For all civil law cases, including personal injury cases, there is a set time frame within which a person can legally file a claim against another party in order to seek compensations for damages or injuries that person sustained due to the other party’s negligence or recklessness. This time frame is legally referred to as the statute of limitations for filing a case, and failing to file a case within the statute of limitations means that the plaintiff will lose the right to bring the matter to court and try to secure compensation for his injuries.
Statutes of limitation laws vary from state to state; in Colorado, the statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits is 2 years (as it is in nearly half of the states in the U.S.; other states have statutes of limitations that are as little as one year and as much as six years). While this may seem like a straightforward time frame, it is important to point out that, in some cases, it is not always clear when the term of the statute of limitations begins. Specifically, statutes of limitations can be complicated in some cases by the “discovery of harm” standard, which dictates that the statutes of limitations will not start until a person has discovered his injury or until there is a reasonable point in time when the person should have been aware of the injury.
For example, in cases when a car accident or truck accident has taken place, the incident causing the injuries in question will be clear, and most of the resulting injuries will be readily apparent. In such cases, the statute of limitations for filing the personal injury lawsuit will begin the day the accident occurred (and will end two years from the date of the accident).
Alternately, however, in cases when a surgeon leaves a tool in a patient or removes the wrong tissues from a patient, the injury will likely not be readily apparent; in fact, it could take months or years for the person to discover that he has been injured. Such injuries that are not so readily apparent may be found via later surgeries, the development of pain down the line, the development of other related injuries (such as punctures to internal organs), etc. In these cases, the statute of limitations for filing the personal injury lawsuit will start when the person discovers the injury.
If you have been injured in any type of accident, contact the skilled Denver personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Mike Hulen, PC. We can get your case started immediately at no upfront cost to you, and our legal professionals are dedicated to helping you secure the maximum possible award for your injuries and losses.