A statute of limitations is a statute, or law, that restricts the period of time, after certain events, that a person may initiate legal proceedings. These time limits vary depending on the type of case and the state where the particular cause of action occurred. After the time limit has passed, the injured person no longer has the right to sue to recovery money damages, unless a legal exception applies. The following provides a brief summary, in alphabetical order, of some of the limitations periods for the state of Colorado for those actions related to personal injury, medical malpractice, and some products liability. Please contact a qualified Colorado lawyer to find out how a statute of limitations applies to your situation.
Actions based on fraud must be filed within 3 years from the date the fraud is discovered or should have reasonably been discovered. However, actions involving the real estate recovery fund shall be filed within 1 year.
These types of actions must be filed within 1 year from the date of the action.
All actions against medical professionals must be filed within 2 years of the date the injury was, or should have been, discovered. No medical malpractice claim shall be filed after 3 years have passed from the act resulting in the injury.
Personal injury actions must be filed within 2 years from the date of the injury. For injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident, the limitations period is 3 years. The limitations period for a personal injury claim resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle begins to run from the date that both the existence of an injury and the cause of the injury are discovered or should have been discovered.
Product liability actions must be filed within 2 years from the date of the injury.
All actions against veterinary professionals must be filed within 2 years of the date of the act resulting in the injury.
Wrongful death actions must be filed within 2 years of the date of death. When the wrongful death was a result of an incident involving a motor vehicle, the limitations period is 3 years from the date of death. The limitation begins to run from either the date of death, or when the plaintiff reasonably knew that the action caused or contributed to the resulting death.
Special Rules Tolling the Statute of Limitations:
A statute of limitations is tolled when certain conditions are present. When a statute is tolled, the limitations period is essentially put on hold for a period of time. Some typical reasons that a statute is tolled include situations when the victim of the injury was a minor at the time of the injury (minority), when the victim of the injury was mentally incompetent at the time of the injury (mental incompetence), and when the defendant has filed bankruptcy.
In Colorado, when the injured party is a minor the limitations period begins to run on that minor’s 18th birthday. This tolling of the statute of limitations does not apply in medical malpractice cases, however. In those instances, a child injured by medical malpractice who has not yet reached the age of six must file a lawsuit by his or her eighth birthday.