In March of 2013, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky decided a case that involved Kentucky PIP and a car accident. (See Hill v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 2013 WL 1332611 (E.D. Ky. 2013)). In this Kentucky car accident PIP case, the plaintiff was involved in a Kentucky car accident in November of 2007. State Farm insured both parties. As part of the policy for the Kentucky car accident plaintiff, it had a time limit in which to bring a Kentucky car accident lawsuit.
This was a very interesting case in that it was trifurcated. Trifurcating a case does not happen very often. The three distinct actions consisted of 1) a declaratory judgment action concerning the application of the contractual limitation period contained in the underinsured motorist policy, 2) an underinsured motorist policy claim (UIM claim), and 3) a bad faith claim. Id.
After the Kentucky car accident, the plaintiff opened a bodily injury claim against the wrongful party and opened a PIP claim under her own policy. Plaintiff received payments for his PIP policy through January 30, 2008. The plaintiff through her Kentucky car accident personal injury lawyer filed a civil suit on August 31, 2009. The defendant insurance company was given a 90 day extension to put in an Answer. And then they were given another 90 day extension. The plaintiff during this time put in his demand through his Kentucky car accident personal injury lawyer for the full amount of the liability policy and the full amount of the UIM coverage. On March 3, 2010, the wrongful party tendered their full amount but the UIM denied their monies. The UIM in this Kentucky car accident case denied their monies because of the expiration of the limitations period that ended on January 30, 2010. Two days later plaintiff’s Kentucky car accident PIP lawyer added the UIM carrier as a party because of the denial of UIM benefits. Id.
This Kentucky car accident PIP case began in state court, but after one of the insurance carriers was dismissed from the case, there was complete diversity and this case was removed to federal court. The Kentucky car accident plaintiff was asking for a declaratory judgment that the cover was available to him in his UIM policy, and the defendant was asking that the case be dismissed as the plaintiff had missed his time limit to file a lawsuit against the UIM policy. In the UIM policy it had a provision that a UIM claim had to be commenced not later than two year after the injury, or death, or the last basic or added reparation payment made by any reparation obligor, whichever later occurs. Id. The last payments made was on January 30, 2008. Thus, the last time to file a Kentucky UIM car accident lawsuit would have been January 30, 2010. This UIM policy provision mirrors the Kentucky Motor Vehicle Reparations Act (KMVRA). Id.
In conclusion, the court upheld the defendant UIM carrier’s position and stated that the UIM carrier did not waive its contractual provision limiting any suit against it. Id. Further, the Kentucky car accident plaintiff was not able to prove that the UIM carrier was estopped from claiming that the shorter time frame period was valid and thus the plaintiff lost its UIM case. It was not the UIM’s job to inform the Kentucky car accident PIP attorney that the statute of limitations was running out.
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky Car Accident PIP Case, please call and speak to a Kentucky Car Accident PIP lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are injured…Ask Andrew!!!