Categorized | Opinion

How long do I have to sue in Tennessee if I am injured?

By David PeelDavid Peel

Most Tennessee injury cases settle and do not have to be filed in court.
But, if you are seriously hurt, such as fractures, ruptured discs or nerve damage, there is little time to waste. Statute of limitations are time limits that make your case worth nothing if you do not file suit in court by that date.  Remember, it’s not just filing a claim with the liability insurance company, it is actually suing the defendant in a lawsuit.
The Tennessee statute of limitation for “Injuries to the person” is only a 1-year statute of limitation. (See T.C.A. § 28-3-104(a)(1)) This maybe tolled by being under 18 and in certain on other very limited circumstances.
Tennessee tort law has the most restrictive time limit, compared with neighboring states: Mississippi’s statute of limitations is 3 years for negligent injuries; the Arkansas statute of limitations is 3 years and 2 for medical malpractice.
In Tennessee, Medical Malpractice also restricts us to only a 1-year statute of limitation from injury, but can be defined as discovery of that injury under certain circumstances. (See T.C.A. § 29-26-116 and T.C.A. § 28-3-104)
Similarly, Products Liability also has a 1-year Tennessee statute of limitations from the date of the injury, not the sale of the product. (See T.C.A. § 28-3-104(b)(2))
Wrongful Death in Tennessee is again, a stifling 1-year statute of limitation. (T.C.A. § 28-3-104)
Here’s the odd part: Injury to personal property or real estate is a whopping 3-year statute of limitation! (See T.C.A. § 28-3-105(1)). This means that you could have a car accident and be years late on the injury case, but still collect on the car damage.
No one wants to run off to a lawyer when injured. Many of my clients hate the idea of even having to have a lawyer.
However, you can see that statutes of limitations in Tennessee are very short, and a legal expert is required early to determine the path your serious injury case must take. The earlier you seek counsel, the more likely you will help control the outcome without extensive litigation.
Peel seeks justice for those injured in car accidents, work place incidents, medical malpractice, and nursing homes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Peel may be reached through wherein other articles may be accessed.

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March 2014
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