Every once in a while, life tosses us a curveball. Perhaps it might be an unexpected medical diagnosis or possibly that much-dreaded slip and fall at the local grocery store. These unfortunate circumstances lead to personal injury and can drastically disrupt our lives. When they do happen, it’s crucial to understand your legal rights.
At Leader Law, we are committed to helping you navigate the legal process – including Tennessee’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims. This guide, designed specifically for you, will dive into the time limits for launching personal injury claims in Tennessee and explore the exceptions that exist.
Standard Time Limit for Personal Injury Lawsuits
In every US state, the law stipulates a set period within which an aggrieved party can file a lawsuit. This is known as the statute of limitations. Concerning Tennessee, the standard time limit for initiating personal injury lawsuits is one year from the injury’s date or discovery. This ticking clock begins from the day of your accident or when you first become aware that an accident caused your harm.
Suppose you were involved in a car accident on September 1, 2022, and hurt your back on the scene. From that day moving forward, your clock begins ticking down. If you fail to file your lawsuit by September 1, 2023, your chances of compensation are slim because courts will most likely decline your request.
If a potential legal settlement is on the table, don’t delay setting those justice wheels in motion. Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Exceptions to the Deadline
This might sound very straightforward: get injured, discover your injury, and file suit within a year. However, legal matters are seldom simple black-and-white issues. They often inhabit shades of gray areas where certain exceptions apply.
While a one-year deadline applies in many cases, some situations warrant exceptions. Let’s delve into these special cases.
The Victim is a Minor
Regarding minors – those under 18 – Tennessee law offers some relief regarding personal injury claims. A minor has until one year after their 18th birthday to pursue compensation for personal injuries suffered while they were underage.
For instance, if Jenna broke her arm on a faulty playground at 14 years old, the one-year deadline would begin ticking on her 18th birthday instead of the date of the injury. This would give her until her 19th birthday to file a lawsuit.
Medical malpractice in Tennessee adds another dimension to the prevailing statute of limitations. It occurs when an act of negligence by a healthcare provider leads to harm. In such cases, victims have one year commencing from the day they learn about their injury to lodge their claim.
However, there’s an umbrella rule. Despite when the mishap is discovered, it must be filed within three years from the date that negligence occurred. However, in cases where foreign objects were left inside the patient during surgery, sufferers can initiate legal action at any time upon discovering this oversight and are not bound by the three-year cap.
Sometimes, those who cause harm might act knowingly by hiding their wrongdoings to prevent you from realizing what happened. This is known as ‘concealment.’
In these types of situations, Tennessee law provides some leeway. If the person responsible for your injury tried to cover up their actions, you have additional time to make your claim. Your one-year ‘clock’ starts ticking only from the moment you discover that something was hidden from you.
For instance, a company might knowingly sell you a faulty product but hide it with falsified paperwork. In this case, you would have one year from the date of discovery to submit a lawsuit.
Hire a Nashville Personal Injury Attorney
Personal injuries change lives; laws can change outcomes—but navigating them isn’t always easy. Reach out to our experienced Nashville personal injury attorneys for help with your case. We are committed to doing what’s right for you.
Contact Leader Law today to discuss your case and get personalized advice on the best course of action. The first consultation is free, and our attorneys are available to answer all your questions.