Patients trust that their doctors have their interests in mind, and most healthcare providers are responsible and respectful to their patients and their needs. Unfortunately, some medical professionals can behave negligently and severely injure or cause other harm to patients.
If you have been hurt by a professional’s negligence in Colorado, you can file a medical malpractice claim. However, like other personal injury claims and civil claims, there is a specific statute of limitations, or a legal deadline, by which you need to file. If you don’t file a claim in that time, your right to compensation will no longer exist.
There is not one single deadline for all medical malpractice claims. Instead, the time limitation depends on how you received the injury or if the discovery of the issue was delayed for some reason. Other circumstantial factors may impact the statute of limitations.
The basic guideline for medical malpractice claims in Colorado is two years from the date malpractice occurred. However, not all medical malpractice injuries or conditions are known to the victim right when they happen. A medical error may cause an infection or illness that takes time for a person to notice. A claim can also be filed within two years of discovery of the illness or injury caused by medical malpractice.
Though Colorado law provides some leeway for the delayed discovery of a condition, there is still a limit to when anyone can file a malpractice claim, regardless of when the injury and cause are discovered. No medical malpractice claim can be filed more than three years after the date it occurred.
Colorado law understands that some circumstances are more complex and that some situations require exceptions. There are additional circumstances where neither the two- nor three-year limit applies to a medical malpractice case. These include:
Other specific circumstances that impact the legal deadlines in Colorado include:
The two- or three-year deadlines also don’t apply in circumstances where the patient who suffered from medical negligence is either a minor or legally incapacitated.
If a child was younger than six years old when malpractice occurred, the claim must be filed before the child turns eight years old. For minors who are six or older but not yet 18, the two-year deadline doesn’t apply if they don’t have a legal representative. A representative is appointed for them, and then the two-year timeline begins.
An injured patient who is mentally disabled or legally incapacitated must also have a legal representative or have one assigned to them before the typical two-year statute of limitations applies.
When you file a claim against your healthcare provider or institution for medical malpractice, you are holding them at fault for their negligence. In some circumstances, the defendant will claim that you are partially responsible for the injury or harm done to you. They may claim you are partially responsible for:
Colorado courts will operate under modified comparative negligence. This means that both parties will be assigned a percentage share of the negligence. If your percentage of the fault is less than 50%, your compensation will be reduced by the same amount.
A: The standard statute of limitations is two years to file a medical malpractice claim in Colorado. This timeline begins either from the date that malpractice occurred or from the date the injury and cause were discovered or should have reasonably been discovered. Colorado law also states that medical malpractice cases cannot be filed more than three years after they occurred, regardless of when the injury and cause were discovered. There are some specific exceptions to this deadline, however.
A: Colorado has different caps for compensation for non-economic damages and for total damages, including both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical costs and lost income. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering and physical impairment, and these are capped at $300,000. The total of economic and non-economic damages are capped at $1 million. The court may waive this cap if it determines that past and future damages will exceed this limit, and applying the cap in these circumstances would be unfair.
A: You can sue for medical malpractice in Colorado. If you believe you suffered an injury or illness because of a healthcare institution or provider’s failure to duty of care, you may have a claim. It’s important to talk with a legal professional to determine the validity of your claim.
A: For a medical malpractice claim to likely succeed, the following elements must be proven:
If you or a loved one has been harmed because of negligent actions, you deserve justice. Contact Cheney Galluzzi & Howard today for comprehensive medical malpractice representation.