What Is the Statute of Limitation for Personal Injury in Tennessee?

January 15th, 2021 by Attorney John Colvin

Every state has a filing deadline for injury cases, otherwise known as the statute of limitation for personal injury. If you miss this deadline, you could lose your right to take legal action against the liable party in your case, which means you will not be compensated for your losses. Below, we review this deadline, its importance, and some exceptions that may apply.

If you have been injured in Tennessee and have questions about how the statute of limitations applies to your claim, consult an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer.


Standard Time Limit in Tennessee

The statute of limitations for personal injury actions in Tennessee is generally laid out in the Tennessee Code Section 28-3-104. According to the code, you have one year from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the liable party for your injuries and injury-related losses in a civil court. This applies to cases brought under the principle of negligence, such as personal injuries from a car wreck, slip and fall, or intentional tort.

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Of all the statute of limitations in the United States, Tennessee’s is one of the shortest. This means that more than injury victims in another state, you need to be prompt in speaking to an attorney after your accident. Doing so will allow you to have your complaint filed in time.


What Happens If You Miss the Deadline?

The clock starts running on your case on the date of the accident. If you haven’t filed the necessary paperwork in civil court one year later, you may lose your eligibility for compensation. Even if you manage to file a lawsuit, the defendant could file a motion to dismiss the case.

Most courts will grant a dismissal if your case is past the statute of limitations. This is unless a rare exception that applies to your case entitles you to more time.

The statute of limitations can also affect your position in a personal injury insurance claim. You lose your leverage when the defendant and their insurer learn that you cannot take your case to court. 


Exceptions to the Rule

There are situations where a rare exception could give you more time to pursue legal action against the liable party. Common conditions that may warrant a premises liability in Winchester, TN deadline extension include where:

The victim is a minor – An injured child has the right to wait until they are 18 years old to sue the liable party. The one-year deadline starts running on their 18th birthday.

The case involves medical malpractice – In certain situations, the time in which to file an action for medical negligence could begin to run on the date the victim knew or should have known their treatment resulted in injury.

The liable party is absent from the state for some time after the accident. The absence period in certain situations may not be counted as part of the one-year deadline to file a lawsuit.

You may receive an extension for any delays caused when the defendant maliciously withholds, conceals, or misrepresents evidence.

If your case involves a wrongful death claim and the death was caused by the initial accident or by injuries sustained from the accident, the statute of limitations may be extended by 120 days or set to begin on the date of death rather than on the date of the accident that caused the death.


Talk to a Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyer

John R. Colvin, an experienced Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyer, has been representing injury victims throughout the Tennessee Valley region for over 20 years. As a solo practitioner, his approach to every case is personalized and hands-on. Contact him toll-free today at (931) 962-1044 to discuss your case with regards to Tennessee’s statute of limitation for personal injury.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advise for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

Licensed to Practice in Tennessee & Alabama