Understanding the Differences Between PIP and Med-Pay

You may have heard of the terms “Med-Pay” and “PIP” while exploring auto insurance options. The two are similar in that both Med-Pay and PIP are types of no-fault insurance that provide coverage for medical expenses you incur as a result of auto accident injuries.

However, there are some key differences between Med-Pay and PIP, most notably that PIP provides coverage for lost earnings, and a death benefit.

Read further for a more detailed explanation of these two no-fault insurances.

Medical Payments Coverage (Med-Pay)

If you are involved in an auto accident, Med-Pay will cover the cost of:

  • Medical care
  • Surgery
  • Dental care
  • Chiropractic care
  • Ambulatory services
  • Hospitalization
  • X-rays
  • Nursing services
  • Prosthetic devices
  • Funeral services

Med-Pay will cover you, anyone authorized to drive your car, passengers, and sometimes even pedestrians injured by you, regardless of fault. So, if you are involved in an auto accident, Med-Pay will pay for the medical expenses of anyone insured under your policy. However, it will not pay for pain and suffering.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

PIP offers the same coverage as Med-Pay, while going a lot further. It also covers services such as:

  • Psychiatric care
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Many other health-related services

However, the most significant difference between PIP and Med-Pay is that PIP covers lost wages. If you are unable to return to work after the accident, PIP may cover your lost earnings and other expenses incurred while you were unable to work.

Lastly, PIP can offer some death benefits to your survivors, should you pass on as a result of the accident. If you are killed in a fatal accident, PIP coverage may provide benefits to anyone related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption.

Which is Right for You?

The main difference between PIP and Med-Pay is that Med-Pay covers your medical expenses – and those of anyone under your policy – resulting from an auto accident. PIP, on the other hand, covers your medical expense and lost earnings, and may provide certain death benefits on top, if the need arises. It should be noted, however, that neither is a substitute for regular health insurance.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

Personal injury lawyers handle personal injury cases that involve both Med-Pay and liability payments to people injured in accidents. If you have questions about Med-Pay and PIP and how they can be used to pay for the medical treatment that you or someone you love needs, call a qualified injury attorney.

Greyhound Pays $6 Million to Settle Bus Turnover Case

After failing to block a court-ordered sleep apnea test for one of its drivers, Greyhound Lines reached a $6 million settlement with five passengers injured on a 2013 trip between Cincinnati and Detroit, when the bus drove off Interstate 70 in the middle of the night. By the time the bus came to rest, it had traveled at least a hundred feet off the highway and turned over several times.

The lead plaintiff maintained the bus driver had passed out; she and four other passengers suffered varied injuries, including neck and back injuries and compound fractures. They sued the bus line and the driver in Texas, where Greyhound is headquartered.

A key issue was why the driver lost consciousness; lawyers for Greyhound argued it was because he choked on some coffee he was drinking behind the wheel. But the Houston-based personal injury attorney representing the plaintiffs discovered that, five weeks before the crash, a Department of Transportation medical examiner who suspected the driver had sleep apnea and had advised the company to have the driver tested for that condition.

A frequently undiagnosed breathing disorder, in sleep apnea breathing is interrupted during a sleep session as often as hundreds of times. Left untreated, it can cause cardiovascular problems and chronic fatigue. The National Transportation Safety Board says driver fatigue is a factor in one-fifth of traffic accidents seen in its investigations.

To hold a commercial driver’s license, a driver must meet the standards set by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), for knowledge, skills, and physical fitness; regular medical examinations are required.

Medical examiners are responsible for certifying a driver is fit to drive, not diagnosing or treating conditions. A medical examiner who suspects a driver has an undiagnosed or deteriorating condition must refer the driver to additional evaluation or testing.

Because Greyhound had not acted on the medical examiner’s warning and allowed the driver to stay on the road untested, plaintiffs asked the trial judge to order sleep apnea testing for the bus driver. Greyhound strenuously objected, but the judge agreed. Greyhound unsuccessfully appealed the order. Once it became clear the test would be done, the company began serious settlement talks, which led to the $6 million agreement.

How federal regulators should deal with sleep apnea remains a source of some controversy. In 2008, agency medical advisors had recommended screening all drivers for sleep apnea. But the FMCSA has never adopted official guidance on testing sleep apnea, much less mandated it. (Proposed guidance was withdrawn in April 2012, a week after it was proposed).

Following industry complaints some medical examiners were ordering testing based on unofficial criteria – such as the driver’s body mass index or neck size – in the fall of 2013, Congress passed, and President Obama signed, a law barring FMCSA from basing its sleep apnea policy merely on guidance statements; So if the agency wants to require sleep apnea testing, it must use formal rulemaking. To date, the agency has not issued official guidance or started rulemaking in the area.