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Tennessee, like every other state in the nation, has a limit on the amount of time in which you can file a lawsuit against a responsible party after you suffer an injury. This is known as the statute of limitations. In the event of a serious car accident, the following limits apply to civil suits in Tennessee:

  • One year after the accident if your case involves an injury
  • Three years after the accident if your case only involves vehicle or property damage

If you fail to move forward with a personal injury claim within one year, the court will almost certainly dismiss your case immediately, regardless of how strong the evidence is against the defendant.

It’s also important to note that insurance companies often set their own deadlines that must be observed. These schedules are usually found listed in the policy documents. To that end, it’s generally wise to file your claim as soon as possible to save time in case you need to file a personal injury claim in court later.

Finally, be aware that the standard statutes of limitation in Tennessee listed above do not apply to cases involving injuries for which government employees or entities may be liable. Examples include being hit by a city bus or suffering injuries on government-owned property. In such cases, the window of time in which to file your claim is typically even shorter.

For more information on the statutes of limitations for personal injury claims in Tennessee, contact a trusted Bristol auto accident attorney. Call Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, P.C. today at 423-797-6022 to schedule your free initial consultation, or contact us online.


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  • Bristol Office
    777 Anderson Street
    Bristol, Tennessee 37620
    Phone: 423-797-6022
    Fax: 423-764-1179
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