Statute Of Limitations For Personal Injury In Colorado
After suffering an injury due to the actions of another party, an injured person maintains the right to seek damages for their harm, both economic and noneconomic.
In order to do so, a claim must be filed against the at-fault party. However, a claim must be filed within the statute of limitations in order to be viable.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is a limit on the amount of time that can commence before an action (in this case, a civil action) is barred. This helps to protect a defendant from unfair claims that are brought after an unreasonable amount of time has passed, and also motivates an injured party to act while evidence is still fresh.
Colorado Statute of Limitations - Personal Injury
Like all states, Colorado has a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury case, which is 2 years, after which you may not be able to bring it to court at all. In most cases, the clock begins to run on the date you were injured.
Injuries, however, are not always evident.
As such, the 2-year time-frame begins on the date of discovery, or when the plaintiff is aware or should be aware that injuries were sustained.
If the defendant is the state of Colorado, or a city or county, a plaintiff has 180 days to file a formal claim and 2 years to file the personal injury lawsuit.
In the case of motor vehicle accidents, the statute of limitations is 3 years and begins immediately after the accident occurs. Another exception to the statute of limitations in Colorado is known as tolling. Tolling refers to a variable outside of the plaintiff’s control, which is preventing the case from proceeding.
In such circumstances, a case may be put on pause for an indefinite amount of time until the impediment is resolved. Some examples that qualify for tolling in a personal injury case include:
- Defendant is bankrupt.
- Victim is a minor.
- Victim is not mentally competent.
In order to toll the statute of limitations, a plaintiff must file a lawsuit.
What Happens if You File a Claim After the Statute of Limitations Has Expired?
Once the statute of limitations has expired, Colorado law prevents an injured person from pursuing damages, and a court will likely refuse to hear the case. This means that if you do not file your claim within the required time frame, you will most likely never receive compensation for your injuries and damages.
The best way to ensure that you bring your claim within the statute of limitations is to meet with an experienced injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident occurs. The longer that you wait to take action, the closer you become to a breach of the statute of limitations. What’s more, the longer you wait, the greater the chances of evidence relevant to your claim being destroyed, and the longer that you will have to wait for a settlement.
Reach Our Colorado Personal Injury Lawyers Today
The Denver Trial Lawyers handle a wide range of personal injury cases, including premises liability, medical malpractice, spinal cord injury, gross negligence, product liability and more. Since our founding in 2003, we have represented thousands of clients and obtained over $300 million in compensation for their injuries.
We have over 175 years of the collective experience and many of our personal injury lawyers hold records for largest verdicts obtained in certain areas of practice.
If you have been in a car accident and have questions about the statute of limitations or any other elements of your case, please contact our law firm directly. We provide free, no-obligation consultations.