Timothy L. Miles, Esq. | Personal Injury Attorney | Nashville
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Tennessee is set forth in Tennessee Code Ann. Code § 28-3-104 which provides that any action involving “injuries to the person” shall be brought “within one (1) year after the cause of action accrued.” Tennessee Code Ann. Code § 28-3-104(a)(1). Generally, the cause of action accrues when the person is injured. Thus, in Tennessee, unless an exception exists, a party generally has one year from the date they are injured to file a personal injury complaint. If no exception exists, failure to file within one year of your injury will forever bar your claim under the statute of limitations in Tennessee. Because of Tennessee’s short statute of limitations, you should promptly speak to a personal injury attorney after your injury and initial treatment.
Types of Cases Applying the Statute of Limitations
Tennessee’s one-year statute of limitations typically applies to injured victims who were hurt in accidents or incidents, including, but not limited to, following type cases:
- Car Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Slip & Fall
- Burn Injuries
- Dod Bites
- Boating Accidents
- Wrongful Death
- Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
- Birth Injuries
- Negligent Security
Exceptions to Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Tennessee
The Discovery Rule
There are some types of injuries that may not be apparent right away after the accident. Under the discovery rule in Tennessee, the statute of limitations shall not begin to run until an injury victim becomes aware of their injury, or should have become aware.
The Defendant Is Absent
If after a goof faith effort, the defendant cannot be found and served with process, you may have grounds to toll the statute. If you can convince the court, you made a good faith effort to locate the defendant, but could not, you may be able to toll the statute until they can be found. Tenn. Code Ann. §28-1-111.
Injury Victim Is a Minor
If cases where the injured victim is a minor, the statute of limitation does not begin to run. until the victim reaches age 18, then they have one year to a personal injury lawsuit. Tenn. Code Ann. §28-1-106.
The Injury Victim Has a Mental Disability
If the injury victim suffers from a disability that deprives him or her of the ability to make sound decisions concerning legal action may be ruled mentally incompetent by a Tennessee court. Tenn. Code Ann. §28-1-106.