Knowing your legal rights and responsibilities after a car accident is necessary. Unfortunately, such crashes, wrecks, and accidents are reported frequently on Wyoming roads. For the uninitiated, Wyoming is a fault state. This means that the driver responsible for causing the accident should be the one paying for your losses and damages (through their insurance company). Working with a Wyoming personal injury lawyer can help in recovering a fair settlement. In this post, let’s talk in-depth about car accident laws in Wyoming and why hiring an attorney is a smart decision.
Reporting an auto accident in Wyoming
As per the state laws (Wyoming Statutes section 31-5-1105), you are required to report a car accident if there was injury, death, or property damage ($1,000 or more) involved. No matter who was at fault, you must call the local police and inform them of the crash without delay. You can also report to the nearest county sheriff.
Modified comparative negligence
Wyoming follows the modified comparative negligence rule. What happens when you have a share in fault? If you are more than 50% responsible for the accident, you cannot recover anything at all. You can recover a settlement for a lesser fault share, but your eventual compensation will be reduced as per your percentage of fault. For example, if you are 30% at fault and were awarded $100,000 in a settlement, your total award will be $70,000.
The statute of limitations
The statute of limitations sets the deadline for filing lawsuits against the party at fault. If you are suing for just personal injury, you have four years from the accident date. The deadline for wrongful death lawsuits is two years. These deadlines do not apply to insurance claims.
Hiring an injury lawyer
Because of obvious financial distress after the accident, victims often don’t want to hire an attorney. However, working with an injury lawyer doesn’t have to be expensive. Top personal injury law firms in Wyoming work on auto accident cases on a contingency. Their lawyers will fight for your rights, and unless they win the case, they don’t get paid. If you worry about the cost of legal representation, always talk to an injury lawyer in advance. They can even help with other investigations and court costs.
Your injury lawyer is key to winning a fair settlement. They know what it takes to negotiate with insurance companies, and when needed, they can even file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.