Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Denver and Colorado

Published on Jun 15, 2023 | Last Modified on Jul 09, 2024


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  • Statute of Limitations: In Denver and Colorado, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is generally two years, but for automobile accidents, it extends to three years from the date of the accident.
  • Importance: Knowing the statute is crucial as it dictates the timeframe to take legal action. Delays can bar claims permanently.
  • Exceptions: There are rare exceptions where the period may be extended due to factors like tolling or the discovery rule, particularly for minors or when an injury isn't immediately apparent.

What does statute of limitations mean?

A statute of limitations is the amount of time that a party has to initiate civil or criminal legal proceedings, and it is different for different types of cases. Once the statute has passed, neither party can take legal action against the other for a specific matter or incident. These statutes are in place to ensure civil and criminal lawsuits can be taken care of in a timely manner. In some instances and in very limited contexts, the limitations period may possibly be extended based on other factors and legal principles known as “the discovery rule,” when an injury is not readily apparent or immediately identifiably related to someone else’s product or conduct, or it may potentially be extended through “tolling,” where in some, but not all, circumstances, for example, a minor child’s claim will only start to run when the individual turns 18 years of age. However, all cases should be evaluated individually and, absent direct legal advice ensuring that a statute of limitations could be extended, it is imperative that you stick to the strict deadline and file your civil complaint based on the type of case and applicable statute of limitations. Failing to do this can forever bar your claims.

Why should I know what the statute of limitations is?

It’s important to know what the statute of limitations is because it governs the timeframe in which you can take legal action should you ever suffer an injury as a result of the actions of another party. The statute of limitations motivates injured parties to act while the evidence is still fresh and the memories of witnesses are still clear and the claims are readily prosecutable. What makes it especially important to know what the statute of limitations is for personal injury cases is the fact that injuries are not always immediately evident or obvious. Should an injury present itself some time after an accident happens, it is helpful to know how much time you have left to pursue legal action.

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Denver and Colorado

What is the statute of limitations in Denver and Colorado?

For personal injury cases in Denver and Colorado, the statute of limitations is generally two years. However, the law extends the statute to three years for automobile accidents. Generally, time starts counting down on the date of the accident that is the subject of your claims. The statute of limitations for auto accidents begins directly at the time of the crash.

There are some circumstances where a case can be put on pause for a period of time due to tolling or some other reason. Some common examples can be if the victim is a minor, bankrupt, or not mentally competent. In addition, while very rarely, your attorney may seek and obtain an agreement on tolling with the opposite party and their legal counsel.

Please note, this information only generally covers motor vehicle accident claims and general negligence claims. Every case has different facts and circumstances that may affect any applicable statute of limitations. Therefore, you should understand that many claims are not addressed by the general information presented herein. For example, in some cases including but not limited to those against the government, there are or may be notice requirements that may be shorter than the statute of limitations that could bar a claim if not brought in time. So, this is why after an accident it is critical to contact a lawyer as early as possible to gain information about the statute of limitations and other factors relevant to your specific case and injuries.

Contact Whalen Injury Lawyers

If you have been injured due to the actions of another party, contact Whalen Injury Lawyers today so we can consider your claim and, if we decide to move forward to represent you, put the best case together before the statute of limitation runs out!

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