Like every jurisdiction, Tennessee laws contain time limitations for personal injury claims. You could actually lose your right to monetary damages if you don’t file a claim on time.
The Tennessee Code discusses time limits for filing personal tort actions in Tennessee Code Annotated Section 28-3-104.
First, it helps to understand what constitutes a personal tort action. The word tort might be what throws you off at first. When you file a lawsuit under tort law, you are making a civil case against someone for a wrongful act.
Negligence cases therefore fall into this category. It could be that you slipped and fell because someone improperly maintained their premises. An experienced personal injury lawyer would investigate the circumstances of your accident to determine whether you should pursue a premises liability action.
Meanwhile, motor vehicle collisions, bicycle accidents, and motorcycle crashes are all part of tort law. In order to pursue any of these types of claims, you must have proof that someone else’s negligence caused you harm. The same is true if your injuries came as the result of a hazardous product.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims
Tennessee has one of the strictest time limitations in the country when it comes to pursuit of a personal injury claim. You face a one-year deadline when it comes to filing a lawsuit.
That said, there should be no reason to hold off on speaking with an attorney long before the deadline. In some cases, claims can be settled before the one-year statute of limitations. You then avoid filing fees and costs associated with protracted litigation.
There are limited exceptions to the one-year statute of limitations in Tennessee. Were you injured as a child? If your parents never pursued a lawsuit on your behalf, you have up until your nineteenth birthday to do so.
Did the person who injured you face criminal charges in conjunction with your case? This could be relevant in a matter involving a physical assault. If so, your cause of action may be extended to two years. However, once again, that’s something you need to discuss with your lawyer.
Consult with an Attorney as Soon as Possible
At times, it may seem your injuries are insurmountable, and you may want to hold off on speaking with a lawyer until you feel better. Truth be told, this could hurt the investigation of your claim. You are best to seek legal advice as soon as possible.