Wyoming is home to picturesque ranches, wide open spaces, and superb skiing. But gravel roads, spread out towns, and storms that show up without warning can leave even the most seasoned driver in need of more than just navigation guidance. If your drive back from your meditation retreat is leaving you in need of mediation, get ready by taking a look at Wyoming car accident compensation laws.
“At Fault” and the “51% Bar” Rules in Wyoming
If you were injured in a car accident in Wyoming and were driving, you will need to prove that the other driver was at least 50% “at fault” for your injuries in order to recover damages.
This is because the Wyoming court has adopted “modified comparative negligence” or “the 51% Bar Rule.” As the name suggests, if the court finds you 51% at fault, you would be barred from recovering any damages. Per this rule, the court allocates a percentage of fault to each driver involved in a car accident, and any driver 50% or less at fault is awarded damages, which are reduced according to that driver's percentage of fault. For example, if you suffered $10,000 in damages and the court found that you were 50% at fault, you would still be awarded $5,000.
Below, you'll find a table breaking down how car accidents are treated in Wyoming, followed by detailed explanations of important aspects of the laws.
In a car accident, injured parties typically recover compensatory damages in the form of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include out-of-pocket expenses such as lost wages and vehicle repair costs. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, disability, and emotional distress.
Your car accident damages award may compensate you for:
- Loss of earnings
- Vehicle replacement or repair
- Medication co-pays
- Hospital bills
- Rental car
Like other states, Wyoming has state-imposed time limits on how long you can wait to file a lawsuit. These time limits are known as “statutes of limitations” and are longer than in most other states. For personal injury, trespass on real property, and damage to personal property, you have up to four years to file a lawsuit.
However, if the party at fault for your injuries is a government agent, be certain to file your claim within one year of the car accident -- unless you are under 7 years old, in which case the State of Wyoming knows that you do not have much experience working through the court system, so Wyoming gives you the greater of two years or until your 8th birthday. Happy Birthday from Wyoming!
Next Steps: Get a Claim Review from a Wyoming Lawyer
So you made it down Corbet's Couloir without breaking a sweat, but some tourist decided that chains on a convertible would be a good solution and now your beloved SUV needs some T.L.C. Though the Cowboy State gives you plenty of time to file a lawsuit in most cases, it can be hard to keep track of all of the evidence necessary to prove fault in a car accident case over time. Take a moment to get a claim evaluation from a Wyoming car accident compensation attorney.