Colorado Car Accident Statute of Limitations
When you’re the victim of a car accident in Colorado, you have only a limited amount of time to bring a claim for compensation. This time limit is called a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for car accidents vary by state. Here’s what you need to know about the statute of limitations from our car accident attorneys.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Colorado Car Accident?
The statute of limitations for a Colorado car accident is three years. You have three years from the date of the car accident to begin your lawsuit for compensation. There are some exceptions where the time limit may be shorter or longer.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is the amount of time that you have to bring a legal case based on a certain event. It’s an arbitrary time limit that says how long you have to start a lawsuit after an event occurs that creates a legal cause of action. The purpose of having time limits are to make sure that the justice system decides cases when the evidence is fresh and that all of the parties involved have closure.
Colorado Statute of Limitations -- Colorado Revised Statute 13-80-101
Colorado’s statute of limitations for car accidents is Colorado Revised Statute 13-80-101. The law says that any action for bodily injury arising from the use or operation of a motor vehicle must be brought within three years of the accrual of the cause of action. If the accident results in death and the case is a wrongful death case, the time limit is only two years.
How Many Years After a Car Accident Can You Make a Claim in Colorado?
You have three years after a car accident to make a claim in Colorado. If you don’t bring your claim within three years, the other side can point out the time limit to the court and ask them to dismiss the case. If your case is against a government agency, the time limit may be much shorter than three years.
Who Does the Statute of Limitations Apply to in a Car Accident Case?
The statute of limitations that applies in a car accident case applies to everyone who may have a case based on the events surrounding the car accident. Drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and even pedestrians are subject to the time limits to file a claim. Anyone who may have a claim based on their car accident injuries must comply with the statute of limitations and file their case by the deadline.
How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in Colorado?
Your obligation to report a car accident to the police in Colorado is different from the statute of limitations to bring a civil action for compensation. All drivers have the obligation to report a traffic accident to the police. Colorado Revised Statute 42-4-1606 requires all drivers to report accidents that cause injury or property damage immediately to law enforcement. Even a minor car accident requires an immediate report to the police. Even if you don’t plan to bring a civil claim and it’s only a minor accident, you must still call the police to report the accident right away.
Colorado Car Accident Statute of Limitations and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claims
Even though the basic rule for the statute of limitations after a car accident is three years, sometimes, a car accident statute of limitations is more complicated than that. For example, you might negotiate with the other side’s insurance company for some time after the accident. Then, once you settle with their insurance company, you might turn back to your own insurance policy for underinsured motorist coverage. If your own insurance doesn’t pay you fairly, the claim might be against your own insurer to fairly honor the terms of their policy.
In that case, your statute of limitations is two years from the settlement with the other party’s insurance company. Colorado Revised Statute 10-4-609(4) sets the time limit for commencing an underinsured motorist claim within two years of receiving the settlement from the other party’s insurance company. The statute of limitations in your car accident case may be complex. It’s essential to meet with an experienced Colorado car accident attorney to examine the entire case and pursue your compensation in the best ways possible.
How Do I Meet the Statute of Limitations in a Colorado Car Accident Case?
You meet the statute of limitations in a Colorado car accident case by filing your claim in a court of law by the deadline. Negotiating with the insurance company is not enough to beat the time limit. You must officially file your summons and complaint in the right Colorado court to meet the statute of limitations.
Once you meet the deadline, it doesn’t matter how long your case takes to resolve. Even if your case takes months or even years in the courts, you beat the statute of limitations as long as you begin your case at least the day before the statute of limitations runs out. Even if your case seems straightforward, like in a rear-end collision, the statute still applies. Getting the claim filed is the most important thing; once your claim is underway, you have time to serve the other side with their copy of the documents, build the evidence, and work towards a fair resolution of your claim.
Recommended Reading: Auto Accident FAQs
How Our Colorado Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
Have you been in a car accident in Colorado? Are you wondering how the statute of limitations might apply to your case? The statute of limitations is often more complex than it seems. Our experienced attorneys for car accidents in Colorado can help.
We believe that all car accident victims deserve skilled, diligent legal representation that wins them the maximum compensation for their case. Our team explores all avenues to help you beat the statute of limitations and receive fair payment for your injuries. If you need to work quickly to prepare and file legal documents, we’re ready to go to work for you. We explore all angles and do everything we can to get you fair payment for your injuries. Call us today for your free consultation.
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