Proving percentage of fault in a personal injury claim

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2021 | Uncategorized

Wyoming residents likely know that they could end up in a car accident at any time. Unfortunately for you, that situation may have recently affected you. You suffered serious injuries after a car crash and found yourself unable to work for a period of time while you recovered. The mounting medical bills you face from treatment and emergency medical attention are likely also weighing you down. As a result, you may be considering filing a personal injury claim against the other driver. 

You may believe that the other driver involved in the car accident holds responsibility for the incident and your resulting injuries. While that may be the case, if you hope to obtain compensation for damages, you will need to take the matter to court and prove that the other driver was at least 50% at fault for the incident. 

51% Bar Rule 

In Wyoming, courts handle personal injury claims relating to car accident compensation by the 51% Bar Rule, or modified comparative negligence. Essentially, this rule means that you will need to prove to the court that the other driver holds at least 50% of the responsibility for the accident in order for you to potentially receive compensation. If the court believes that you are 51% responsible, the judge will not award you any restitution. 

If you can prove to the court that the other driver held 50% or more of the fault, the court may award you that percentage of compensation. For example, if the court believes that you and the other driver are both 50% at fault for the incident but the court still believes you deserve monetary recompense, you could receive 50% of the total award. In other words, if the court believed your damages totaled $20,000 but also believed you held 50% of the fault, you could receive $10,000. 

Types of damages 

When seeking compensation after an accident, you could pursue monetary awards for the following damages: 

  • Medical bills 
  • Vehicle repairs or replacement costs 
  • Lost income 
  • Rental car costs 
  • Medication expenses 

You may also want to remember that you only have a certain amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident. In Wyoming, that time period is up to four years after the accident. However, it is important to remember that evidence can degrade or even disappear over time, so addressing the matter sooner rather than later may be in your favor.