P.I.P. – Squeaking Out The Details Of The Kansas Automobile Injury Reparations Act
The Kansas Automobile Injury Reparations Act provides statutory guidance relative to insurance claims associated with injuries sustained in or by a motor vehicle. The purpose of the Act is to provide a means for compensating persons promptly for accidental bodily injury arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of motor vehicles without the need for a formal liability claim. In Kansas, with few exceptions, every owner of a motor vehicle is required to have vehicle liability insurance coverage. The limits of liability with respect to each vehicle must not be less than $25,000.00 for bodily injury to, or death of, one person in any one accident. The policy must cover at least $50,000.00 for bodily injury to, or death of, two or more persons in any one accident.
The legal requirement for motor vehicle insurance includes personal injury protection benefits, or PIP. PIP benefits must include disability benefits, funeral benefits, medical benefits, rehabilitation benefits, substitution benefits and survivor’s benefits.
PIP 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 rendered by practioners licensed by the State Board of Healing Arts to practice any branch of the healing arts. Medical benefits must also include licensed psychologists, surgical, x-ray, dental services, prosthetic devices and necessary ambulance, hospital and nursing services.
The PIP rehabilitation benefits required by law encompass 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 refer to allowances for loss of monthly earnings due to an injured person’s inability to engage in available and appropriate gainful activity. The claimant requesting such benefits must prove that the injury sustained is the proximate cause of the injured person’s inability to engage in available and appropriate gainful activity. Then, 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.
The persons injured in an auto related incident can also claim “substitution benefits.” These benefits allow 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.
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