What is Colorado’s Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims?
If you have been injured in an accident or suffered the tragedy of losing a loved one under circumstances in which someone else was to blame, it is important to determine how long you have to pursue a claim for financial compensation. Under Colorado law, if you wait too long to assert your legal rights, you could lose them entirely, and this could have drastic consequences for you and your family.
Colorado Statute of Limitations: Personal Injury (Non-Auto Accident)
In most cases involving non-fatal injuries, Colorado’s statute of limitations is two years. Typically, this two-year limitation period runs from the date of the accident, although there are some exceptions. This statute of limitations applies to personal injury claims involving:
- Construction accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Premises-related accidents (slips, trips and fall)
- Ski accidents
- Other accidents resulting in traumatic injuries
With regard to medical malpractice claims, there are some additional rules that apply. For example, the statute of limitations is longer for birth injuries and other injuries to minors. In addition, while the “discovery rule” means that you have two years from the date you learn of your injury to file a claim, Colorado law imposes an absolute deadline of three years from the date of your treatment or procedure. However, there are exceptions here as well; and, regardless of how long it has been since you were injured, you should not make any decisions until you speak with an attorney about your legal rights.
Colorado Statute of Limitations: Auto Accidents
Colorado has a special three-year statute of limitations for claims arising out of auto accidents. This three-year limitations period applies to collisions involving all types of motor vehicles. While there are benefits to speaking with an attorney as soon as possible, if it has been a while since your accident, it still may not be too late to file a claim for just compensation.
Colorado Statute of Limitations: Wrongful Death
In Colorado, wrongful death claims are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. The only exception is for cases in which a negligent driver is convicted of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of the fatal accident. In these cases, the statute of limitations is extended to four years.
What if the Statute of Limitations for My Claim Has Expired?
If the statute of limitations for your claim has expired, the party that is responsible for your injury or your loved one’s death may be able to use this as a defense to liability. But, due to the various exceptions that exist under Colorado’s personal injury and wrongful death statutes of limitations (and the potential for you to have multiple claims), it is critical that you not make any assumptions about your legal rights until you speak with an experienced attorney.
Speak With a Denver Injury Lawyer at Levine Law
If you are concerned that you may have run out of time to file your claim for compensation, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a free, no-obligation consultation. One of our injury lawyers will be happy to meet with you personally to discuss the options you may have available. To schedule an appointment at our law offices in Denver, CO, please call 303-333-8000 or tell us about your situation online now.