Late last year, Oregon legislature passed a bill to drastically alter and improve Oregon Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which went into effect January 1, 2016. There are two main changes we will see take place; a Portland accident attorney Travis Mayor claims the Oregon PIP insurance changes are significant for personal injury cases for various reasons. Because, not all damages for medical bills and lost income have been incurred within the current defined time limits, extending the time of the Oregon PIP insurance benefits up to 24 months after the accident and delaying insurance company reimbursements will allow drivers to recover proper resources from serious accidents in Oregon.
What Exactly are the Oregon PIP Insurance Changes?
Before this bill, if you were in a serious accident in Oregon, an insurance company is dubbed first in line to be reimbursed, before non-economic damages are paid, which reduces the amount of money for the injured victim drastically. With the new Oregon PIP insurance changes, PIP carriers are now reprioritized; the PIP Make Whole rule policy will require that the insurance company be paid on the victim’s behalf after all economic and noneconomic damages have been defined and paid. Ultimately, an injured victim will only reimburse the PIP carrier if the recovery amount exceeds both economic and noneconomic damages. The goal with this is to change in priority from the insurance company to the injured victim.
Secondly, changes in the Oregon PIP insurance extends medical coverage expenses from 12 months to 24 months after an accident. After a minor motor vehicle accident in Portland and throughout Oregon, a 12 month medical coverage period is generally a sufficient amount of time for an injured victim to be covered. However, catastrophic events that result in devastating injuries, like TBI or spinal cord injuries, have a much longer recovery processes. Medical expenses for these accidents can far exceed 12 months, which leaves the payment responsibilities on the injured victim. However, extending the PIP medical payments allows additional time for patients to recover.
What is Next for Oregon Drivers?
Lawmakers are taking the necessary steps to protect drivers in Oregon with Oregon Senate Bill 411, but as a driver, there are a few things to do in order to benefit. While most Oregon PIP carriers say companies will implement these Oregon PIP insurance changes automatically, Travis Mayor, a trusted personal injury attorney in Portland, advises Oregon drivers to reissue or renew their policy immediately because exclusions will remain in the policy until a driver actually renews it. If you were involved in an accident after January 1, 2016, the Oregon PIP insurance changes apply to your case.