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by Michael Ponce | May 4, 2023

A statute of limitations (often abbreviated as “SOL”) is a law that sets a time period for a person to file a lawsuit or forever lose or forfeit their right to sue. To use legal language, the SOL begins to run or toll once the cause of action (or lawsuit) accrues or begins to start.  

Tennessee has a one-year statute of limitations for personal injuries against a person. This means that if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident on Jan. 1, 2023, you have one year from that date to file a lawsuit. If you do not file suit within that one-year time period, you generally no longer have a valid claim.  

This means that if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in which you suffer injuries, you need to contact an attorney to preserve your legal rights. Ponce Law is an experienced law firm that has handled thousands of motor vehicle and other personal injury lawsuits for injured persons. The attorneys at Ponce Law know how to resolve such cases and obtain the compensation that you deserve. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, contact Ponce Law immediately.  

What sorts of legal claims fall under this one-year statute of limitations?

Generally, all types of personal injury actions against a person fall under this one-year statute of limitations found at Tenn. Code Ann. §28-3-104. Injuries against a person would include many tort claims. A tort is a civil cause of action in which the general remedy is monetary damages. Thus, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and truck accidents all fall under this one-year SOL. Premise liability actions — lawsuits in which a property owner is responsible for injuries suffered on their property – also fall under this one-year SOL. Another example includes dog-bite cases. Those also fall under this one-year SOL for personal injury actions. 

But, this one-year statute of limitations law also covers actions for libel, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, federal civil rights actions seeking compensatory and punitive damages, and “actions for statutory penalties.”  

The bottom line is that if you are harmed in an accident, you need to promptly contact the attorneys at Ponce Law in order that they can begin work on your case, protect your legal rights, and obtain for you the compensation you deserve.  

What is a statute of repose? 

A statute of repose is a law that extinguishes a cause of action after a period of time even if the cause of action has not accrued or started to run.  In other words, a statute of repose sets an absolute time bar for a cause of action to begin in certain types of cases.

A statute of repose is similar but not identical to a statute of limitations. Unlike a statute of limitations, there generally are less exceptions to a statute of repose. For example, a statute of limitations period may be stopped or might not begin until a person discovers that she or he has been harmed. This is called the discovery rule. But, a statute of repose tends to have fewer exceptions than a statute of limitation. Statutes of repose tend to be longer than statutes of limitations as well. For example, there is a three-year statute of repose for healthcare liability actions in Tennessee, a four-year statute of repose for construction design defects, and a ten-year statute of repose for products liability actions.  

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