You might have heard someone refer to Oregon, or another US state, as a “no-fault” accident state. What does that mean? No fault coverage comes into play when making a car accident claim on your auto insurance policy. Oregon law mandates personal injury protection benefits, commonly referred to as PIP benefits, in all policies. PIP pays for medical treatment, ongoing living expenses such as lost wages, child care expenses, and other essential services regardless of fault. These are benefits paid by your insurer to you.
Your insurance company will begin paying benefits two weeks after submission of an application for PIP benefits so it is paramount that the PIP application is filled out as soon as possible after the accident has occurred. Once the application is approved, medical and other services can be billed directly to the insurer.
One thing to keep in mind is the requirement that the services or treatment must be related to the accident in order to receive payment from PIP. For example, you can receive medical treatment for an injury like PTSD, but if there is no evidence that the PTSD was caused by the accident then your insurer can rightfully cut off benefits. The insurer will make this determination by hiring a medical examiner to determine if the injuries claimed are a result of the accident.
$15,000 is the minimum policy amount an insurer can provide in personal injury protection benefits in Oregon. This number can greatly vary on a state by state basis. There is also a time limit on your PIP benefits, generally one year. So your insurer will pay for accident related expenses until the time limit is up, or you exhaust the policy amount, whichever comes first. As noted, the insurer can also cut-off benefits earlier based on a medical examination.