If you or someone you love has been involved in a truck accident in Tennessee, it’s important to be aware of the filing deadlines for taking legal action, commonly known as the statute of limitations. At Hotz & Associates in Knoxville, Tennessee, we understand how confusing and overwhelming this time can be, so we’re here to provide clear guidance on Tennessee’s truck accident filing deadline.

Tennessee’s statute of limitations for truck accidents

In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit, including those arising from truck accidents, is generally one year from the accident date. This legal timeframe is crucial because if you fail to file a lawsuit within this period, you may permanently lose your right to seek compensation for any injuries or damages caused by the accident.

Key points about the statute of limitations

  • Personal injury – You have one year from the date of the truck accident to file a lawsuit against the parties responsible for the incident. This is critical to ensure that your rights to recovery are preserved.
  • Property damage – If the truck accident also resulted in property damage, Tennessee law allows up to three years to file a claim for damages to your property. This is separate from the claim for personal injuries.
  • Wrongful death – In tragic circumstances where a truck accident results in a fatality, the deadline to file a wrongful death claim is one year from the date of the deceased’s death, which may differ from the date of the accident.

Considerations and exceptions to the rule

Discovery rule

In some cases, the injuries may not be immediately apparent following the accident. Tennessee law acknowledges this through the discovery rule, where the statute of limitations may start from when you discovered the injury rather than the accident date.

Minors and disability

The statute of limitations is tolled (paused) if the injured party is a minor or legally incapacitated. For minors, the countdown begins on their 18th birthday, extending their filing deadline until they turn 19.

Why is it so important to file on time?

Filing a lawsuit within the designated statute of limitations is crucial in any personal injury case, including truck accidents. Missing this deadline can significantly affect your ability to seek legal recourse and compensation for your injuries and damages. Here’s an in-depth look at what happens if you don’t file a truck accident lawsuit on time:

Loss of the right to sue

The most immediate and significant consequence of not filing your truck accident lawsuit within the statute of limitations is losing your right to sue. Once the statute of limitations expires, the court typically bars you from filing a lawsuit related to that incident. This legal cutoff is strictly enforced, with very few exceptions.

Legal and financial implications

Without the ability to pursue a lawsuit, you lose the leverage to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company or the defendant. This typically means you will not receive compensation for:

  • Medical expenses related to the accident
  • Lost wages or loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Any other costs incurred because of the accident

Legal guidance from Hotz & Associates

Managing legal deadlines shouldn’t be an additional burden for those recovering from an accident. Our team is here to help you understand your rights and ensure your claim is filed within the appropriate deadlines.

At Hotz & Associates, P.C., we’re committed to providing compassionate legal assistance to ensure you can focus on your recovery while we handle the complexities of your case. Please reach out if you need guidance or support; we’re here to assist every step of the way.