I had an accident on sept 21, 2007 in which my neck was hurt. However at that time I felt as if it wasn't a bad injury and it would get better, so in the interests of keeping my insurance rates low I opted to sign a document ending the PIP claim after just a few doctor visits.
As time drew out my neck issues got worse and worse, at first I couldn't tell why this was. however recently after a doctor reviewed my complete medical history he has concluded that the accident caused some serious nerve damage and disease that over time has crippled me pretty much. I just discovered this now 4 year old accident is the source of the loss of thousands in medical bills I have had to pay out. It is coming up on 4 years since the final payments were made, do I have a cause to reopen this case? I asked my adjuster within the 2 year limit if there was any way to reopen my case up and he lied and said no, a paralegal just informed me that if you discover your suffering is caused by an accident it doesn't matter if you signed that paper or not it can be reopened. The only question is if the 4 year limit applies or the 2 year?
1 Answer from Attorneys
The statute of limitation for making a claim against the at-fault party is 2 years from the date of your last no-fault payment and, if you are wanting to sue your PIP carrier then the statute of limitations is 2 years from the date of last no-fault payment.
I am not sure why you would sign any document releasing your PIP without exhausting the benefits. You did not save yourself any insurance premium by doing this.
In order that you may review the statute of limitations yourself, it is reprinted below:
§ 304.39-230. Limitations of actions
(1) If no basic or added reparation benefits have been paid for loss arising otherwise than from death, an action therefor may be commenced not later than two (2) years after the injured person suffers the loss and either knows, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should know, that the loss was caused by the accident, or not later than four (4) years after the accident, whichever is earlier. If basic or added reparation benefits have been paid for loss arising otherwise than from death, an action for further benefits, other than survivor's benefits, by either the same or another claimant, may be commenced not later than two (2) years after the last payment of benefits.
(2) If no basic or added reparation benefits have been paid to the decedent or his survivors, an action for survivor's benefits may be commenced not later than one (1) year after the death or four (4) years after the accident from which death results, whichever is earlier. If survivor's benefits have been paid to any survivor, an action for further survivor's benefits by either the same or another claimant may be commenced not later than two (2) years after the last payment of benefits. If basic or added reparation benefits have been paid for loss suffered by an injured person before his death resulting from the injury, an action for survivor's benefits may be commenced not later than one (1) year after the death or four (4) years after the last payment of benefits, whichever is earlier.
(3) If timely action for basic reparation benefits is commenced against a reparation obligor and benefits are denied because of a determination that the reparation obligor's coverage is not applicable to the claimant under the provisions on priority of applicability of basic reparation security, an action against the applicable reparation obligor or the assigned claims bureau may be commenced not later than sixty (60) days after the determination becomes final or the last date on which the action could otherwise have been commenced, whichever is later.
(4) Except as subsections (1), (2), or (3) of this section prescribe a longer period, an action by a claimant on an assigned claim which has been timely presented may be commenced not later than sixty (60) days after the claimant received written notice of rejection of the claim by the reparation obligor to which it was assigned.
(5) If a person entitled to basic or added reparation benefits is under legal disability when the right to bring an action for the benefits first accrues, the period of his disability is a part of the time limited for commencement of the action.
(6) An action for tort liability not abolished by KRS 304.39 -060 may be commenced not later than two (2) years after the injury, or the death, or the last basic or added reparation payment made by any reparation obligor, whichever later occurs.
If you need additional help, do not hesitate to contact attorney Matthew Troutman at 502-241-8000 or 859-367-0036.