Is there a time limit for claims after a car accident?
In the legal system in our country, a statute of limitations refers to the time limit in which legal action can be taken or claims filed. Any person in Tennessee involved in a car accident will have to file a claim within a specified time frame. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim differs from state to state.
Fairness is very important in legal matters, and that is why the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is relatively short. The main reasons are that memories become less clear as time goes by. Eyewitnesses may die, move or just disappear, and evidence tends to get lost over time. By ensuring the case gets to court before too much time has passed, a fair judgment can be made.
Initial dealings shortly after the car accident will be with the insurance company of the driver deemed to have been at fault, but some drivers are uninsured or underinsured. Some policies include coverage in those circumstances, which may prompt a claim for any shortfall between the at-fault driver’s coverage limit and the actual damages. If there is no (or insufficient) coverage available (or the insurance company contests the claim), a lawsuit may be necessary to pursue a monetary judgment. A personal injury attorney can help in negotiating with any insurance companies and in determining which party or parties to sue should insurance coverage fall short.
Seriously injured victims of a car accident in Tennessee who are unsure of the applicable statute of limitations may benefit from consulting a lawyer on the matter as soon after the accident as possible. Not only will it ensure that claims are filed in a timely manner, but also that the correct process is followed. This may be even more urgent when the party to be sued is the government, as the statute of limitations in those circumstances may be much shorter and require that immediate steps be taken to protect the rights of the victim.
Source: dmv.org, “Statute of Limitations and Car Insurance“, Jan.12, 2015