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How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit?

Tennessee state law delineates just how long you have to file a civil lawsuit. The timeframe differs depending on the type of claim. For example, a property damages claim has a longer statute of limitations than one for medical malpractice. For a personal injury lawsuit, like one filed after a car accident, the law says that a claim must be brought within one year. If you fail to file your lawsuit in that amount of time, you will forfeit your right to sue the individual who caused you harm.

However, there are instances when the timeframe may be extended. In many cases, for example, the clock will not start ticking until you discover or should have discovered your injury. This means the time after the accident during which you can file a lawsuit may actually extend past one year. However, one year is the maximum allowable time once an injury is discovered or should have been discovered.

While this may sound daunting, you should take comfort in knowing that there are options to get the right information about how to proceed with a claim. The right information can guide you through the claim process and ensure the proper paperwork is filed before the statute of limitations expires.

With the right approach you may stand a better chance of recovering much needed compensation from a negligent driver. If successful, this may allow you to pay your medical expenses, recoup lost wages and find a sense of justice in closure. Then you will hopefully be able to regain your health and your normal life as quickly as possible.

Source: FindLaw, "Tennessee Civil Statute of Limitations," accessed on Oct. 24, 2014

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