I live in Tennessee. My son was sexually abused by a neighbor when he was 14. He is 18 now. Can my son sue the abuser, or has the time for taking legal action expired?
Yes. Tennessee law requires that he must file suit before his 19th birthday. The failure to file suit by his 19th birthday will result in a loss of his rights.
People sexually abused in Tennessee when they are adults have only one year from the date of the incident to file suit, but special rules apply if the person who was the abuser was a "therapist" within the meaning of T.C.A. Sec. 29-26-203. If you think you have been abused by a therapist (or anyone else for that matter), contact an experienced personal injury lawyeras soon as possible. Make sure you discuss this with your parents as soon as possible if you have not already done so.
NOTE: the right of minors to file lawsuits at any time before their 19th birthday does not apply to certain other types of claims, such as medical malpractice claims. Hospitals, doctors and other health care providers persuaded the Tennessee General Assembly to give them special rights. Thus, a minor who wants to pursue a medical malpractice claim must file suit within three years of the date of the injury.
Thus, if your minor son or daughter is injured, it is wise to consult with a lawyer promptly to determine what deadline for taking legal action will apply.