In Kansas, with few exceptions, every owner of a motor vehicle is required to have vehicle liability insurance coverage including personal injury protection benefits, or PIP. PIP benefits are available for motor vehicle related injuries, regardless of fault. A PIP policy must include medical benefits, rehabilitation benefits, disability benefits, funeral benefits, substitution benefits and survivor’s benefits. All PIP policies must include the following:
Medical Benefits must contain allowances for all reasonable treatment expenses up to a limit of not less than $4,500.00 for necessary health care.
Rehabilitation Benefits encompasses all reasonable expenses up to a limit of not less than $4,500.00 for necessary psychiatric or psychological services. These benefits must also cover occupational therapy and such occupational training and retraining as may be reasonably necessary to enable the person to obtain suitable employment. Where appropriate, these services may be stacked on top of the allowance for medical services.
Disability Benefits refers to allowances for loss of monthly earnings due to an injured person’s inability to engage in available and appropriate gainful activity. Allowances are generally made for 85% of the injured claimant’s regular gross earnings up to a maximum cap which shall be not less than $900.00 per month.
Funeral Benefits are also covered under the PIP umbrella. The allowances cover funeral, burial or cremation expenses in an amount not to exceed $2,000.00 per individual.
Substitution Benefits allows for reimbursement of the appropriate and reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining ordinary and necessary services in lieu of those that, but for the injury, the injured person would have performed for the benefit of such person or such person’s family. These benefits are subject to a maximum of $25.00 per day for not longer than 365 days after the date such expenses are incurred.
Persons Covered by PIP include the named insured, relatives residing in the same household, persons operating the insured’s motor vehicle, passengers in such motor vehicle, and other persons struck by such motor vehicle and suffering bodily injury while not an occupant of a motor vehicle. Generally, a person with a claim for personal injury protection benefits should look to his or her own automobile insurance policy. However, when a person injured by a motor vehicle does not own his or her own motor vehicle, a claim can be asserted against the policy covering the vehicle or vehicles involved in the injury accident. If one is a motor vehicle owner, but does not carry the statutorily required liability insurance on his or her vehicle, that person may not assert a claim for personal injury protection benefits against the policy of another.
A physician, hospital, clinic or other person or institution lawfully rendering treatment to an injured person covered by PIP may charge a “reasonable amount” for the products, services and accommodations rendered. Once a bill is properly submitted with appropriate documentation the bill is required to be paid within thirty (30) days. If the billing statement is not paid within thirty (30) days Kansas statutes allow for an award of interest (18%) and attorneys fees in appropriate cases.
This article contains a very brief overview of the many insurance statutes which regulate automobile insurance claims. If a PIP auto insurance company denies payment of your bills before the cap for medical benefits has been reached, 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.