While a case for personal injuries resulting from a car accident must be filed within one year, a claim against an insurance company for uninsured motorist coverage arising from the same incident is not subject to that one-year statute of limitations.
In Bates v. Greene, No. W2016-01868-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. July 27, 2017), plaintiff had been injured in a car accident. Plaintiff filed a timely suit less than one year after the accident against the driver of the other car, but the civil warrant was returned unserved. An “alias civil warrant was issued for [the driver], but it was also returned unserved.” Two years after the accident, an amended warrant was issued, adding plaintiff’s uninsured motorist insurance carrier as a defendant.
Defendant insurance company filed a motion for summary judgment, “asserting that the claim against it was barred by the one-year statute of limitations applicable to personal injury actions.” Plaintiff responded that “she was asserting a contract claim…, subject to a six-year statute of limitations, rather than a tort claim…” The trial court granted the motion for summary judgment, but the Court of Appeals reversed.