When you suffer a personal injury in Wyoming, whether at work, in a car accident, or through another scenario, financial compensation is available. Personal injury claims for WY residents help towards medical bills, compensate for pain, and contribute towards lost wages.
Statute of Limitations
Wyoming has a FOUR YEAR statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim. In other words, you will have four years from the date of your accident to file a claim. The claim doesn’t need to be resolved during this four year period, but it must be filed.
- For personal injury claims against a government, you must file a notice of claim within TWO YEARS of the accident. A notice of claim notifies the government that you intend to file a claim.
- After filing a notice of claim, you must file your personal injury claim within ONE YEAR of the notice.
Motor Vehicle Insurance and WY
Wyoming uses a fault system when it comes to personal injury claims involving car accidents. This means that a driver injured in an auto accident has a few different options for compensation:
- You can file a claim with your own auto insurance company
- You can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company, which is also called a third party claim
- You can file a personal injury claim in civil court
Who is at Fault for an Accident in WY
Wyoming uses a shared fault rule when dealing with personal injury claims. This means that you can receive compensation for your injury as long as you are less than 50% responsible for the accident. The amount of compensation you receive will be reduced depending on the percentage of responsibility you hold for the accident. EXAMPLE:
Susan Jones was driving on I-25 when she switched lanes and was rear-ended. The resulting accident left her with severe whiplash. She filed a personal injury claim against the other driver’s insurance company. It was determined that Susan had not used her turn signal when switching lanes, which is a law in WY. The judge deemed her 40% responsible for the accident, leaving her with $6,000 in compensation instead of the full $10,000 payment she would’ve received if she had not been found partially at fault.
A Previous Wyoming Personal Injury Claim
According to Business and Legal Resources, the case of Harold F. Vandre v. Wyoming ruled that compensation can be awarded in cases when a work injury exacerbates a preexisting medical condition. In 2007, Harold Vandre, who suffered from severe COPD, filed a personal injury claim against his road construction company when a pavement truck struck him on the job. Although the courts originally ruled against Vandre, he appealed his case and was awarded benefits due to complications to his health condition made worse by the accident.
Damage Caps in Wyoming
Wyoming does not impose a damage cap, or compensation limit, in personal injury claims. There are no exceptions to this rule; in fact, the state specifically prohibits limits on damages. The awarded compensation can cover:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income due to injury
- Compensation for pain and suffering
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
If you have been the victim of a personal injury, whether your injuries resulted from a slip and fall incident, an automobile accident, or any other personal injury incident, you should consult with an Wyoming personal injury attorney to discuss the best course of action. Your Wyoming personal injury attorney can file your case with the court, work with you to help establish fault, and assist you in understanding exactly what damages you should be seeking compensation for in addition to helping you understand the amount of restitution to which you may be entitled.