Continuing my series of posts on limitations periods and "accrual" dates for a bad faith claim against an insurance company by a policy-holder in Colorado, in 2007 the Colorado court of appeals held as follows:
The insured argues none of his claims accrued until he consulted an attorney in October 2005, and first learned of the insurance company's alleged misconduct. We are not persuaded.
In Winkler v. Rocky Mountain Conference, 923 P.2d 152, 159 (Colo.App.1995), a division of this court discussed the kind of information a plaintiff must possess for an action to accrue: “The critical inquiry of when an action accrues is knowledge of the facts essential to the cause of action, not knowledge of the legal theory upon which the action may be brought.” The statutes of limitations at issue here, sections 13–80–107.5(1)(a) and 13–80–108(1), require that the plaintiff use due diligence to find out the relevant circumstances or events.
This requirement creates an objective standard, and “does not reward denial or self-induced ignorance.” Sulca v. Allstate Ins. Co., 77 P.3d 897, 900 (Colo.App.2003). As a general matter, ignorance of the law does not expand the statute of limitations for filing suit. . . . We have found no Colorado cases addressing the insured's argument that his claims did not accrue until he discussed them with counsel. However, decisions from other jurisdictions employing the same general principles that Winkler describes have rejected such a result.
Olson v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 174 P.3d 849, 854 (Colo. Ct. App. 2007). Lesson: don't delay in consulting with an attorney. Call the office today if you believe your insurance company has acted in bad faith regarding your policy for which you have faithfully paid the premiums.