In Kansas, automobile insurance policies are required to contain no fault insurance or personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. This coverage provides for lost income due to an accident, medical bills, rehabilitation expense and death/burial benefits.
Medical bills and lost income are considered “pecuniary damages.” These damages can be asserted in any claim where they are a factor. Non-pecuniary damages include items such as pain, suffering and emotional distress. In Kansas, those damages may be asserted only after the injured Plaintiff has reached a statutory threshold. There are various ways to meet the threshold requirement, but the most common occurs when the victim incurs at least $2,000.00 in reasonable and necessary treatment charges associated with the accident. This $2,000.00 threshold amount is often confused with the $4,500.00 minimum required coverage for medical PIP benefits.
Lawful Treatment Charges
A physician, hospital, clinic or other person or institution lawfully rendering treatment to an injured person covered by personal injury protection (PIP), or no fault benefits, may charge a “reasonable amount” for the products, services and accommodations rendered. Under Kansas law, the charges shall not exceed the amount the provider or institution “customarily” charges for like products, services and accommodations in cases not involving insurance.
Prompt Payment Requirements
Once a bill is properly submitted with appropriate documentation to the automobile insurance carrier for payment as a personal injury protection/no fault benefit, the bill is required to be paid within thirty (30) days. If the billing statement is not paid within thirty (30) days and there is no reasonable basis for non-payment, the patient/insured may assert a claim for breach of contract. If successful, the Court will order the bill to be paid plus 18% interest. In cases where it is deemed appropriate, reasonable attorney fees must be paid by the carrier, as well.
This article contains a very brief overview of a few of the many insurance statutes which regulate automobile insurance claims. In order to ensure payment of your bills in auto injury cases, it is helpful to have at least a cursory understanding of these laws. However, if an auto insurance company begins denying your PIP/no fault benefits or the insurance carrier that covers the person at fault for the accident will not settle your claim for a reasonable amount, it is wise to retain an attorney familiar with these insurance laws and the litigation system.
*Use of this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. The information on this site is not legal advice. You should contact an attorney for actual legal advice with Dickson and Pope, P.A. at 913-387-5510.