What Is the Statute of Limitations For My Personal Injury Case?

A gavel and the scales of justice.

A “statute of limitations” is a state law that sets a limit on the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit to recover damages related to a harm or loss you experienced because of someone else’s negligence.

In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including injury-related car accident lawsuits, is one year from the date the accident occurred. Specifically, Tennessee code 28-3-104 states:

(a) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (a)(2), the following actions shall be commenced within one (1) year after the cause of action accrued:

(A) Actions for libel, injuries to the person, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, or breach of marriage promise;

There are exceptions to the Tennessee one year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. For instance, minors who are injured in car accidents in Tennessee cannot file lawsuits on their own behalf, so the one year statute of limitations doesn’t start running until his or her 18th birthday.

The statute of limitations in Tennessee can affect your right to seek compensation following a car accident for injury. The state of Tennessee allows remuneration for people injured in a car accident. This can include drivers, passengers, skateboarders, bicyclists and pedestrians. If a child is injured as a pedestrian or a passenger, his or her parents can seek damages on the child’s behalf. Possible damages in these cases can include: pain and suffering, costs of permanent disability, loss of consortium, loss of earning capacity, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life, past medical expenses and future medical expenses.

At Green, Waters Ogle and McCarter, we recommend injury victims begin their personal injury lawsuit as soon as possible—whether that means immediately filing a lawsuit, or meticulously gathering all the evidence related to your case, depends on the particular facts regarding your Tennessee personal injury claim. Either way, if the statute of limitations deadline passes, then the person named in the lawsuit can file to have your case against them dismissed and you will lose the right to seek compensation forever. Retaining an experienced personal injury lawyer from the start gives you a greater chance of winning your case, as evidence can be collected before it is destroyed and witnesses can be tracked down before their memories fade. Contact us to speak with an experienced Tennessee personal injury attorney. Protect yourself by understanding your options.