After you’ve been injured in a car accident in Colorado, your first move is to seek medical attention.
It doesn’t take long, however, before you start wondering how long you have to file a claim.
If you weren’t the one responsible for the accident, you want to know that you won’t have to bear the full weight of your medical bills on your own; but how long do you have to ensure that the responsible party will pay the funds you’re due?
In Colorado, according to Colorado Revised Statute 13-80-101(1), you have three years to file a lawsuit regarding injuries sustained in a car accident.
After this time, the courts will typically deny your claim automatically.
While there are some circumstances in which you may delay filing, you’ll need to make sure that you begin the process before the three-year mark in order to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
When Does the Clock Start Ticking?
If you have three years to file an accident claim, when does the clock start ticking?
Typically, it occurs on the day of the accident: You’ll need to file your claim before that date three years later.
While you are not required to file it immediately—there’s no difference between a claim that is filed the day after the accident and one that is filed two years, 364 days later—you will need to start the process within three years of your accident under Colorado’s statute of limitations for car accident claims.
On the other hand, every day you wait increases the risk of evidence or witnesses disappearing, and that could make the work of recovering compensation much more difficult.
What If the Injury Isn’t Discovered Immediately?
In some cases, you may not immediately discover the injuries associated with your Colorado car accident.
This is particularly true if you failed to seek medical care immediately after the accident. In this case, the statute of limitations may be pushed to three years after you discover the injuries.
You may, however, need to provide proof that you weren’t aware of the injuries immediately in order to extend the Colorado statute of limitations to this time.
When Should You File?
If you’re injured in a car accident, how long should you wait to file a claim or lawsuit to receive compensation for your injuries?
In general, it is to your advantage to file your claim as soon as possible.
The sooner you start working with a lawyer, the sooner you can collect needed evidence related to your injuries or the circumstances of the accident.
It can, for example, be very difficult to locate a reliable witness almost three years after an accident, while in the days immediately following the accident, witnesses may be able to more clearly describe what happened.
Seeking Legal Help After Your Car Accident
After your car accident, you may need legal representation to help get you the compensation you deserve from your accident.
We’ll schedule your free consultation and work with you to establish that you are within the statute of limitations for your car accident, what compensation you can seek, and what evidence you will need throughout the process.