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In most cases, the statute of limitations for a car accident in Tennessee is one year from the date of the accident. Although it is generally best to assume that you have one year to sue, there are several exceptions that may apply that will allow an auto accident case to be filed after one year.
Exceptions to the One Year Statute
Injured Children - If the person injured in the auto wreck is a minor at the time of the accident, then the one year statute of limitations will not apply. The time period for filing a lawsuit on behalf of a minor is "tolled" until the minor reaches age 18, and then the person will have one year to file a lawsuit.
Incompetent Persons - Any individual with a mental or physical disability that makes them unable to make decisions about filing a lawsuit may file a lawsuit within one year after the person recovers from the disability. For instance, if a person is in a coma and unable to communicate for several months following an accident, the statute of limitations will be "tolled" until the injured person is mentally able to appreciate what has happened to them. Whether a person has a mental disability sufficient to "toll" the statute of limitations is often difficult to ascertain. Therefore, it's best not to rely on the tolling period unless absolutely necessary.
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