HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO SUE SOMEONE FOR PERSONAL INJURY IN COLORADO?
If you’re injured as a result of someone else’s negligence in Colorado, you have a right to file a lawsuit against that person or corporation to compensate you for the harm that was done. While Colorado law normally gives you years to file a lawsuit, you won’t have forever. The law simply doesn’t let you wait a lifetime to file your claim. The law limiting your time to file a lawsuit is called the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations limits your time to file a lawsuit in any Colorado court. For every kind of personal injury claim in Colorado, there is a statute of limitations that will limit the time you have to file a lawsuit in a Colorado court.
Personal Injury Claims
Colorado’s statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the injury. That means you must file your personal injury lawsuit within two years from the date upon which you were injured in a construction accident, a fall at someone’s business, or any other scenario in which you might be injured. That doesn’t mean that your case has to be completed within two years, only that you file in a Colorado court within two years from the date of your injury.
Colorado employs a different statute of limitations if you are injured in a car accident. In the event that you are injured as a result of a motor vehicle crash or accident, you’ll have three years to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for your injuries. The three-year time limit applies to all manner of crashes and accidents, regardless of how they may occur, including crashes with commercial trucks, other cars, or any other motorized vehicle.
If a loved one is killed as a result of someone’s negligence, or a car crash or other incident leads to the death of a loved one, the statute of limitations that normally applies to Colorado personal injury claims may be different. In the event that someone’s death results from the incident, the statute of limitations is two years for a Colorado wrongful death claim to be filed in a Colorado court.
If your personal injury is the result of negligence on behalf of a doctor, nurse, or another medical professional, a two-year statute of limitations will apply to your case. The two-year limitation will normally begin to run on the date of the surgery or other procedure that caused your injury. However, the Colorado medical malpractice statute of limitations may be extended if you were unable to determine that you were injured at the time of the surgery or procedure that caused your injuries. In that case, your two years will begin to run on the date you actually learned of your injury. However, in most cases, your claim will have to be filed no later than three years after the surgery or procedure that gave rise to your injuries occurred.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T FILE A CLAIM BY THE END OF THE COLORADO STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS?
If you don’t file a lawsuit before the end of the applicable statute of limitations, you will likely lose your ability to file a lawsuit. The law in Colorado when it comes to when you can file a lawsuit is strict. Exceptions to Colorado statutes of limitations are very rare.
Because Colorado statutes of limitations for personal injury claims are strict, it is important that, at a minimum, you talk with an experienced Colorado personal injury lawyer about your options. Olson Law Firm provides free consultations to those injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. During that consultation, we’ll be happy to explain when your statute of limitations on your Colorado personal injury claim will run and what steps will need to be taken in order to file your claim. There’s no obligation after having that conversation. We’ll simply be happy knowing that you know your rights.