Statute Of Limitations: Wyoming Auto Accident Laws
You have four years from the date of an accident to file a lawsuit in Wyoming. However, while you should file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible, there is no time limit on when you should do this in Wyoming.
If your loved one died in an accident, you also have four years from the date of death to file a claim. You could be entitled to compensation for your mental anguish, your loved one’s pain and suffering when they passed away, current and future lost income, and loss of companionship.
It’s vital to have your case reviewed by a skilled Wyoming auto accident attorney as soon as you can; if you wait until a few weeks before the statute of limitations expires, you may find that few attorneys will take your case. Personal injury attorneys only are paid if they win you a settlement or verdict, so most experienced attorneys won’t take a financial risk on a case given to them at the last minute.
What To Do After A Wyoming Auto Accident
Wyoming state law requires drivers involved in an accident involving injury, death, or property damage to provide their contact information to other drivers involved in the accident.
The driver also must render assistance to anyone who is hurt in the accident, such as provide them with arrangements to see a doctor or go to the ER. You also should wait at the accident scene until the police arrive.
If the police do not come to the scene, remember to give the other involved drivers your contact and insurance information. Then, go to the nearest police station or state patrol office to report the accident if the accident involves injury, death or property damage of $1000 or more. . Even if it was a minor accident without injuries, it’s wise to report the accident and get a police report for your records.
If you hit an unattended car in Wyoming, you should stop right away. Try to find the owner of the vehicle, but if you can’t, you should leave a note on the windshield with your name and contact information. Failure to do so can result in your being charged with a misdemeanor.
Wyoming Auto Accident Settlement Taxes
Compensation for car accidents is usually not taxable in Wyoming, but there are several exceptions. It’s a good idea to have your case reviewed by a CPA if you aren’t sure which part of your settlement could be taxable by the state and federal governments.
First, your settlement funds for medical bills are not taxable, unless you deducted medical costs on your previous tax return. In that case, you need to pay taxes on what you deducted.
If you received compensation for lost income, you will probably need to pay state and federal taxes on that amount; the IRS assumes that this is ordinary income.
Also, money that you receive for pain and suffering is usually not taxable, as long as the money is for a physical injury. Money that is paid only for mental anguish is generally taxable.
Occasionally, an accident victim will receive punitive damages in a settlement or verdict award. This money is intended to punish the person at fault for especially reckless behavior. If you receive punitive damages, this money is always taxable at the state and federal levels.
Additional Wyoming Auto Accident Laws
This state has an open container law that states you are not allowed to have an open alcoholic beverage within reach of the driver while the car is in motion on Wyoming roads.
You can keep an open container in the trunk or in the rear passenger area if the driver does not have access to it while driving, such as in a limousine.
It is illegal to drive while under the influence in this state, which means you have a BAC of .08% or higher. However, note that you still can be arrested for drunk driving with a lower BAC if the police officer believes you are intoxicated.
If you are in an accident with a drunk driver, it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your case; you could be entitled to more compensation because the responsible driver was intoxicated. Most insurance companies will come to a faster, fair settlement if their client was drunk.
If you are convicted of drunk driving, you can be required to pay for an ignition interlock device to be installed on your vehicle. This device requires you to blow into a straw-like attachment to ensure that you are not intoxicated before you drive. On the first offense, you may be required in Wyoming to have an ignition interlock device for at least a year.
If you receive a settlement or award because a Wyoming state employee injured you in a car accident, your award is limited to $250,000 per person or $500,000 per accident.
It’s vital to retain an attorney right away if you think you were injured by a state employee, as you usually only have one year to file a claim.
Wyoming Dram Shop Law
Wyoming has what is known as a modified Dram Shop Law. This means that a social host, bar, or nightclub who gives alcohol to intoxicated patrons can be found liable if those parties cause auto accidents later.
For example, if you have a graduation party in Wyoming at your home and serve alcohol, it’s important to watch for signs of intoxication in your guests. If someone is visibly drunk and you provide alcohol and they get in a car accident, you may be liable for their damages and injuries.
This law also states no one who gives alcohol legally to someone who gets in an accident later is liable for those damages or injuries. This means that if you give alcohol to the person and he or she is not obviously intoxicated, you have liability if they get in a car accident when under the influence.
However, if you give alcohol to a minor who gets in a car accident, you would be liable for any injuries and damages. It is illegal to provide alcohol to anyone in Wyoming who is under 21.
If your case involves the Dram Shop law as either the plaintiff or defendant, you will want to have a car accident attorney representing you. These are complex cases and often involve commercial establishments with large insurance policies and corporate legal departments, so you’ll need to have a skilled attorney at your side.
Get Legal Help With Wyoming Auto Accident Laws
Getting in an auto accident is a stressful thing, but you’ll be better prepared after you learn the information on this page. Hopefully, you know more now about Wyoming auto accident and personal injury laws.
Just remember: After a Wyoming accident, stay at the crash scene until the police arrive, and get medical attention right away. Also, talk to your insurance company as soon as you can, and retain an attorney unless it’s a minor fender bender without injuries.
If you do get in an accident in Wyoming, Lawsuit Info Center can assist you in finding a skilled personal injury attorney in the state. You could be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Please use our website to find a personal injury attorney to help you with your case.