How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident in Colorado?

Written By: Attorney Kaitlin Nares

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Dealing with a car accident can cause anxiety, frustration, and fear.  You may be worrying about property damage and injuries that are causing you pain and discomfort.  Negotiations with insurance companies may be stressful, exhausting, and lead to a dead-end without any resolution.  During this time, your medical expenses are increasing, causing financial distress.  It is critical to have an experienced attorney on your side to help you seek maximum compensation.

The experienced car accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group may be able to help you understand your rights and the estimated time you have to seek a potential settlement, as well as guide you through the personal injury claims process. As one of our clients, you will pay nothing unless we win your case.

Knowing when the deadline – also known as the statute of limitations – is for filing a lawsuit after a car accident in Colorado is very important to preserve your claims. If you do not file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations period, you may be barred from recovering for your injuries.

WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IN COLORADO FOR A CAR ACCIDENT CASE?

If the car accident occurred in Colorado, then the Colorado statute of limitations will apply, even if you were traveling from another state.  Pursuant to Colorado Revised Statute 13-80-101, in Colorado, any action for bodily injury arising from the use or operation of a motor vehicle must be brought within three years of the accrual (or date of injury) of the cause of action.  If you do not live in Colorado but were involved in a car accident here, it would be helpful to consult local counsel like Zinda Law Group to assist.

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE A LAWSUIT AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT  IN COLORADO IF A FAMILY MEMBER DIES?

If the car accident results in death, you only have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death cases are tragic, emotional, and complex. It is always recommended that you consult with a qualified attorney like the experienced personal injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group to guide you through the process.

WHEN SHOULD I FILE A LAWSUIT AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?

It is important that you do not wait until the end of the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit.  Several steps need to be taken before you file the lawsuit.  It is recommended that you file a lawsuit at least 6 months before the statute of limitations date.  If you plan on hiring an attorney, they will need time to review your case, obtain your medical records and bills, order the crash report, 911 calls, and police body camera footage, and draft the documents necessary to file your lawsuit.  

WHY SHOULD I FILE A LAWSUIT AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?

It may be necessary to file a lawsuit if the insurance company is disputing liability, if the insurance company is not offering reasonable and fair compensation, or if there is evidence that you cannot acquire without filing a lawsuit.

HOW DO I MEET THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IN A COLORADO CAR ACCIDENT CASE?

Typically, you will want to file your case in the district court of the county where the wreck happened, or in the county where the at-fault party resides.  You must file your summons and complaint with the court to meet the statute of limitations.  Each district court will have a clerk that can direct you to forms you can fill out.  The complaint will lay out the facts, the claims, and the relief sought. The summons is the document that will be served on the at-fault driver with a copy of the complaint. It is important that you start this process at least six months before the deadline so you have time to comply with all requirements or seek an attorney to assist.

ARE THERE ANY EXCEPTIONS TO THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IN A COLORADO CAR ACCIDENT CASE?

Yes. The statute of limitations is tolled, or delayed, for minors and for those suffering from a mental disability.  If a minor is injured in a car accident, they have three years from their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.  For those suffering from a mental disability, the statute of limitations may toll under certain circumstances.  If you suffer from a mental disability, it is very important to work with an experienced attorney to determine if these exceptions apply to you.

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO BRING A LAWSUIT AGAINST MY INSURANCE FOR UNINSURED OR UNDERINSURED MOTORIST CLAIMS?

If the at-fault party was uninsured at the time of the car accident, then you may be able to make a claim against your insurance for an uninsured motorist claim

If you settle with the at-fault party’s insurance, but you were not fully compensated, you may be able to make a claim against your insurance for an underinsured motorist claim.  If your insurance does not fairly compensate you for your medical expenses and pain and suffering, you may have a claim against your insurance to honor the terms of underinsured motorist policy.  For claims against your insurance for underinsured motorist benefits, the statute of limitations is two years from the settlement with the other insurance company pursuant to Colorado Revised Statute 10-4-609(4).  Establishing an uninsured motorist claim against your insurance may be complex and difficult. It is recommended you consult with a qualified attorney.   

HOW CAN THE CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP ASSIST YOU?

Our experienced attorneys may work to obtain copies of your medical records and medical bills, photographs of injuries and property damage, 911 calls, police dash camera or body camera footage, the crash report, and other important evidence to establish the facts of the case.  Our experienced attorneys may assist you in negotiating the case and – if necessary – file the lawsuit, ensuring that the statute of limitations is met.  We advocate for our clients to help them seek just compensation. 

Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we win a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your case. That’s our No Fee Guarantee. Call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 to receive your free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers in Colorado.

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