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Colorado Civil Statute of Limitations Laws

Every state enforces strict time limits for filing a civil action, whether it's a malpractice lawsuit or a claim for collection of debt. These time limits are called statutes of limitations and differ for different types of legal actions. Generally, they are intended to ensure the integrity of physical evidence and witness testimony, while also removing the indefinite threat of a lawsuit (which could be used as blackmail in the absence of limits).

What Are the Civil Statutes of Limitation in Colorado?

Colorado's time limits for filing a civil action generally range from one to three years, but rent and debt collection actions have a six-year limit. The state also provides an extra year (three total) for personal injury and injury to property claims if a motor vehicle is involved.

The following chart provides additional details on Colorado's statutes of limitations.

Injury to Person 2 yrs. §13-80-102 (a); 3 yrs. §13-80-101(n) if from use or operation of a motor vehicle
Libel/Slander 1 yr. §13-80-103(1)(a)
Fraud 1 yr. for actions under §13-80-103(g); 3 yrs. §13-80-101(1)(c)
Injury to Personal Property 3 yrs. §13-80-101(n) if from use or operation of a motor vehicle
Professional Malpractice Vet: 2 yrs. §13-80- 102(1)(c); Medical: 2 yrs. upon discovery §13-80-102
Trespass 2 yrs. §13-80-102
Collection of Rents 6 yrs. §13-80-103.5(1)(b)
Contracts Written: 3 yrs. §13-80-101; Oral: 3 yrs. §13-80- 101; 2 yrs. §13-80-102 if tort action for tortious breach of contract
Collection of Debt on Account 6 yrs. if contract §13-80- 103.5
Judgments -

Note: State laws are always subject to change, usually through legislation, ballot initiative, or court ruling -- contact a Colorado civil attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Tolling and the Discovery Rule

If we look at a given statute of limitations as a clock or stopwatch, then tolling refers to the way in which time is recorded. So if you suffer a personal injury but don't discover it until four years after the accident, the discovery rule allows you to begin tolling at the time the injury is discovered (or the cause of the injury). Another example is when the injured party is a minor and must wait a number of years before filing suit.

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