How Long Does a Personal Injury Case Take in Colorado?

While each case in Colorado has a statute of limitations by which time a case must be either settled or a lawsuit filed, beyond those limits, the timeline depends on the unique nature of each case. At Cook, Bradford & Levy, our attorneys pride ourselves on knowing our clients, their needs, and the maximum potential financial outcome. For example, if our client has sustained catastrophic injuries like being paralyzed or having limbs amputated, their case could resolve as quickly as a matter of a few months if there is only minimal insurance money available. On the other hand, if there are serious injuries and millions of dollars in insurance money available, we will want to make sure our client builds his or her claim in a way that ensures they are fully compensated – even if that takes years.

Indeed, a good Longmont injury attorney will advise their clients not to leave any money “on the table” so that justice is fully served. Our philosophy holds true for the “mid-range” cases as well – it just depends on what our client wants, resources available, and the severity of our client’s injuries.

With that said, there isn’t an established timeline for personal injury cases. How long it takes to secure financial recovery after an injury depends on the claimant’s situation. Some cases resolve within a matter of weeks. Others require years of medical treatment, evidence-collecting, negotiating, and even litigation.

Whether you suffered injuries from a collision, fall, or another incident, you could benefit from hiring a personal injury lawyer like Cook, Bradford & Levy, LLC. We can handle everything the legal process entails, from investigating your accident, negotiating your claim, and even filing your lawsuit if needed. As we’ll explain later, you have a limited time to initiate litigation, so you benefit from promptly considering your options.

How Long Your Case Takes Depends on Many Factors

The progression of your personal injury case is contingent on:

  • The severity of your condition. You don’t want to settle your case before you understand the nature of your injury and its effect on your life. What’s more, insurance companies often contest high-value legal claims, which are typical in cases involving life-altering conditions.
  • The evidence available to support your case. Every successful injury claim has compelling evidence. If you have information that irrefutably proves the other party’s liability (and the cost of your damages), the insurer could be more willing to settle your case.
  • Whether there are disputes over negligence. No insurance company wants to accept liability for an accident. If the insurance company deflects liability or denies your claim, this could prolong your case’s progression.
Whether You Partially Caused the Accident Plays a Role

Colorado operates on a modified comparative negligence system. Here, you can only recover damages if you’re less than 50 percent responsible for what happened. Also, if you contributed to the accident in any way, this reduces how much you can recover.

This is where many personal injury claims come to a standstill. An insurance company may say that the injured party partially caused the accident, hoping to reduce its liability. Yet, the injured party may be totally blameless for what occurred.

Instances like this require compelling evidence, an understanding of the liable policy, and insight into the accident itself. Instances like these are where many people benefit from hiring personal injury lawyers. An attorney can refute any allegations of fault and seek what you’re owed from the liable party.

Factors That Could Slow Down How Long Your Personal Injury Case Takes

Ideally, you could file your insurance claim and get compensated within a matter of days. However, the claims process is seldom that simple. There are many factors that could slow down your case’s progression, and they include:

  • Bad faith insurance practices. Insurance companies must conduct business in good faith. Yet, some violate claimants’ rights by intentionally stalling the claims process.
  • Handling your case pro se. When you handle a claim pro se, that means you’re forgoing legal representation and handling the matter yourself. The civil justice system’s requirements are the same, regardless of whether you hire a lawyer. If you make mistakes or don’t understand the process, this could slow down your case’s progression.
  • Waiting too long to act. The longer you wait to initiate the claims process, the less likely that some information will remain available. For instance, eyewitness testimony only remains accurate for a few days. Other information, like security camera footage, can also get overwritten if it’s not requested promptly.
Do I Have to Accept the First Settlement Offer?

You don’t have to accept any offer that doesn’t account for the full scope of your damages, including anticipated healthcare expenses. You have the right to negotiate with the insurer for an outcome that meets your needs. There’s something to keep in mind, however; negotiating with the insurance company does not extend the statute of limitations. If the claims process extends too long, and you don’t file a lawsuit within the state’s prescribed period, you could lose the right to seek financial recovery altogether.

You Have a Limited Time to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Every state has a statute of limitations for accepting personal injury lawsuits. Your filing period ultimately depends on the circumstances of the accident. Consider the following:

  • If you were injured in a car accident, you generally have three years from the collision’s date to file your lawsuit, per CO. Rev. Stat. § 13-80-101.
  • If you were injured in another way (such as through a slip and fall), you typically have two years to sue, per CO. Rev. Stat. § 13-80-102.
  • If you lost a loved one and want to file a lawsuit, qualifying parties generally have two years from the decedent’s death date to sue, per CO. Rev. Stat. § 13-80-108.

Keep in mind that these periods do not outline when you must resolve your case. These deadlines apply to how long you have to file a lawsuit. For instance, you could file a lawsuit and have the case unfold in court for years. In other situations, just filing a lawsuit could compel the liable party to settle. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, they can assess your situation and explain your legal rights.

How You Benefit From Working With an Injury Attorney

When you work with a personal injury attorney, they have many goals throughout your partnership––namely, recovering financial compensation for your injury-related losses. In their pursuit of damages, they intend to streamline the process and secure funds as soon as possible.

This involves:

  • Gathering time-sensitive evidence, such as eyewitness testimony and surveillance footage
  • Adhering to all deadlines, including the statute of limitations
  • Handling negotiations with the liable party
  • Evaluating your coverage options and calculating your losses
  • Managing all communications with the liable party
  • Combating bad faith insurance practices

You get all of these services and more on a contingency-fee basis. Here, you don’t pay attorney’s fees upfront or out of pocket. Your legal team takes their fees from the settlement they recover on your behalf.

Call Cook, Bradford & Levy, LLC for Your Free Legal Consultation

The personal injury lawyers at our Colorado law firm have advocated for injured people for more than 60 years. In that time, we’ve recovered millions of dollars in damages. While each case’s progression is unique, we do everything possible to keep your claim on track and recover fair compensation.

Begin your free case review now when you dial (303) 543-1000.

Client Reviews
“I was rear ended by a driver on his cell phone. I started with another attorney, but was not receiving adequate attention to my case. I switched to Brian and everything changed. He was attentive to my situation, listened to all I had to say, and worked to resolve my case in a timely fashion. He continued to communicate and touch base even during slow parts of the process. After the settlement was resolved, he has still reached out to check in on my health and well being. I would highly recommend Brian Bradford as a lawyer.” Randy
“A driver trying to get away from the police ran a red light and broadsided my car. My injuries affected me physically, emotionally and organizationally. Hiring Steve Cook allowed me to focus on healing while ALL the legal Issues were effectively handled by his firm. Steve's patience, honest, determination. competence and experienced evaluation of my case resulted in a great settlement without having to go to trial.” Shirley
“I was injured in a car accident and I was having a hard time getting much of a response from the insurance companies. I never thought I would resort to calling an attorney, but I am so happy that I did, and that Jason Levy was that attorney. He was respectful, knowledgeable, and kind. When I was healing from major surgery, he arranged for my deposition to take place all the way out in Harford County, at a library near my home, rather than having me come into the city. He was also very persistent with the other driver's insurance company, finally negotiating an excellent settlement” Kate