Accidents are rifled with confusion, shock, and anxiety. For many, the following steps may include calling the police, seeking medical attention, and filing a personal injury claim. However, personal injury cases have a statute of limitations in Colorado. That means victims only have a set amount of time to file a claim against the negligent party. Understanding Colorado’s statute of limitations laws can be complicated, but an experienced injury attorney can guide you through the claims process.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum time from an event date that parties have to begin legal proceedings. In civil cases, attorneys also refer to them as the prescriptive period, and the time length varies by state. In Colorado, the statute of limitations also varies depending on the accident type. For example, a dog bite accident injury has a different time limit than an injury resulting from a car accident.
What Is the Statute of Limitations in Colorado?
As mentioned above, the statute of limitations in Colorado will vary depending on the accident type. For most personal injury and wrongful death claims, accident victims have two years from the accident date to file a claim against the negligent party. Some examples include:
- Slip and falls
- Dog bites
- Ski accidents
- Bike accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
It is important to note that Colorado lawmakers extended the statute of limitations to three years for an injury that resulted from a motor vehicle. For example, if a victim was riding a bike but hit by a negligent driver, they may have three years to file a claim.
What Happens if the Statute of Limitations Passes Before I File a Claim?
If the statute of limitations passes before you can file a claim, you run the risk of a judge dismissing your case or an insurance company denying your claim. Too many accident victims make the mistake of waiting until they recover to file a claim or file one while recovering. Injuries may worsen over time, and it takes time to review evidence, file paperwork, and interview witnesses. In the end, both your health and injury claim will suffer. Instead, contact a Colorado injury attorney. They can handle the day-to-day aspects of your case while you focus on your health.
Are There Exceptions to Colorado’s Statute of Limitations?
As with most things regarding civil law, there may be exceptions to Colorado’s statute of limitations. Courts may grant extensions to the statute of limitations, especially if the defendant hid information or gave misleading testimony. Courts may also grant extensions when an injury had delayed symptoms, revealing itself months after the accident occurred.
Similarly, a judge may extend the statute of limitations if the injured party is mentally incompetent or under 18 and has no legal representation. They may restart the time limit once the injured person has their mental competence restored or turn 18. Remember, if the injured party has access to an injury attorney, a judge will likely not pause the time limit.
Speak to a Skilled Colorado Personal Injury Attorney Today
Bringing your case to an experienced Colorado personal injury attorney as quickly as possible after an accident is crucial in personal injury cases. Colorado’s injury laws, including the statute of limitations, can be complex. Having an accident lawyer on your side is the best way to protect your legal rights and ensure you receive maximum compensation.
At Kim Welch Law, we pride ourselves on providing superb legal services and client representation. Communication is vital in injury cases, so we will keep you updated on the status of your case the entire time. Attorney Kim Welch leads our firm, and she prides herself on being a fighter who will do whatever it takes to ensure the responsible party is held accountable for their negligence. Recognized by the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 list and the Better Business Bureau, you can be confident that Attorney Welch will do everything possible to reach a favorable outcome.
To schedule a free consultation, call (866) 881-8133 or complete our contact form today.