What is a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum time after an event that a lawsuit may be filed. “All statutes of limitations are intended to ensure fairness and justice. Such statutes prevent undue delay in filing lawsuits and thereby ensure that evidence is preserved and facts are not obscured by the lapse of time or the defective memory or death of a witness.” Pero’s Steak & Spaghetti House v. Lee, 90 S.W.3d 614, 621 (Tenn. 2002).  

Common Statutes of Limitations for Civil Cases in Tennessee:  

  • A lawsuit based upon personal injury must be filed within one year after the plaintiff becomes aware of facts sufficient to put a reasonable person on notice that he or she has suffered an injury as a result of another’s conduct.  
  • Lawsuits based on wrongful death, health care liability and medical malpractice must also be filed within one year from the discovery of the injury and or the death of the plaintiff.   
  • Special notice must be given for claims against the State of Tennessee and must be brought within the statute of limitations applicable for the type of claim.  
  • A tort action against a local governmental entity must be commenced within one year.
  •  Products liability actions must also be filed within one year of the injury.  
  • A lawsuit based upon defamation must be brought within one year after the statement is published (libel) and within six months after the words are spoken (slander).  

How we can help. 

We have over thirty years of combined experience in civil law, which means we have the knowledge to ensure your lawsuit is timely filed. We also have the drive and skill to obtain the compensation you deserve.  

Our work is provided on a contingency fee basis for most civil cases, which means we never charge clients upfront for our legal services. We only require payment if we successfully represent your claim and recover damages on your behalf.  

To learn more about the ways we can help, or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today at (423) 926-9421.