The personal injury team at the BFP law firm specializes in every kind of personal injury case where the injury occurred on the territory of Poland. We have represented, and are still representing, hundreds of clients across Poland, as well as residents of other countries, that seek compensation for their injury resulting from medical negligence, road traffic accidents, aviation accidents, defective products, and others. [Read more.]

The “anti-crisis shield” act from the point of view of attorneys-at-law and their clients

Michał Krzanowski01 April 2020Komentarze (0)

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, affecting more and more aspects of our daily lives. Both courts and attorneys-at-law are no exception to this, and in that regard the provisions of the Act of 31 March 2020, famously dubbed as the “anti-crisis shield” act, affect deadlines – both court-set, as well as stemming from the provisions of procedural law – in a significant way.

Suspension of court-set and procedural law deadlines


In accordance with art. 15zzs(1) of said Act, during the state of epidemic danger or the state of epidemic, announced due to COVID 19, all such deadlines in, among others, ongoing court proceedings, shall not begin to run, and if they began to run, they will be suspended for the duration of these states.

This regulation applies once the Act comes into force, which – in regard to the provision in question – will take place once the Act is announced, and which has not happened yet, but is just a matter of time, and will likely happen very soon.

At the same time it is noteworthy that in certain cases, another provision of the Act, that being art. 15zzt, may introduce some significant practical difficulties, as it provides that the suspension does not apply to deadlines that “are connected with preventing, counteracting and combating COVID 19, and the crises resulting from them”. How this will be interpreted is entirely up in the air, however it seems fairly unlikely that court-set and procedural law deadlines in personal injury cases would be subject to this definition.


Statute of limitation on personal injury claims


These suspension regulations unfortunately do not apply to limitation periods on claims stemming from civil law provisions, including compensatory claims resulting from personal injury. Despite the fact that drafts of the Act included regulations that resulted in the suspension of limitation periods on civil claims as well, these were removed from the Act in the end. As such, injured parties need to keep in mind that limitation periods on their claims continue to run as usual.


Bracing for impact


The regulations regarding suspension of court-set and procedural law deadlines do seem necessary, as meeting these deadlines in the current circumstances indeed is, and will continue to be, quite difficult. This comes at a price, though, which will have to be paid by both the courts and the attorneys after the pandemic ends, when we will be faced with an accumulation of deadlines on an unprecedented scale. There is hope though for further regulations, which will allow for a smooth, steady transition out of the crisis, and back into normalcy – fingers crossed!

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