Mann &
Maximon

How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim?

How Long After a Car Accident Can You Claim Injury? 

The statute of limitations sets the time period during which a state allows you to bring a car accident claim against another party. If you file your case after the statute of limitations, in most cases your claim will be barred. In Colorado, that time period is three years from the date of the car accident. The period is two years in cases involving wrongful death. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident in Colorado, it's crucial that you begin the insurance claim process promptly to perform a proper investigation and to avoid losing your claim due to the statute of limitations. The earlier that you can get a car accident lawyer involved, the more the lawyer can help you by ensuring that a proper investigation has been completed and also by handling communications with insurance companies about all matters, including, recorded statements. An experienced car accident attorney will usually recommend initiating legal action right away in order to avoid missing the statute of limitations.

Reporting an Accident Vs. Filing a Claim

If you were involved in a car accident, and there are injuries, you should always call the police to the scene of the collision. If the police are unavailable, you can file a report online.  This is known as reporting the accident. Second, the insurance companies of all parties involved in the accident should be notified. This is known as opening an insurance claim.

By working with a car accident law firm early on, you can get your car accident injury claim started quickly. Too often, insurance companies will offer low dollar amounts in an attempt to get you to settle quickly. Your injuries may not be apparent to you and/or medical professionals until some time after the car accident. 

A car accident injury attorney will likely recommend that you be seen by a doctor immediately after an accident, even if you don’t think you have any injuries. A doctor can, and should, evaluate you for neck, back, and/or closed-head trauma injuries that may not be evident right after an accident.

Your attorney will also act as a representative between you and insurance companies. Once you have retained an attorney, the other party’s insurer may not contact you directly about anything, including settlement offers.  The insurance company will be required to communicate with your car accident lawyer. This prevents the insurance company from trying to take advantage of you. Also, this process of communication through the attorney helps you to maximize the payout that you are entitled to receive.  It also helps avoid the insurance company’s efforts to make small payouts, which are good for the insurance company but not good for you. 

Reporting the Car Accident

It is always best if the police arrive at the scene and investigate the collision. The police report becomes the basis for the claim and insurance companies depend on those reports to establish the basic facts of the collision. You should obtain the police officer’s name and the report number.  If the police do not respond to the scene, you must file a report online and that will process generate a report number. Regardless, if an officer is sent to the scene, you’ll need to wait to receive a hard copy of the police report, usually by mail or email. You do not need to wait for a copy of this report to inform your insurance company about the accident, and you shouldn’t. All the insurance company needs to know is that a car accident occurred and that a police report will be made available.

In addition to calling for the police, it is important to try to get the names and contact points for any witnesses to the accident. Oftentimes, the police do not get this information.  It is important to have independent, unbiased witnesses.

Filing an Insurance Claim

Depending on the specifics of your insurance policy, you need to report the car accident to your insurance company within a reasonable amount of time. While there is usually no set time limit, you should report the collision to the insurance company as soon as possible. The best thing to do is have your lawyer contact the insurance company as quickly as possible..

If you are injured, it is best not to give any recorded statements to any insurance company until you have spoken to a lawyer. Many times it is not advisable to give a recorded statement at all.  A good attorney will explain the pluses and minuses of cooperating in a recorded statement. Many car accident injuries– or the extent of the injuries–are not immediately apparent. It’s important to consult a car accident injury attorney quickly after an accident. For example, there are symptoms that will progress as time goes on.  Also, there are certain injuries that do not get diagnosed until well after the accident. 

What Can a Car Accident Lawyer Do For Me?

By working with a car accident lawyer early on, you can get your car accident injury claim started quickly. Too often, insurance companies will offer low dollar amounts in an attempt to get you to settle quickly. Your injuries may not be apparent to you and/or medical professionals until some time after the car accident. 

A car accident injury attorney will likely recommend that you be seen by a doctor immediately after an accident, even if you don’t think you have any injuries. A doctor can, and should, evaluate you for neck, back, and/or closed-head trauma injuries that may not be evident right after an accident.

Your attorney will also act as a representative between you and insurance companies. Once you have retained an attorney, the other party’s insurer may not contact you directly about anything, including settlement offers.  The insurance company will be required to communicate with your car accident lawyer. This prevents the insurance company from trying to take advantage of you. Also, this process of communication through the attorney helps you to maximize the payout that you are entitled to receive.  It also helps avoid the insurance company’s efforts to make small payouts, which are good for the insurance company but not good for you. 

What About Property Damage?

If your vehicle was damaged or totaled in an accident, you are entitled to receive a recovery for the amount of the repairs or the value of the vehicle.  You are also entitled to recover for personal property damage such as cell phone or computer. 

If someone damages your property, such as a building or fence, you can file a claim for property damage against them. Any damage caused by a vehicle is treated as a "car accident", regardless of whether someone was injured or not.

To prove a property damage claim, your attorney will need receipts showing the value of the property and evidence of the damage (photographs). You can be compensated only for the current market value of the depreciated property only, and not what you paid for it at the time of purchase. 

At Mann & Maximon, we want to help you get on with your life and get you the compensation you deserve after a car accident. Don’t waste your time dealing with at-fault parties insurance companies and accept less money than you’re legally entitled to. 

Contact our car accident lawyers today to learn how we can help you recover the money you’re legally entitled to. 

Contact Us For a Free Initial Consultation

In almost all the types of cases that we handle, contingent-fee representation is available. This means that we only get paid if and when you do. There is absolutely no cost or obligation to you for an initial consultation; we are here to help you.

Call our office at 303-991-2233 or use our online contact form to get in touch with us today.