Do I qualify for PIP benefits?

By Arne Cherkoss

PIP benefits

PIP | Personal Injury ProtectionEvery motor vehicle liability policy issued for delivery in Oregon that covers private passenger motor vehicles must provide PIP benefits. The term motor vehicle means a self-propelled land motor vehicle or trailer, other than (1) a farm vehicle (or other self propelled equipment designed for use principally off public roads, while not on a public road; (2) a vehicle operated on rails or crawler treads; or (3) a vehicle located for use as a residence or premises.

A private passenger motor vehicle is defined under Oregon law as:

A four-wheel passenger or station wagon type motor vehicle not used as a public or livery conveyance, and includes any other four-wheel motor vehicle of the utility, pickup body, sedan delivery or panel truck type not used for wholesale or retail delivery other than farming, a self propelled motor home, and a farm truck.

The named insured and family members residing in the same household are entitled to PIP benefits from the use, occupancy, or maintenance of any motor vehicle except: (1) a motor vehicle owned by any person not covered for PIP benefits; (2) a motorcycle or moped not owned by any person when the injury or death result from the person’s operating or riding on it; (3) a motor vehicle not a passenger motor vehicle when the injury or death results from the person’s operating or occupying the vehicle.

PIP benefits from the use, occupancy or maintenance of any motor vehicle

Generally, Oregon courts require a causal link between the injury and the use, operation, or maintenance of a motor vehicle. For example, a person who injures him or herself while exiting a vehicle (e.g. twist and hurt ankle) is entitled to PIP benefits. On the other hand, Oregon courts have found no causal link when an insured who was standing approximately 30 feet from his car when a car jacker shot him in the chest. The court reasoned that the insured’s injuries did not “result from” the use, occupancy, or maintenance of a motor vehicle.

Who else does PIP cover?

PIP coverage is required for the person insured, members of that person’s family residing in the same household, passengers occupying the insured motor vehicle, and pedestrian (under certain circumstances) struck by that vehicle.