An Overview of Wyoming Car Accident Lawsuits and Lawyers
With a population of just under 600,000 people (according to the 2013 census) and a reputation for preserving the spirit of the Old West, Wyoming is a picturesque state with plenty of open spaces. In the recent past, towns in Wyoming like Cheyenne and others made national headlines for their aggressive efforts in enticing families and workers to move to the state for better employment opportunities. Even if Wyoming is the least-populous state in the United States, car accidents can and do happen on Wyoming’s open roads. When they do, the services of a Wyoming car accident lawyer can be invaluable.
Statistics About Wyoming Car Crashes
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) maintains statistics regarding the number of car crashes and resultant fatalities in the state. These statistics reveal that:
- In 2015, there were a total of 145 fatalities resulting from traffic collisions. The majority of these fatal conditions (119) occurred in rural areas of the state.
- Of the 145 traffic fatalities, 56 involved a driver with a blood or breath alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 grams of alcohol, the “legal limit” in the state. Another 46 were due to speeding.
- Over 100 of the 145 traffic fatality collisions involved a vehicle that was thrown from or otherwise left the roadway as part of the collision sequence.
As this information shows, drivers in Wyoming – especially those that must travel the state’s vast rural areas to get from one town to another – are at a risk of being killed in a traffic collision. Many more individuals in Wyoming are hurt or seriously injured because of a Wyoming car crash. Compensation may be available to injured drivers and passengers, or to the surviving family members of those killed in Wyoming car accidents, if it is determined another driver or person is responsible for causing the crash.
Wyoming is a Fault-Based State
Drivers in Wyoming must carry an adequate insurance policy that provides compensation for personal injuries to individuals in the event of a car crash. Because Wyoming is a fault-based state, injured Wyoming motorists or passengers may file claims for compensation with the insurance company of the at-fault motorist. If that driver is uninsured or if his or her insurance policy limits are not sufficient to fully compensate the injured person for his or her losses, he or she may be able to file a lawsuit to seek full and fair compensation.
Wyoming follows a “51 percent bar” rule when it comes to accidents wherein both the at-fault individual and the injury victim played a role in causing the crash. Under this rule, an injury victim can recover compensation so long as he or she was 50 percent or less responsible for causing his or her injuries. The victim’s compensation would be reduced in proportion to the role his or her own negligence played in causing his or her injuries. For example, if an injury victim suffers $100,000 in damages but is determined to be 25 percent responsible for causing those injuries, the victim would only be able to recover $75,000 in damages.
Wyoming Drivers Have a Limited Time to File a Lawsuit
After a car accident in Wyoming, it is important that injury victims or surviving family members of deceased victims move quickly in seeking compensation. Wyoming’s statute of limitations prevents victims and their family members from seeking compensation in court if too much time has passed between the car accident and the time the victim wishes to file his or her lawsuit. In Wyoming, personal injury lawsuits (such as those arising from a car accident) must be brought within four years of the date of the accident. During this four-year period, the victim is able to investigate his or her car accident and determine who, if anyone, is at fault for causing the victim’s injuries. The victim will also need to have a firm idea of the extent of his or her injuries and what amount of compensation he or she will need to pay for his or her past and future expenses. (Note that there may be limited circumstances under which a lawsuit can be filed outside the four-year window, but these circumstances are rare and extremely fact-specific.)
Stern Law, PLLC is Your Wyoming Car Accident Injury Law Firm
Contact Stern Law, PLLC today if you or a loved one have been injured in a Wyoming car accident. The sooner your case is investigated, the sooner your claim for damages can be filed – which increases the likelihood that you will receive the compensation you need sooner. Stern Law, PLLC has the resources and knowledge to investigate Wyoming car accident injury claims effectively and efficiently, and our firm dedicates itself on fighting hard for our Wyoming car accident injury clients. Call Stern Law, PLLC today at (844) 808-7529.