If you think a car accident can’t happen to you, you might want to reconsider the numbers. There are six million car collisions annually in the U.S. Some cause very minor damage, while others yield more life-changing outcomes. With that in mind, it’s important to have a plan in place to handle the many legal issues that follow a car accident.
More than 50 percent of personal injury cases involve motor vehicle accidents. While the vast majority of these cases are settled before reaching the trial phase, it helps to consult personal injury experts like the Boyle Law Firm. They can provide you with the answers to all your legal questions, no matter how complex the situation.
But before you get started, you’ll need to know the answer to the most basic question:
How long do you have to file a personal injury claim following the car accident?
Different states have different statutes of limitations – the timeframe in which you can file your claim. In Colorado, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is two years. However, there’s one very big exception to keep in mind, especially if you were in a car accident.
According to Colorado Revised Statutes Title 13, Courts and Court Procedure Section 13-80-101, if the incident involved a vehicle, the deadline is extended to three years. Whether you were a passenger in a car, a driver, or even a pedestrian who was struck by a vehicle, this law can affect your personal injury case.
What happens if you wait too long?
In short, your claim will likely not be able to go forward. Play it safe by filing as soon as you can.
First, take care of any significant injuries by seeking medical attention. Next, you’ll want to reach out a local lawyer who can offer the guidance you need. The steps after that will likely involve creating records of the damage sustained — for example, taking photos of injuries and getting documentation that proves you had to miss work. You’ll also want to collect witness information, if possible. After all of that is done, then you can open a claim.
Again, the sooner you take these steps, the better. Not only will you easily be able to file a claim within the allotted time limit, but the sooner you begin documenting your injuries, the more proof you’ll have to back up your claims.