By: Darrell Castle
Tennessee has the shortest statute of limitations
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What is the statute of limitations?
Hi, I’m Darrell Castle and I’m an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Tennessee and that’s a question I get quite often. And the answer to that question is, the statute of limitations is a statute (a law – the word statute just means law) that is written into the books of every state in the country. And it’s a law that’s designed to bring an end to litigation – to claims and lawsuits. So it lets the law expire on certain days.
In Tennessee, my jurisdiction, we have the shortest statute of limitations in the country on personal injury cases.
For example, in an auto accident, if you have a car accident and you’re injured, then you have to bring your case from one year of the date of that injury. That is pretty clear. In fact, it’s very clear and there is no unclear thing about an auto case.
One year from the date of your accident, your case will expire worthless unless it is completed, settled or a lawsuit is filed.
There are many other statutes for different personal injury cases. For example, if you’re injured on the job and have a workers’ compensation case, then you’re statute of limitations is one year from the day of your last accepted treatment – your last approved treatment.
These things are fluid. It’s hard to exactly determine when the statutes starts to run sometimes, except in auto cases, it’s very clear.
If you slip and fall down on someone else’s property, then that’s very clear – it starts the day you fell down and hurt yourself – one year from that date.
But in cases like medical negligence and nursing home cases, it is not exactly fluid. When did the injury occur exactly if you are claiming you were injured by a doctor or medical provider or someone like that? The statute for those cases is one year from the date of the injury or one year from the date you learned of the injury or in the exercise of due care, you should have learned.
So, the best thing you can do is bring your case quickly because they do expire and once they do expire, then that’s it. There’s no appeal. It’s over. That is finished.
So, bring your case quickly. You need to see an attorney about it though because you never know exactly for certain when that statute date starts.