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Statute of Limitations Extended for Criminal Conduct

Every civil case must abide by a legal deadline known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the maximum amount of time a potential plaintiff has to file legal proceedings against a defendant in order to hold them financially liable for damages. In Tennessee, the legal deadline to file a civil claim is one year from the date of the accident.

As this filing deadline is relatively short, there have been many legal cases that have challenged the statute of limitations. Due to this, there are some exceptions to this legal deadline, extending it under very specific circumstances, such as when a minor is the injured party in a claim. Recently, another case was brought forward that challenged the statute of limitations.

Reginald M. Younger v. Kibreab Kidane Okbahhanes

Nineteen months after Reginald M. Younger and Kibreab Kidane Okbahhanes were involved in a vehicle wreck, Younger filed a civil claim against Okbahhanes. Okbahhanes appealed the case, arguing the claim was untimely.

However, Younger cited Tennessee Code Annotated § 28-3-104(a)(2), stating that since Okbahhanes was issued a traffic citation at the time of the collision, the statute of limitations was extended to two years. The court agreed that this code applied to this case and therefore issued another exception to the statute of limitations.

What Does this Mean for Potential Plaintiffs?

Under this new exception, potential plaintiffs in Tennessee could have the statute of limitations to file a claim extended to two years if the defendant in their case was issued a criminal citation as a result of the accident. This is more commonly applicable in motor vehicle accidents involving cars, trucks, pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.

This allows claimants more time to gather evidence and determine the full extent of their injuries before filing a civil claim. If you or your loved one were harmed by another’s negligent conduct, call our office right away to discuss whether this extension applies to you.

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