What Is the Statute of Limitations on Car Crashes in Colorado?
POSTED BY Scott O’Sullivan
November 3, 2023
I recently received a call from a crash victim who asked, “What is the statute of limitations on car crashes in Colorado?” The short answer is: Three years. Any claim involving a car crash in Colorado must be filed within three years of the date of the incident. If you don’t bring a claim before that date, you lose all your rights.
However, that does not mean you should take your sweet time to file a claim if you were the victim in a Colorado car crash. For many reasons, it is absolutely better for you to seek legal advice and pursue a claim as soon as possible after the crash occurs. Let me share a few of the most critical reasons you should not wait to file a claim after a crash.
Preservation of Evidence in a Car Accident
One of the primary reasons to file a car accident claim promptly is to preserve crucial evidence. Evidence such as witness reports, photo evidence, and police reports can significantly impact the outcome of your case. As time passes, the memories of witnesses may fade, and it becomes more challenging to gather accurate statements. Similarly, physical evidence, like skid marks or vehicle damage, can deteriorate or be lost over time. By acting swiftly, you increase your chances of securing the evidence you need to support your claim.
If you were injured in a car crash, collecting these critical items can be daunting. Your job is to heal! An experienced personal injury attorney can take this burden off your shoulders. Also, attorneys know a lot more about the process than you do (it’s not your job!) and they can tap into resources that you may not have access to.
Car Accident Witness Reports
Eyewitnesses play a critical role in establishing the facts surrounding a car accident. Their statements can provide valuable insights into how the accident occurred and who was at fault. Waiting until the statute of limitations is about to expire may result in witnesses being unavailable or their recollections becoming unreliable. By filing your claim promptly, you can interview witnesses while their memories are still fresh, making their testimony more accurate and persuasive.
In many cases I’ve handled, I literally go to the scene of the crash and start interviewing business owners near the site, pedestrians, and anyone who seems like they may be a “regular” near the scene. I have turned cases on their heads, proving that a negligent driver is lying, simply by visiting the scene within days of a crash. That helpful step would be impossible three years after a crash.
Having Photo Evidence of a Car Accident Scene
Photographs of the accident scene and vehicle damage can serve as powerful visual proof of negligence. Taking photos immediately after the accident can help establish the extent of the damage and the conditions at the scene. Delaying the filing of your claim may result in the loss or destruction of this crucial evidence, making it harder to prove your case.
I recently handled a case in which the victim waited nearly three years to call us, but said she had taken photos at the scene of the crash when it happened. Sadly, she called a few days later to report that she couldn’t find the pictures. Time simply takes a toll on evidence.
Car Accident Police Reports
Police reports are official documents that record the details of an accident, including statements from involved parties and witnesses. These reports are typically generated at the scene, ensuring accuracy. Waiting until the statute of limitations expires could mean that the police report may no longer be accessible, and its valuable information might be lost.
This exact scenario happened recently to a crash victim who hired our firm for representation. The state patrol hadn’t kept records from the incident, which had occurred almost exactly three years prior. If you were the victim, you need those reports as soon as you can get your hands on them.
Getting Medical Care After a Crash
In addition to preserving evidence, seeking prompt medical care after a car crash is essential for your health and your potential claim. Many injuries sustained in car accidents, such as whiplash or concussions, may not show immediate symptoms but can worsen over time. Prompt medical attention can diagnose and document injuries, linking them to the accident, which is crucial for your claim.
Additionally, medical records can serve as evidence of the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life. Waiting until the end of the statute of limitations to seek medical care may weaken your claim’s credibility, as the opposing party could argue that your injuries are not severe or were caused by something else.
Did you know that an experienced personal injury attorney can actually help you understand the injuries you’re facing and how to get them treated? A big part of what we do involves guiding crash victims through the sometimes-scary process of seeking thorough medical care. Too often, victims say things like, “It doesn’t hurt that bad anymore. I want to stop treatment.” But by stopping treatment too soon, they may be damaging their ability to receive a settlement that will cover their long-term care needs.
Don’t Wait! Call for a Free Consultation
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, contact the O’Sullivan Law Firm for a free consultation as soon as possible. We can guide you through the legal process, ensuring that you meet all necessary deadlines and maximize your chances of a successful outcome. Don’t wait – act promptly to protect your rights and secure the evidence needed for your case. Call or text us today: 303-388-5304