Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Tennessee Civil Statute of Limitations

For civil cases and procedures, such as lawsuits and judgments, states impose time limits called a statute of limitations. For instance, an injured person must file a lawsuit within a certain period of time after the time of the incident that caused the injury. If you fail to do so, you automatically forfeit your right to file suit; but states also accommodate for the fact that injuries may not be discovered until much later. Criminal law has a similar set of time limits, also referred to as the statute of limitations.

There are a couple of key reasons why civil courts impose statutes of limitations. For one, they help ensure that claims are filed soon enough after the incident that evidence remains clear and useful (including witness testimony). Additionally, these time limits prevent potential plaintiffs from "threatening" lawsuits indefinitely. It's important to keep in mind that the statute of limitations may be paused (or "tolled") if the plaintiff was a minor at the time of the incident or mentally incompetent.

In Tennessee, as in other states, these time limits vary for different kinds of civil actions. For example, plaintiffs have one year in which to file a lawsuit for personal injury, three years for lawsuits involving personal property, and six years for the collection of rent and debts.

This article provides a brief overview of the civil statute of limitations laws in Tennessee.

Tennessee Civil Statute of Limitations: At a Glance

The following is a summary of Tennessee's civil statutes of limitations, with additional links to related resources.

Injury to Person

One year (Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-104(a)(1))



Three years (Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-105)

Injury to Personal Property

Three years (Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-105(1))

Professional Malpractice


Three years (Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-105(1))

Collection of Rents

Six years (Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-109)


Collection of Debt on Account

Six years unless expressly provided (Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-109)


10 years (Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-110(2))

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

Tennessee Civil Statute of Limitations Laws: Related Resources

Don't Miss Your Filing Deadline: Contact an Attorney Today

Tennessee's civil time limits for filing your injury case often depend on the type of injury involved. The statute of limitations is longer for the collection of rent than it is for personal injury, for example. While this can all get a bit confusing, you don't have to figure it out alone. Get a head start on your claim today by consulting with a Tennessee litigation attorney near you.

Was this helpful?

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select
Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options