District of Columbia Decision May Reduce Your Personal Injury Protection Benefits in an Auto Accident

By: Matthew Tievsky

The high court of D.C., the Court of Appeals, has handed down an important decision that may affect your automobile insurance policy. The decision applies if your policy is a D.C. policy. The case is called Hubb v. State Farm. The Court held that if you receive Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits (a kind of insurance benefit that gives you money immediately after a car accident, whoever was at fault), but then you recover money from the at-fault party through a settlement or a lawsuit, your insurance company can require you to pay the PIP benefits back. Previously – for the last thirty years, in fact – it was thought that the insurance company could not compel you to repay.

Whether this decision applies to you depends on whether your auto policy was issued in D.C. That means it can apply to you even if you were in an accident outside the District, such as in Northern Virginia. In contrast, if your policy was issued in Virginia, it is Virginia law that will apply, and there is a statute that specifically stops insurance companies from making you repay your PIP benefits.

If you have questions about what insurance benefits are available to you after an auto accident, you should contact the Northern Virginia car accident lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C.