This will be discussed at the upcoming PAJ Big Auto Program in Pittsburgh this week.
Below is the link to the Pennsylvania Superior Court case from last Friday April 19, 2013 in Hopkins v. Erie Insurance Company. This case involves the statute of limitations to preserve the underinsured motorist (UIM) claim. The case involves a car accident from 1999 where the third party case settled in 2004. A UIM claim was opened with Erie and it appears negotiations were ongoing. Then, in 2009, almost 5 years after the third party case settle, Erie took the position that the statute of limitations ran. In 2010 a Petition to Compel arbitration was filed.
The Superior Court holds that the cause of action accrues when the third party case settled and NOT when the contract was breached when Erie denied the claim. The Superior Court follows the reasoning of the united States Court of Appeals of the Third Circuit in State Farm v. Rosenthal, 484 F.3d 251 (3d Cir. 2007). It holds that "the four-year statute of limitations on underinsured motorist claims begins to run when the insured settles with, or secures a judgment against, the underinsured owner or operator."
The court also finds that there was no error in the trial court declining to equitably toll the statute of limitations.
If you have been injured in a Pennsylvania car accident or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident contact Harrisburg Car Accident Lawyers at (888) 476-0807 and we will answer any questions you have about the Pennsylvania car accident and the legal rights you may have due to the personal injury and losses involving any Pennsylvania car accident, especially if you may need a lawyer for the Central Pennsylvania car accident.
Also, download our booklet on Who Pays Your Medical Bills When You Are Injured in A Car Accident?