Auto accidents can cause grave harm to those involved. If you were hurt in a wreck caused by a negligent driver, you may want to focus on your physical recovery before considering your financial recovery.
However, waiting to file a civil claim could be a mistake. The Murfreesboro car accident statute of limitations starts the day of the collision and could drastically impact your ability to recover financial compensation. By speaking with a trustworthy attorney from the onset of your case, you could improve your chances of a successful claim.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Vehicle Wreck Cases?
The statute of limitations, as defined by Tennessee law, is the allotted time of which a person can bring a claim related to a particular incident in which they were injured. For car accidents in Murfreesboro, the individual has a year from the date of the collision to file a claim.
Filing a claim before the legal deadline expires is vital to a case as failure to meet the statute of limitations could result in the case being dismissed entirely. This means the individual would be unable to seek legal restitution, no matter how catastrophic their injuries are. Furthermore, a defendant’s insurance company and attorney are aware of the legal deadline and can refuse to settle should a claimant file a claim after the deadline has expired.
Exceptions to the Legal Deadline in Murfreesboro
While most vehicle collision cases in Murfreesboro must be filed within a year of the accident, there are certain exceptions to this rule. For instance, the statute of limitations differs for certain individuals who are considered incapacitated, such as a minor.
In Tennessee, a minor is not able to bring an action on their own behalf until they turn 18 years old. In other words, minors cannot legally sue other people for harm they suffered. Minor claimants have to have a guardian or parent to bring a claim on their behalf.
This also applies to individuals who are mentally disabled. These individuals can have a court appointed guardian file a claim on their behalf.
However, this is not a minor’s only option. The statute of limitations is put on hold or “tolled” when the claimant is a minor. Once the minor is the age of majority, their legal rights are restored, and the legal deadline begins. This means, claimants who were minors at the time of a car accident can either have a guardian file on their behalf within a year of the collision, or they have a year from their 18th birthday to file on their own behalf against the defendant driver. A local attorney could help a minor claimant and their family determine which option is better suited for their unique circumstances.
Additionally, the statute of limitations can be extended to two years should the defendant driver be cited for committing a traffic violation at the time of the wreck.
Contact a Murfreesboro Car Accident Attorney Before the Statute of Limitations Expires
It is extremely important to file a civil claim before the legal deadline expires. Since vehicle wrecks can cause severe harm, even death, the individual could potentially recover a substantial damage award. However, failing to meet the Murfreesboro car accident statute of limitations could result in the case being permanently dismissed, no matter how devastating the claimant’s injuries.
Therefore, you should contact an experienced attorney to discuss filing a claim as soon as possible. Call our office today and schedule your initial case consultation for free.