Wyoming Car Accident Claims
No one ever expects to get in an auto accident, but if it happens, it helps to be prepared. This page highlights important laws about auto accidents in Wyoming and gives you all the information you’ll need to understand the Wyoming car accident settlement process, so if you ever are in an accident in Wyoming, you’ll know how to proceed in the aftermath with your insurance company, police, and others to ensure you get a fair payout that covers all your expenses related to the crash.
Find out the maximum compensation you could receive.
Find out the maximum compensation you could receive.
What to Do After a Wyoming Car Accident
Wyoming law requires drivers involved in an accident to exchange contact information and render assistance to anyone who is hurt. If the police do not come to the scene, you should report the accident to the nearest police station or state patrol office. Even if the accident is minor, it is a good idea to get a police report from the officer on the scene of the crash.
Here are the steps you should take after a Wyoming car accident:
- Check for injuries caused by the car accident. If you or anyone else is injured, call 911 immediately.
- Move your vehicles out of the way of traffic if possible. If you cannot move your vehicle, turn on your hazard lights and set out flares or triangles to warn other drivers.
- Exchange information with the other drivers involved in the accident. This includes your name, address, phone number, insurance information, and driver’s license number.
- Take pictures of the accident scene. This includes the damage to the vehicles, the surrounding area, and any skid marks or other evidence.
- Get a police report. Even if the accident is minor, it is a good idea to get a police report. This will document the accident and can be helpful if you need to file an insurance claim.
- Contact your insurance company. Once you have gathered all of the necessary information, you should contact your insurance company to file a claim.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you do not think you are injured, it is important to see a doctor to document any injuries.
- Do not admit fault. Even if you believe you are at fault for the accident, it is important to not admit fault to the other driver or to the police. Anything you say can be used against you in court.
- Consult with an attorney. If you have been injured in a car accident, it is important to consult with an attorney to discuss your legal rights and options.
How Fault Is Determined in Wyoming Car Accidents?
In Wyoming, you must prove that the other driver was at least 50% at fault for your car accident to receive compensation for your damages. This is because Wyoming has a modified comparative negligence standard, which means that your percentage of fault will reduce your settlement or award. For example, if you have $20,000 in damages and you are found to be 50% at fault, your settlement or award would be $10,000.
In Wyoming, you can be compensated for the following damages if you are found to be less than 50% at fault for an accident:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Wyoming is a fault state, which means that the driver found to be at fault for an accident is responsible for paying for the other driver’s damages in a car accident settlement claim. This differs from car accidents in a no-fault state, where each driver’s insurance company pays for their own damages, regardless of who is at fault.
Wyoming Car 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.
Auto Insurance Requirements in Wyoming
All vehicles driving on public roads in Wyoming must have liability insurance with at least the following coverage:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury or death
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury or death
- $20,000 for property damage
Liability insurance covers the medical costs, property damage, and lost wages for other drivers and passengers if you cause an accident. It is a good idea to carry more coverage if you have a lot of assets that can be attached in a lawsuit. If you cause an accident that is above the minimum coverage amounts, you could be responsible for the rest of the bill out of your pocket in a lawsuit.
Other Optional Coverages
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This coverage pays for your medical expenses and property damage if you are injured in an accident by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
- Medical Payments Coverage: This coverage pays for your medical expenses regardless of who is at fault in an accident.
- Collision and Comprehensive Coverage: This coverage pays for the repair or replacement of your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
Additional Wyoming Auto Accident Laws
In Wyoming, it is illegal to have an open alcoholic beverage within reach of the driver while the car is in motion. This means that you cannot have an open beer, wine, or liquor bottle in the front seat of your car while you are driving. 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.
It is also illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In Wyoming, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08%. This means that if you have a BAC of 0.08% or higher, you can be arrested for drunk driving. However, you can still be arrested for drunk driving even if your BAC is below 0.08% if the police officer believes that you are intoxicated.
If you are injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to a larger car accident settlement than if the accident was caused by a sober driver. This is because drunk drivers are considered to be more negligent than sober drivers. You should speak with an attorney to discuss your legal options if you have been injured in a drunk driving accident.
If you are convicted of drunk driving in Wyoming, you may 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 to have an ignition interlock device for at least a year.
If you are injured in a car accident caused by a Wyoming state employee, your settlement or award is limited to $250,000 per person or $500,000 per accident. It is advised to speak with a personal injury attorney if you believe a state employee injured you, as you usually only have one year to file a claim.
It is illegal to drive without auto insurance in Wyoming. If you are convicted of this misdemeanor, you can be imprisoned for up to six months and fined up to $1,500.
If you are in an accident with a Wyoming state employee, you can file a lawsuit against them. However, the statute of limitations is only one year. There is also a damages cap of $250,000 for one person and $500,000 for one accident if the liable party is a government employee who caused the accident during their work.
Wyoming Dram Shop Law
In Wyoming, social hosts, bars, and nightclubs can be held liable for damages caused by intoxicated patrons who later get in car accidents. This is known as the Dram Shop Law.
To be held liable, the intoxicated patron must have been visibly drunk at the time they were served alcohol. If the patron was not visibly drunk, the social host or establishment is not liable for any damages caused by the accident.
However, social hosts and establishments are always liable for damages caused by intoxicated minors. It is illegal to serve alcohol to anyone under 21 in Wyoming.
If you are involved in a car accident caused by an intoxicated person, you may be able to file a claim against the social host or establishment that served them alcohol. These cases can be complex, so you may want to consult with an experienced attorney.
Get Legal Help With Wyoming Auto Accident Laws
After a car accident, it’s normal to have many questions. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Here are some resources to help car accident victims in Wyoming:
- Wyoming Department of Transportation provides information on car accident laws, safety tips, and resources for victims.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – a federal agency that provides information on car accident safety, statistics, and resources for victims.
- Car accident settlement calculator tool: This free tool can give you an estimate of your Wyoming car accident settlement. Just plug in estimated numbers for your medical bills, lost wages, etc, and the calculator will give you a settlement estimate.
- What’s my car accident settlement worth?
- Find out in less than 60 Seconds!
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