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How long do you have to file a lawsuit after a car accident?

Car accidents are a daily occurrence on Tennessee's streets and highways. Ranging from minor fender-benders to harrowing head-on collisions, car accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries or even death.

As the medical bills mount and a person is left unable to work, victims of car accidents may certainly want to hold the negligent driver who caused the accident accountable. Yet, how long exactly do you have to file a lawsuit after a car crash?

While the following cannot is not personal legal advice, in general under Tennessee Code section 28-3-104(a)(1), a person has one year to file a lawsuit for injuries to the person. That is, a personal injury lawsuit such as a negligence or wrongful death suit.

In general, the time period begins when the cause of action accrues. This is very important. After one year from the date of accrual, you can no longer file a lawsuit seeking compensation for the injuries you suffered in the crash, generally speaking.

That being said, a person may not realize they are injured until hours or even days after the accident. While in some cases the date of accrual commences when the accident occurred, in other cases, according to FindLaw.com, a "discovery rule" may in some circumstances be employed. In general, what that means is that the time of accrual begins when the victim either knows or should know that the person has been injured.

The application of the discovery rule depends on the type of case involved and is unique to each person's situation. Because of that, guidance from an experienced personal injury lawyer is a must. However, this information should give you a good, basic understanding of the time in which you have to file a lawsuit following a crash.

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