November 9, 2023
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Tennessee?
In Tennessee, if you get injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. However, you need to be aware of the time period allowed for filing personal injury lawsuits or you may lose your right to recover injury-related losses. A lawyer helping clients with injury cases can help you comply with the Tennessee statute and take legal action.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Tennessee
For most personal injury cases, including those arising from a car accident, slip and fall, or commercial truck accidents, the Tennessee personal injury statute of limitations is one year. This means you have one year from the date of the incident that caused your injury to pursue legal action and file an insurance claim to recover damages. If you miss Tennessee’s one-year statute deadline, you may no longer be eligible to recover compensation from the liable parties.
Notably, there are a few exceptions to this rule as follows:
Exceptions and the Discovery Rule
This rule allows personal injury victims to file a lawsuit even after the one-year deadline has passed. Personal injury claims can be filed for injuries sustained within one year from the date they became immediately apparent or reasonably should have been discovered, whichever is earlier. However, there is a cap of three years from the date the injury occurred.
Competence Restored and Minors
Tennessee’s statute allows for the one-year filing period to be paused if injury victims are adjudicated incompetent or have a legal disability at the time of the incident.
Wrongful Death Cases
If a personal injury leads to a fatality, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against the at-fault party. The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is one year from the date of death, rather than the date of the injury.
Medical Malpractice Cases
In the case of medical professional negligence, an injury victim has a one-year filing deadline from the date of the malpractice injury accident or the date of discovering the injury, whichever comes first. There is a cap of three years from the date of the malpractice incident.
What Happens If You Miss the Statute of Limitations Deadline?
- Case Dismissal: The circuit court will not hear your case and it will likely get dismissed.
- Loss of Legal Recourse: You can lose your legal right to pursue a lawsuit, which means you won’t be able to recover any damages for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, or non-economic damages.
- Inability to Hold the At-Fault Party Accountable: Missing the deadline may also mean that the negligent or at-fault party responsible for your injuries goes unpunished. They will not be held accountable for their actions, and you won’t have a legal remedy to obtain justice.
- Financial Burden: You may be left with the financial burden of your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injury, which you would have otherwise been entitled to recover in a successful lawsuit.
Importance of Timely Action in a Personal Injury Claim
In a personal injury case, taking timely action with help from an experienced personal injury attorney is vital for several reasons:
- Preservation of Evidence: Acting promptly ensures that important evidence is preserved in its original condition.
- Witness Testimonies: Swift action secures witness statements while memories are fresh.
- Timely Compensation: A quick resolution helps you recover financial losses faster.
- Avoiding Dismissal: Timely filing prevents case dismissal due to missed deadlines.
- Legal Complexity: Initiating the process promptly allows efficient handling of legal complexities.
- Faster Resolution: Swift action often leads to a quicker case resolution.
- Legal Rights Protection: Timely action can protect your legal rights.
- Legal Strategy: Early action allows for the development of a robust legal strategy.
Benefits of Hiring Our Injury Attorneys Early
Personal injury attorneys can assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case and provide you with sound legal advice from the beginning. At Meyers Injury Law, our lawyers will get started on the preservation of vital evidence, including accident reports, medical records, surveillance camera footage, photos and videos, witness statements, and more. Acting promptly ensures that this evidence is collected while it is still fresh and readily available.
Insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts. We can help ensure that your rights are protected during negotiations and that you receive fair compensation. Early negotiations can also lead to quicker compensation, helping you cover medical bills and other expenses. If negotiations fail and a lawsuit is necessary, we can file the lawsuit promptly to expedite the legal process.
Get Strong Legal Representation from a Proven Personal Injury Attorney
The Tennessee personal injury lawyers at Meyers Injury Law can help you understand your legal rights, pursue legal action in a timely manner, and work toward recovering fair compensation from the insurance company. Our lawyers have years of experience in helping an injured person obtain maximum compensation. To schedule your free consultation, call us at (615) 258-9000 or reach us online.