Occurred in Tennessee. Trying to file a claim against the estate of the driver of the car who passed away recently.
As was previously mentioned, the time limitation for filing a personal / bodily injury action is one (1) year. (Tenn Code Ann 28-3-103). However, if this involves a minor, as many pedestrian cases do, the statute for the child is usually tolled until the child is 18. That does not necessarily mean that you can ignore the one (1) year statute, because it still may have some application with regard to some aspects of the case, but it may help.
In short, the Tennessee statute of limitations is not to be played with. You need to talk to some attorney today.
Under Tennessee law, cases involving damage due to personal injury must be filed within one year from the date of the crash. Any damages you claim that arise from the collision are included in this one year deadline. Tennessee has the shortest statute of limitations for personal injury cases in the country. Having an attorney who understands application of the law to your case early is important for this reason.
In addition, since you are dealing with circumstances where the driver causing the harm has passed away, you will need to work ahead of the one year statute of limitations to set up an estate for that person, so you have someone to name on the complaint that must be filed. You will not do well just to name a deceased person as defendant if you know they have passed away. Either they will have had an estate set up for family or personal reasons, or you as a potential creditor can force an estate to be opened for the purpose of filing suit. It will take the assistance of a local attorney to do this, and it should be done before the deadline for filing any personal injury lawsuit. Tenn. Code Ann. 20-5-103 directs that the case against the wrongdoer may be maintained, but must be brought against the personal representative of the wrongdoer. A local attorney will know the process for making this happen.
Please be aware that your case involves an estate. If you fike suit, you will need to sue the adminstrator/executor of the estate. If no estate is open, you will have to do such to name the proper party. Tennessee has a one year statute of limitations unless the person injured is a minor (under 18). If a minor, the the statute of limitations runs one year from the 18th birthday.
Tennessee has a statute of limitations of one year from the date of accident to file a complaint in court for injuries.
Steven A. Schwartz
JOEL H. SCHWARTZ, P.C.
One Washington Mall, 16th floor
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 250-2072 fax
Why would you be attempting to do all this on your own? If you needed brain surgery, would you do it yourself on your kitchen table or would you go to a hospital and a brain surgeon?
You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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