Most people who suffered injuries after a car accident caused by a negligent driver seek compensation. However, there are several ways things can go wrong that prevent people from obtaining the compensation they need. An insurance company may fail to offer adequate compensation or the defendant may file for bankruptcy at the last minute. Automatic stay from bankruptcy and the Tennessee statute of limitations can work against you when it comes to filing personal injury claims. Learn how to overcome this obstacle by contacting a Tennessee car accident lawyer today.
Effects of Automatic Stay on Personal Injury Claims
Automatic stay is one of the direct consequences that result from the defendant filing for bankruptcy. This means you will not be able to collect the debt owed to you by that driver and that driver’s insurance company. Your insurance company will not be able to do anything either because Congress supersedes the case once the bankruptcy is approved.
What does this mean for you? In your case, you are trying to file a personal injury claim against the other driver and insurance company, but since the bankruptcy was filed, your lawsuit has stopped. A lawsuit is not allowed to be refiled either if the debt is discharged. Debts are usually discharged after the bankruptcy case is finished.
The bankruptcy court has control over automatic stay and has the power to lift this order. If any court proceedings for your personal injury case were scheduled, they will be canceled until the automatic stay will be removed. A lawyer may be able to help you lift the automatic stay so you can continue your personal injury lawsuit.
Tennessee Statute of Limitations
Another factor you will be fighting against is time. The Tennessee statute of limitations for personal injury claims is one year after the accident. The court proceedings for some personal injury claims alone can take several months. Half a year could go by with just trying to prove the other driver’s negligence. Bankruptcy only takes up more of your time.
However, the statute of limitations is often extended if there was a death that directly resulted from the car accident. This can be considered wrongful death under certain conditions and involves further legalities than personal injury lawsuits.
There are other factors that can affect your time. The case can take longer depending on how complicated the car accident was, how many people were involved, whether passengers decided to file lawsuits, and whether the other driver is uninsured. An experienced lawyer can save you the time you need to earn compensation because they know what to do in these types of situations.