Although injuries from a car wreck or fall happen in flash, it can take the injured some time to consult with an attorney about a lawsuit. In Tennessee it is of utmost importance to move quickly in this direction. Why is filing a lawsuit soon after injury occurs important? It is important because Tennessee state law places a statute of limitations on filing personal injury lawsuits and collecting on judgments: TN Code § 28-3-104
The statute of limitations on filing your personal injury lawsuit in Tennessee sets the timer for one year after the injury-causing incident. As a result of this, it is important for the injured party to shake off the shock and contact a personal injury lawyer right away, like the attorneys of McKeehan Law Group.
Where Do Limitations Apply, & What Are the Exceptions?
Tennessee’s Statute of Limitations apply to car wrecks and product liability cases, though its application is not limited to these. If you fail to meet the one-year deadline for filing your lawsuit, the courts will reject your claim by declaring it untimely.
Some exceptions to the Tennessee Statute of Limitations are outlined below:
Some injuries are not apparent immediately after an accident, and in those cases you might get an extension. The rule governing these cases is the “discovery rule”. The definition of the discovery rule is an exception rule. It is based on when the injured party “knows or in the exercise of reasonable care and diligence should know that an injury has been sustained”. For example, claims against a manufacturer for a defective medical device fall under this rule. In these cases, the injury from a defective product doesn’t immediately happen. And you won’t realize your device is defective until well after the medical procedure that implanted it. The discovery rule could allow the statute of limitations apply from the discovery date of injury, rather than the date of the incident.
Tolling or Delayed Judgment for Victims of an Accident
The court may declare an injured party unable to represent themselves. In these cases, the injured is usually a minor or mentally impaired. A minor who sustains injury can file a lawsuit for one year after their 18th birthday. Those deemed mentally impaired by the court may delay filing a lawsuit until they are judged to no longer suffer impairment. However, this judgement can be tricky, and you should consult an attorney who can guide you through the process.
Damage to Property
This Tennessee Statute of Limitations applies only to personal injury from negligence or direct fault. And it does not apply to claims for property damage. The statute to file for compensation related to property damage is three years from the date of the incident. These claims would include specific costs associated with damage to your property. Damages include both real property damage (to home or land, for example) and personal property (i.e., vehicle damage). Learn more about this part of Tennessee law, which is separate from the personal injury rules, at Tennessee Code section 28-3-105.
Contact a Knoxville Personal Injury Attorney
The personal injury lawyers with McKeehan Law Group are available to help you navigate these difficult situations.Contact us online today or call (865) 294-8008.