Does Personal Injury Protection Cover Passengers in Philadelphia?
Yes, personal injury protection (PIP) or medical benefits coverage covers passengers who were injured while riding in someone else’s motor vehicle. Regardless of which party caused an auto accident, the auto insurance coverage of the driver of the vehicle you were riding when you got injured must cover your accident-related injuries. Since Pennsylvania follows the no-fault auto insurance system, fault will not be a factor when determining who should pay for medical expenses.
However, it is crucial to note that there are situations in which an injured driver and/or passenger don't have auto insurance coverage. For example, passengers don't drive or passengers and/or drivers who don't own a vehicle and just drive the vehicle of their parent, spouse, or another relative. In such cases, who pays for the injured passenger’s accident-related medical bills? The answer will depend on various factors.
If You Have an Auto Insurance Policy
If you also drive but were injured as a passenger in a car accident, you will turn to your own auto insurance coverage to cover your medical bills up to your coverage limits. This likewise applies to anyone covered or insured under your auto insurance plan, like your kids, a spouse, or parent, etc. Specifically, the medical benefits or PIP coverage part of your policy will cover your medical costs. In Pennsylvania, $5,000 is the minimum coverage limit for medical benefits.
If You DO NOT Have an Auto Insurance Policy
The Auto Insurance Policy of The Driver and/or Vehicle Owner
Regardless of which party in the car accident was at fault, the driver and/or vehicle owner you occupied at the time of the accident must cover your accident-associated medical bills up to their policy limits.
A Relative’s Auto Insurance Policy
If you have a spouse, you might be covered under the auto insurance of your spouse. Generally speaking, all insured individuals under a car insurance plan are entitled to receive PIP or medical benefits. According to state law, insured individuals are:
- Those listed by name as insured individuals in an auto insurance policy.
- If living with the policyholder, an insured individual could likewise be a spouse, parent, relative, or minor child.
Basically, a spouse, child, parent, or another relative that lives in the same house as the auto insurance policyholder can receive medical benefits when they sustain injuries in an auto accident even if they were not riding in the policyholder’s vehicle at the time of the accident.
For instance, you will be covered by your spouse's auto insurance plan if you get injured in another vehicle as a passenger, and you don't have your own insurance plan. If you do not have a spouse but have an adult child with an auto insurance policy, you may be entitled to medical benefits under their policy if you reside with your child and you are named as an insured individual in their policy.
It’s also vital to note that relatives like children or parents who visit a policyholder’s house regularly will not be considered relatives who reside in the same house. According to state law, determining someone’s residence is based solely on physical fact. For instance, a father who has his own home, regularly visits his adult child, and stays a night or two every week in the child’s house will not be considered an insured individual under his child’s auto insurance policy because he does not live in the child’s house.
There are, however, certain situations in which a person may have two official residences, like in the cases of children with divorced parents. In such cases, these children may be named insured individuals under both parents’ auto insurance policies.
Your Own Health Insurance Policy
In the event that you have exceeded the coverage limits of your own auto insurance policy or the driver’s auto insurance plan, you can turn to your own health insurance plan to help you with the medical bills. On the other hand, you should know that a lot of private health insurance providers have subrogation rights, which means that if you decide to pursue a claim for the accident and settle it, your health insurer might require that you pay back everything they’ve spent on your accident-related medical expenses.
Talk to Our Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident and suffered serious injuries as a passenger, you might be struggling to pay your mounting medical expenses and might not be able to work. Do not hesitate to reach out to Mattiacci Law, LLC, to discuss your case and find out how we can help you.
Our skilled Philadelphia car accident lawyer can help you find out more about your case and the best legal options moving forward. Fill out our quick online form or call us at 215-709-7915 to schedule a free case review with one of our Philadelphia car accident lawyers today.