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Does Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance Cover Physical Therapy After a Car Accident?

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If you were involved in a car accident, you may need extensive treatment and rehabilitation to become whole again. Physical therapy plays a major role in recovering after a car accident. It can accelerate the healing process, prevent long-term damage, and improve your overall functional abilities.

But knowing how to pay for physical therapy after a car accident isn’t always clear. One option, depending on which state you’re in, is Personal Injury Protection (PIP). If you’re not sure how to navigate the claims process, a Premier Attorney can help. Contact a lawyer near you for a free consultation.

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PIP is a type of car insurance coverage that pays for crash related damages, regardless of who was at fault for a car accident. It ensures that you receive medical treatment without waiting for a determination of fault. It also reduces the number of lawsuits filed over minor car accidents.

Physical therapy can be a crucial component of recovery after a car accident. Here is why a doctor might recommend it:

  • Pain management: Physical therapy helps in reducing pain and inflammation. Therapeutic exercises and techniques such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and manual therapy can enhance healing and relieve pain.
  • Restoring mobility and flexibility: Car accidents can lead to stiffness and reduced mobility, especially if injuries involve the neck, back, or limbs. Physical therapy assists in restoring range of motion and flexibility.
  • Strengthening muscles: Car accident injuries may weaken muscles. A physical therapist designs exercises to strengthen affected and surrounding muscles, aiding in a balanced recovery and reducing the risk of further injury.
  • Improving function: For those struggling with daily activities post-accident, physical therapy can help improve functional abilities, making tasks like walking, climbing stairs, or getting in and out of a car easier.
  • Preventing long-term damage: Early intervention with physical therapy can prevent chronic conditions from developing, such as chronic pain syndromes or post-traumatic osteoarthritis.
  • Reducing the need for surgery: In some cases, physical therapy can help heal injuries sufficiently to avoid or delay surgery. Even when surgery is necessary, pre-surgical physical therapy can improve outcomes.

The cost of physical therapy after a car accident varies depending on several factors. That includes:

  • Your location.
  • Severity of your injuries.
  • Frequency and duration of sessions.
  • Type of therapy provided.
  • Your insurance coverage. 

On average, a physical therapy session can cost anywhere from $50 to $350 or more without insurance. However, with insurance, copays might range from $20 to $50 per session, though this depends on your specific insurance plan's coverage details.

Does PIP pay for physical therapy?

PIP typically covers medical expenses related to a car accident, including physical therapy. The extent of coverage can depend on the specifics of your insurance policy and the laws of your state.

PIP insurance is designed to cover medical expenses regardless of who is at fault in the accident. This usually includes doctor visits, hospital stays, surgery, and rehabilitation services like physical therapy.

However, PIP doesn’t typically cover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. If your damages exceed your policy limit, you may be able to file a 3rd party tort claim against the other driver’s insurance company.

Your PIP coverage will have a limit, which is the maximum amount it will pay. Be aware of this limit when planning your treatment. Additionally, some PIP policies may have deductibles. PIP limits typically range from $10,000 to $50,000. However, some states have minimum PIP coverage requirements that may be lower. It’s best to check your state’s insurance requirements. 

Is PIP required in my state?

PIP coverage requirements and benefits can vary significantly by state. Some states have mandatory PIP insurance, while in others, it's optional. The amount of coverage and what it includes can also differ.

The states that require PIP include: 

  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky (Drivers can opt out of PIP coverage in Kentucky under certain conditions.)
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey (PIP is part of the "standard" policy, but drivers can choose a "basic" policy with limited or no PIP coverage.)
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania offers a choice between PIP and traditional tort coverage.)
  • Utah

In addition to these, the District of Columbia also requires PIP coverage but gives drivers the choice to opt out in favor of a traditional tort-based policy.

Whether you’re pursuing compensation from your PIP policy or filing a claim against the other driver’s insurance company, the process can be confusing. A Premier Attorney can help you sort it out. They’ll advise you on your rights and your options for compensation. 

Consulting with a Premier Attorney doesn’t cost anything. They offer free case evaluations and operate on a contingency fee basis, so you can have access to quality legal representation. You only pay if they win your case.

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