If you have been injured in an accident, you likely have a number of things on your mind. The last thing you want to worry about is the time you have to pursue a legal claim. However, this time limitation is an actual concern, and not staying on top of this filing deadline can prevent you from filing your case and getting the financial damages you deserve.
That is why in the below blog post, we will walk you through everything you need to know about the statute of limitations in Colorado. We will talk about the deadlines you should stay aware of and how a personal injury attorney can make sure you do not run out of time to file your case.
What Does the Statute of Limitations Mean
The statute of limitations is also known in civil law systems as a prescriptive period. This is a law that sets the maximum amount of time an individual has to file legal proceedings after an alleged offense. If the person fails to file their case within this allotted period of time, they can be barred from pursuing compensation for their harm and losses.
The justification behind the statute of limitations is that individuals should bring a legal case when reliable evidence is available. This is because, as time goes by, there is a higher likelihood of evidence disappearing, memories of the incident fading, and witnesses no longer being available to testify—all factors that can impact a case and hurt a person’s chance of succeeding.
In addition, this rule also helps courts by having them hear relatively recent cases and not getting flooded by cases from several years ago. It also protects defendants from unfair claims brought after an unreasonable amount of time has passed.
General Statute of Limitation Guidelines in Colorado
In Colorado, the time limits for filing a civil action typically range from one to three years. However, certain activities such as debt collection tend to have a six-year window. The state also allows an extra year for property and personal injury claims if an automobile is involved.
It should also be noted that criminal offenses likewise have a statute of limitations. However, the most severe crimes, such as murder, will generally have no maximum period to file a case.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Colorado
For personal injury-related cases, Colorado also has its own statute of limitations. In general, for most non-motor vehicle-related injury claims, such as slip and falls, toxic torts, premises liability accidents, and other accidents involving negligence, individuals have two years to file a lawsuit after an injury. However, if the claim consists of a car accident, then victims will have three years from the date of the crash to pursue legal action.
In addition, if an individual dies following an accident, their estate can pursue a wrongful death claim within two years of their death. However, depending on the facts of the accident and whether any exceptions apply to the statute of limitations rule, this time period can also change. For example, if it is not discovered that negligence caused the individual’s death until much later, then the statute of limitations will begin to run once the discovery is made and not from the time of death.
How Can an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Help You
Figuring out how much time you have to pursue legal action may be more complex than you think. Due to the laws and exceptions that can impact your time to file, it may be a good idea to work with a knowledgeable attorney. These legal professionals can not only calculate the maximum amount of time you have to file your legal case but can also ensure that your legal motions, documents, and files are prepared correctly and submitted to the appropriate court before time runs.
That is why if you have been injured in an accident and are considering filing a legal claim, do not wait to get the legal help you need. Instead, contact Cave Law today for a free consultation and find out how our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you fight for the justice and monetary damages you deserve.