If you are injured in a car accident as a result of another driver’s negligent, reckless or intentional conduct, you may be able to file a personal injury to claim to recover compensation for your injuries and property damage. It is important to know that every personal injury claim in Tennessee is subject to a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a time period within which a legal claim must be filed. The purpose of a statute of libations is to ensure that the injured party does not delay in filing a lawsuit and to provide assurances to the defendant that they will not be subject to some type of legal claim in perpetuity.
Tennessee Statute of Limitations
In Tennessee, car accidents are subject to the same statute of limitations for personal injury actions. In particular, a party seeking to obtain compensation for personal injuries must file a legal
claim within one year after the cause of action. In car accidents, the cause of action normally commences at the time of the car accident. Therefore, a party injured in a car accident normally has one year from the date of the car accident to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for personal injuries.
In addition to compensation for personal injuries, an injured party may also be able to recover compensation for damages to one’s property. Typically the property damages are damages to one’s car. In Tennessee, claims for property damage are subject to a different statute of limitations than claims for personal injuries. For property damage actions, the legal claim must be commenced within three years from when the cause of action accrued. Again the cause of action generally accrues when the car accident occurs.
Exceptions to Statute of Limitations
Tennessee provides two notable exceptions to its statute of limitation rules. First, the statute of limitations is generally tolled, or delayed, for minors until the minor reaches the age of 18. This means that the statute of limitations does not start until the minor reaches 18 years of age. Therefore, following the minor’s eighteenth birthday, the minor will have one year to file a claim for personal injuries or three years to file a claim for property damage.
Second, the statute may be tolled if the injured person is of unsound mind. Once the disability is removed, or the person is returned to sound mind, the statute of limitation for the cause of action will commence. For example, if the injured party suffers from dementia at the time of the accident, the injured party may be considered of unsound mind, which will delay the statute of limitations.
Effect of Statute of Limitations
Any person who suffers an injury or property damage as a result of another person’s conduct should pay particular attention to the statute of limitations. Failure to file a claim with the courts within this period may prevent the injured party from recovering compensation for one’s injuries or property damage. If an injured party files a legal claim after the statute of limitations has run, the defendant will likely file a motion to dismiss the legal claim, which the court will likely grant. As a result, the injured party will have no legal recourse to go after the defendant to obtain compensation for injuries and property damage. This is why it is important to act diligently after being involved in a car accident or any type of accident for that matter, and contact a Nashville Auto Accident Attorney as soon as possible.