s PIP coverage is exhausted or disclaimed, you may be able to tap PIP benefits under your won auto policy. Once all PIP benefits are exhausted or disclaimed notify your health insurer and bill the health insurer medical costs related to the traffic accident.

Your health insurer probably won’t pay for your medical charges due to a traffic accident before PIP is expired. But many times after an accident, a health insurer is billed because PIP claim has yet to be asserted. Should a health insurer pay for medical costs due to a traffic crash, the health insurer will have a reimbursement or “subrogation” claim for the medicals paid due to the car accident. Also, doctors, hospitals and other medical services providers may file a lien in the court to protect their financial interest. Also, if you are Medicaid or Medicare eligible, a “conditional payment letter” must be obtained prior to settlement.

Settling a motor vehicle claim without accounting for all medical costs, liens and reimbursement claims will leave you exposed. You could even be sued.
Protect yourself. Then choose an experienced attorney who understands Oregon insurance law. Richard Rizk can be reached at (503) 245-5677 or at rich@rizklaw.com.