Insurance Coverage - Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Recently, I did a podcast where I was asked questions regarding what I felt were essential insurance coverages for Texans. The podcast was conducted in a question-and-answer format and ended up running about twenty minutes long. That podcast can be reached by navigating my firm's website ( and it should be posted soon for all to hear. However, in the meantime, I wanted to discuss Personal Injury Protection benefits and how those benefits actually work following an auto accident.

With regards to automobile insurance, as we all know, we each must carry liability insurance in order to legally drive in Texas. Your liability policy provides coverage for damages that you are liable for. In other words, it will provide coverage to protect you from becoming personally liable for the accident. The purpose behind requiring all of us to carry liability insurance is to protect the general public. While Texas requires a minimum amount of liability insurance, you need to make sure that you carry enough liability insurance to protect your business or non-exempt personal assets. Simply stated, if you don't carry enough liability insurance coverage, you may find yourself having to satisfy a judgment by selling your assets. While Texas is a debtor-friendly state, certain assets can be seized to satisfy a judgment; this is why you carry liability insurance. In any event, while I know that most Texans are familiar with auto liability insurance, I wanted to discuss Personal Injury Protection, one of the lesser known coverages afforded under Texas auto insurance policies.

First, I think it is prudent to carry a large coverage limit on the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) portion of your own auto policy. PIP coverage generally must be provided in, or supplemental to, every auto liability policy provided in Texas. You already have this coverage, unless you specifically signed or initialed an endorsement (from your insurance carrier) that excludes this coverage. To be sure, you should contact your insurance agent that sold you the auto policy and inquire, in writing, as to whether you have PIP coverage and how much you have. If your agent responds by saying that you do not have that coverage, I would recommend that you write back and specifically request PIP coverage and request premium rates for the various limits of coverage that are available from your insurer. Remember, you have PIP coverage unless you declined it, in writing.

PIP coverage is important because PIP provides no-fault coverage to the insured (the policy holder - you) in the event of an accident. PIP will pay for medical expenses (surgical, emergency, x-ray, dental, ambulance, hospital, nursing, etc.) and lost wages (if you are an income producer) that you incur, up to the limit of insurance on the policy. This means that even if you cause an accident with another vehicle, your own auto policy, under the PIP coverage, will provide you with coverage for the medical expenses and lost wages that you incur, up to the limit of insurance. The minimum limit of PIP coverage is $2,500, but it does not cost that much more in premiums to increase this limit. Accordingly, to make sure that you are protected, you should increase the PIP coverage on your auto policy. However, even though PIP benefits are considered no-fault, there is no coverage for a person who intentionally caused the accident or a person who sustains injury while committing a felony or fleeing from law enforcement. Other than those scenarios, PIP will provide coverage and benefits for you, even if you are the cause of the accident.

Further, if you are injured in an accident that is caused by another, you can recover your PIP benefits, in addition to the recovery from the party that caused the incident. The at-fault driver does not get an offset or a credit for the PIP benefits you received, and your auto carrier does not get an offset or a credit for the recovery you received from the at-fault driver. You get your PIP money and the money from the at-fault driver. My clients are often astonished to learn that they will get money from both their own insurance carrier and from the at-fault driver's liability insurance carrier. However, more often than not, I see the situation where my client only has the minimum level of PIP coverage. The sentiment is always the same; I wish I had more PIP coverage.

With regards to subrogation rights, an insurance company that pays PIP benefits does not have a right of subrogation or claim against any other person or insurer to recover any benefits by reason of the alleged fault of the other person in causing the accident. This means that you do not have to pay PIP benefits back to the insurer, in the event that you are later able to recover from the at-fault driver following an auto accident. This is yet another benefit of this type of coverage. Additionally, PIP benefits are recoverable by the named insured (policy holder), members of the insured's household, and any authorized operator or passenger of the named insured's motor vehicle, including guests. PIP can protect your entire family and your guests.

Given all the advantages of PIP coverage, I recommend you contact your insurance agent and increase the limits of this coverage. Remember, this coverage is part of, or should be part of, your own automobile liability policy. Given that Texas has such a high level of uninsured drivers, increasing your PIP coverage may save the day in the event you are a family member is injured on our Texas streets.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

Get Your Free Case Review 713.587.9668

Let Us Help You Today! Request a Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Personal Injury Large Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs', taking a lead role in the plaintiffs' steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Plant Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs' steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Personal Injury Work Site Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm's client.

  • $12 Million Auto Accident 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $30 Million Personal Injury Burn Victims

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

Our Record Of Success.

When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

More Success Stories