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Colorado trial attorneys

How long do I have to file a personal injury claim?

On behalf of Dolan + Zimmerman LLP July 3, 2018

Nothing is quite as upsetting as an accident with serious injuries. One day everything was fine. You were getting up, going to work, and taking care of your family. After an accident, the future can look murky, as you struggle to figure out just what you are going to do.

There is a lot to navigate after an accident. Whether you got hurt in a car accident, or slipped and fell on an icy sidewalk, you have a lot to deal with afterwards. There is the physical pain of your own injuries, but also the worry over what this is going to mean to your family and finances.

Who is going to pay the medical bills? What about your ongoing rehabilitative care needs? Will you have enough money to keep up with your bills? Can you even go back to work? These are just some of the many questions that run through anyone’s mind after they realize that their injuries are quite serious and going to require ongoing care.

Different time limits for different types of accidents

The answer to all of these questions is very much dependent on the circumstances of your accident and injuries. However, one thing that is the same for almost everyone is that there are time limits governing when you have to act if you want to take legal action against the person or company who caused your injuries.

This time limit, known as the statue of limitations, places a deadline on when you can file a lawsuit.  If you do not file a suit within that time, you may lose your right to seek recovery.

The idea behind this is that having a deadline helps to preserve physical evidence and witness testimony. These time limits are different from state-to-state.  Here is a look at these limitations in Colorado:

  • Premises liability: You have two years to file a lawsuit for negligence accidents. Premises liability falls under the umbrella term of negligence. As an example, premises liability includes injuries from slip and falls, but also injuries stemming from dog bites or other animal attacks.
  • Motor vehicle accident: These types of injuries also fall under negligence. However, unlike the two-year limit, motor vehicle involvement increases the cutoff to three years.
  • Assault: If you were hurt due to assault, you have one year to file a lawsuit.

There are exceptions to the statute of limitations, but these are only in very limited circumstances.  Please check with an experienced lawyer to help you figure out which statute of limitations may apply to your case.

Keep an eye on the time

Even with debilitating injuries, time will still go by incredibly quickly, which is why those hurt due to someone else’s negligence are always encouraged to act right away. The last thing anyone would want is to have to live with a lifetime of injuries, but no legal recourse.