Statute of Limitations for car accidents is 2 years from accident or date last pip payment check is issued. Dickey v. Liberty Mutual, COA, NPO, 5/4/2012

Another reminder that the statute of limitations for automobile accidents under the No-Fault Act runs two years from the date of the accident or the last date of payment of pip benefits.  Date of payment is the date the check is issued by the reparations obligor; not the date it is cashed, not the date is received by the provider.  I would also assume the last date the pip check has been issued and not the date the check may have been reissued.

Here is the decision.  Not published.

386.  AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT / NO FAULT STATUTE. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.
DICKEY (LISA)
VS.
LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY
OPINION AFFIRMING
VANMETER (PRESIDING JUDGE)
ACREE (CONCURS) AND MOORE (CONCURS)
2010-CA-002320-MR
NOT TO BE PUBLISHED
FAYETTE

VANMETER, JUDGE: Lisa Dickey appeals from the Fayette Circuit Court order granting Liberty Mutual Insurance Company’s (“Liberty Mutual”) motion for a judgment on the pleadings and denying Lisa’s motion for partial summary judgment. For the following reasons, we affirm.

On July 4, 2005, Lisa was involved in a motor vehicle accident. Pursuant to her insurance policy with Liberty Mutual, Lisa received Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) benefits. On March 23, 2007 and April 16, 2007, Lisa was treated for injuries resulting from the accident at Bauman Physical Therapy (“Bauman”). Liberty Mutual issued a check on October 5, 2007 to cover those expenses. The check was received by Bauman on October 12, 2007. Lisa received additional treatment on October 9, 2009 by Clayton Elswick, D.C. Liberty Mutual denied payment for the treatment, claiming the statute of limitations on Lisa’s benefits had expired. On February 16, 2010, Lisa brought the underlying action seeking to recover costs of Dr. Elswick’s treatment from Liberty Mutual under her PIP claim.

KRS 304.39-230(1), a provision of the Motor Vehicle Reparations Act, states that if reparation benefits have been paid, an action for further benefits “may be commenced not later than two (2) years after the last payment of benefits.” This court previously held that the date of payment made by the PIP provider is the date the PIP provider issued the check. Wilder v. Noonchester, 113 S.W.3d 189, 191 (Ky.App. 2003) (citing Lawson v. Helton Sanitation, Inc., 34 S.W.3d 52, 57 (Ky. 2000)).

Lisa maintains Wilder is not controlling and relies on KRS 355.4A-401 to argue that the date of receipt of payment is the date of payment for purposes of the statute of limitations. However, KRS 355.4A-401 applies to “direct fund transfers, commonly known as ‘wire transfers’ between banking institutions, rather than payment of medical bills by drafts issued by insurers.” See Wilder, 113 S.W.3d at 191.

In the case at bar, the record demonstrates that Liberty Mutual issued its last check to Bauman on October 5, 2007 to cover Lisa’s treatment costs. Thus, Lisa’s claim for PIP benefits to cover her treatment on October 9, 2009 is more than two years from her last benefits payment and, thus, her claim is time-barred.

The order of the Fayette Circuit Court is affirmed. ALL CONCUR.

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