Deadline to file suit may be extended when insurer makes an “advance payment.”

Occasionally, a liability insurer will make an advance payment toward a claimant’s personal injury or property damage claim before final settlement.  An example would be payment of the damages to the claimant’s car in an automobile accident case.  When the insurer makes an advance payment, it must give written notice to the claimant of the date that the statute of limitations (the legal deadline) to file suit for the injuries will expire.

If the insurer fails to send this notice 30 days after the date of the advance payment, then the statute of limitations to file suit is extended (tolled) until written notice of the statute of limitations is sent to the claimant.  ORS 12.155.

When ORS 12.155 was enacted, the Oregon legislature wanted to protect injured persons from being lulled into a false sense of security by early payments made by their insurance companies toward their personal injury or property damage claims.

ORS 12.155 may serve to extend the statute of limitations for property damage and injury cases that otherwise might have expired.  Our firm looks carefully at the facts of each case to determine if an “advance payment” was made to our client, and whether the carrier sent the written notice required by ORS 12.155