In Tennessee, am I required to file a lawsuit following an injury in a car wreck?

Do I have to file a lawsuit if I’ve been in a car wreck in Tennessee? John Griffith is a Nashville personal injury trial lawyer practicing law throughout the state of Tennessee with his primary office in Franklin, Tennessee. Often times, people ask if they hire me do they have to file a lawsuit against the party that caused their harms. The answer is no, we do not – and we try to resolve every claim if possible with the insurance company voluntarily.

However, many times we cannot reach an agreement and have to file a lawsuit. The state of Tennessee has one of the shortest statute of limitations in the United States. This is the limit on the time period for which you much file a personal injury lawsuit or you forever lose the right to bring that claim, which is one year in Tennessee. But to be safe, I will always make sure we file way in advance before the one year limitation, especially if someone has significant injuries.

So what does it mean if you file a lawsuit? Does it mean you cannot settle your case? No, you can settle your case at any time during the pendency of a lawsuit. That’s what we want to do, we would prefer to settle a case and not burden a jury and the court system with having to go through that process. However, many times we agree to disagree and we must have a jury resolve the dispute. Many times in a simple car wreck case where you’ve been rear ended, you would think that liability is clear. But you will find that in most cases the insurance adjustor and the defense attorney for the insurance company will deny being at fault.

Clients often ask "Do I have to go to trial in order to settle my case?" Approximately 98 percent of the cases in which we file a lawsuit settle without going to trial. However, we prepare each case like it’s going to a jury trial. I share this information to provide insight and information on how personal injury cases are handled in Tennessee. If you have questions about your case, call me. I can be reached at 615-807-7900, or email me. I look forward to hearing from you.

John Griffith
Nashville Personal Injury Trial Attorney