The victims of accidents in Tennessee must act relatively quickly to ensure that their claims will not be dismissed due to legal technicalities such as statutes of limitations. As explained by Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute, statutes of limitations place limits on the amount of time a party has to initiate a lawsuit. The laws establishing these time limits will vary by state and may also differ based on the type of claim.
Tennessee’s statute of limitations for personal injuries is described in the Tennessee Code, available through the Tennessee General Assembly website. In section 28 of the code, it states that those who wish to file a personal injury claim must do so within one year of the accident. This time limit is different for personal property compensation. If someone is trying to file a claim for damage to a vehicle or other form of personal property, the statute of limitations is three years.
It is important to note that certain exceptions may affect statutes of limitations. Minors, for instance, may be able to extend the time period in which they may legally file a personal injury case. This is because statutes of limitation do not usually start to run until the injured person is 18 years old. This is illustrated in the following example:
A 14-year-old is in a car crash caused by a drunk driver. The crash occurs in January 2015. The victim turns 18 in March 2019. According to Tennessee law, this victim has until March of 2020 to file a personal injury lawsuit against that negligent driver.
Statutes of limitations are technical matters, but they are very important. As such, those who wish to file civil cases may find it beneficial to familiarize themselves with these laws.