How Long After A Car Accident Can You Claim Injury?

A damaged white vehicle after a car accident with a police car in the background.

Car accidents can be incredibly traumatic experiences, often resulting in physical injuries. As such, many people wonder how long they have to file a claim for these injuries after the incident has occurred. The timeline for making a car accident injury claim varies depending on different factors, including jurisdiction and the specifics of each case. Therefore, filing a claim for your injuries as soon as possible is essential.

How long do you have to file an accident report in Colorado?

Colorado law mandates that drivers involved in a car accident must report it to law enforcement. These conditions include accidents resulting in death, injury, or property damage. Even when the car crash seems minor, it must still be reported. 

In such cases, it is crucial to promptly file an accident report with local police or the Colorado State Patrol. Reporting the accident ensures compliance with legal requirements and facilitates subsequent insurance claims or legal proceedings.

What is the time limit to file a personal injury claim?

In Colorado, the time limit to file a personal injury claim for a car accident is generally governed by the statute of limitations. According to Colorado law, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim arising from a car accident is typically three years from the accident date. 

This means that individuals seeking compensation for their injuries must initiate legal action within this prescribed timeframe, usually with assistance from a car accident injury lawyer in Colorado. Failing to file a claim within the applicable statute of limitations may result in forfeiture of your right to seek damages for your injuries sustained in the car accident.

When do I need a car accident injury attorney?

There are several situations where seeking assistance from an experienced car accident injury attorney in Colorado can be beneficial to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, including:

  • If you have suffered severe injuries: If your car accident has resulted in significant physical harm, such as broken bones, spinal cord injuries, or traumatic brain injuries, it is essential to consult with a car accident attorney. They ensure you receive appropriate compensation for your injuries, such as medical expenses, long-term care, and pain and suffering.
  • When liability is disputed: When there is a disagreement over who was at fault or if multiple parties are involved, an attorney will investigate the circumstances of the collision and gather evidence to establish liability
  • When dealing with insurance companies: Insurance companies may attempt to minimize your claim or offer inadequate settlements. An experienced car accident attorney negotiates with insurers on your behalf and strives for a fair settlement that accurately represents your damages.
  • If there are complex legal issues: Certain factors like defective car parts, government entity involvement, or issues of shared fault might complicate the legal aspects of your case. Consulting an attorney can help navigate these complexities successfully.
  • Before signing any settlement agreements: It is crucial to have an attorney review any proposed settlement agreements before accepting them. They will assess whether the offered amount adequately covers all current and future expenses resulting from the accident.
  • In cases involving wrongful death: If a loved one has tragically died due to a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, hiring an attorney who specializes in wrongful death claims becomes vital. They can guide surviving family members through this difficult process while pursuing compensation for their loss.

Remember that every case is unique. It is wise to consult with an experienced car accident attorney regarding your situation before making legal representation decisions.

Will I get a better settlement if I get help from a car accident injury lawyer?

While there are no guarantees in any legal matter, having a car accident injury lawyer can significantly increase your chances of obtaining a better settlement. A knowledgeable attorney brings valuable expertise and advocacy to your case, which can lead to several potential benefits as follows:

  • Legal knowledge
  • Free case evaluation
  • Accurate damage assessment
  • Gathering evidence
  • Negotiation skills
  • Litigation representation

Some individuals may navigate their car accident claim without an attorney’s help and reach a settlement. However, they often discover after the fact that they failed to maximize their settlement and were actually entitled to a larger amount. However, the case is considered resolved once a settlement offer is accepted and signed. As you can see, consulting with a car accident injury attorney is advantageous. 

Car accident injury lawyer costs

Understandably, you may be concerned about the cost of a car accident injury lawyer when you need help filing a lawsuit. Fortunately, most car accident injury lawyers in Colorado offer a free case evaluation and consultation that costs you nothing. 

Should you have grounds to proceed with a car accident injury lawsuit, most car accident attorneys in Colorado work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing out-of-pocket upfront. You only pay once an agreeable settlement or verdict in your favor is obtained. Then, an agreed-upon percentage is deducted from the compensation you receive. 

Get free legal advice from our Colorado car accident injury lawyers

A gavel on a car accident attorney's desk.

At Bachus & Schanker, we understand the complexities and challenges associated with car accident claims. We are here to guide and support you through the process. Take advantage of our expertise, free legal advice, and complimentary case evaluation and consultation to discuss your case.


Bieber, C. (2023). How Much Do Lawyers Cost? 2023 Guide. 

CRS 13-80-101. (2023).

CRS 42-4-1606. (2023).

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