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What Are the Consequences for a Defendant Found Liable in a Car Accident Lawsuit?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Casper, Wyoming, you may be very naturally of two minds about the situation. On the one hand, you need compensation to rebuild your life and pay for extensive medical bills and property loss. On the other hand, you may be worried that pursuing a lawsuit against the liable party could ruin them financially, which, of course, isn’t something you’re eager to do! Automobile injury attorneys can tell you that in most cases it’s always worth pursuing the compensation you need to get your life back on track: most of the financial consequences of liability will be paid by the insurance company, not by the other driver directly.

Ask Automobile Injury Attorneys in Casper, Wyoming: What Are the Consequences for a Defendant Found Liable in a Car Accident Lawsuit?

If a defendant is found liable in a car accident lawsuit, the consequences depend on several factors. Here’s some of what goes into determining the end result:

Severity of the Injuries and Damages

The more severe the injuries and damages you have, the higher the potential financial liability for the defendant.

Insurance Coverage

The defendant’s insurance coverage is always very important in covering the damages awarded to the plaintiff. However, if the damages exceed the insurance limits, the defendant may be personally responsible for the remaining amount in some cases.

Financial Resources of the Defendant

If the defendant has significant assets, they may be more likely to have their personal finances impacted by a lawsuit. If the court determines they can afford it and that they are liable, they may end up with wage garnishment, liens on property, or be required to sell things like second homes or vacation properties.

Impact on Driving Record

A finding of liability in a car accident lawsuit can result in points on the defendant’s driving record, increased insurance premiums, and even license suspension in some cases.


It’s important to note that the primary purpose of a personal injury lawsuit is to compensate the injured party for their losses, not to punish the defendant. While the consequences for the defendant can be significant, they are generally proportionate to the harm caused by their negligence. And, in most cases and especially those settled out of courts, the bulk of the cost – even all of it – will fall on the insurance company, not on the driver directly. While the driver may face significantly elevated insurance premiums in future, this is a small price to pay and is generally helpful in encouraging safer driving.

Should You Seek the Compensation You Need?

Absolutely yes. An injured person should not feel bad about seeking the compensation they need to rebuild their life after an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Compensation is your right: if someone else’s actions caused your injuries and losses, you have a legal right to seek compensation for those damages. This is not about taking advantage of the situation but rather about exercising legal rights and holding the responsible party accountable.

Furthermore, rebuilding takes resources. Recovering from an accident can be expensive, involving medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and many other expenses. Compensation helps cover these costs and allows you to focus on their recovery and getting your life back on track. And while it’s understandable to worry about the harm that a lawsuit will do to the defendant, the alternative is that the financial burden falls on the victim: it’s even more unfair for the injured person to bear the financial burden of someone else’s mistake. The purpose of personal injury law is to shift that burden to the party responsible for the accident.

While it’s understandable to feel empathy for an at-fault driver, it’s important to remember that the primary focus should be on the well-being and recovery of the injured person. Seeking compensation is not about punishing the other driver but ensuring you receive the support you need to rebuild your life. If you or someone you know is struggling with these feelings after an accident, seek support from friends, family, or a therapist. They can help you process these emotions and understand that seeking compensation is a justified and necessary step in the healing process.

Bringing a Lawsuit in Wyoming

Here’s how the process typically unfolds under Wyoming law:

Fault Determination

Wyoming follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule. This means you can recover damages even if you were partly at fault, as long as your share of the blame is not more than 50%. If you are 50% or more at fault, you cannot recover any compensation.

Calculating Damages

If you are less than 50% at fault, your damages will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. For example, if a jury awards you $65,000 but finds you 20% at fault, your award will be reduced by 20%, which is a loss of $13,000.

Statute of Limitations

In Wyoming, you generally have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you may lose your right to seek compensation at all, no matter how severe your injuries and losses.

Settlement vs. Trial

Most car accident cases in Wyoming are settled out of court through negotiations between the parties or their insurance companies, and this is one good reason to go ahead and pursue the compensation you need. However, if a settlement cannot be reached, the case may go to trial.

Why Working With Automobile Injury Attorneys Are Key

An attorney will thoroughly assess the details of the accident, gather evidence, and determine the strength of your case. They’ll identify all liable parties, potential sources of compensation, and estimate the value of your claim. They will explain your rights, the legal process in Wyoming, and the options available to you, and then advise you on the best course of action based on your individual circumstances and goals.

Attorneys are also skilled negotiators and can communicate directly with insurance companies on your behalf. They’ll fight to get you a fair settlement that covers all your damages, including those you might not be aware of, and if a fair settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will represent you in court, file the necessary legal documents, prepare your case, and advocate for your rights before a judge and jury.

Beyond the Legal Help

Things just get easier when you have an attorney handling the legalities, communicating with insurance companies, and doing all the paperwork. This lets you focus on your physical and emotional recovery. Attorneys can also provide you with an objective viewpoint on your case, helping you understand your options and make informed decisions. They can also manage your expectations and prepare you for the potential outcomes.

Experienced personal injury attorneys understand the emotional toll a car accident can take on a person’s life and can offer empathy, compassion, and support throughout the process, ensuring you feel heard and understood as well as empowered and validated in your pursuit of justice. This can be especially important when dealing with uncooperative insurance companies or the emotional weight of the accident.

​If you’ve been injured, don’t let ​misplaced politeness or fear for the other driver stop you from getting what you genuinely need to get your life back together. ​Morally and legally, you deserve ​to be “made ​whole” again. Contact Ochs Law Firm now for a free consultation.

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Our experienced Wyoming personal injury lawyer, Jason E. Ochs will fight to help you recover proper compensation in a class action, pharmaceutical, and medical cases throughout multiple states. Contact us today.

Jason E. Ochs

Jason began his legal career in 2002 with a national multi-district litigation law firm in Newport Beach, California. There he worked on a variety of high-profile, complex-litigation projects including pharmaceutical and medical-device litigation across the country.

The Ochs Law Firm epitomizes professionalism and commitment to all of our clients, regardless of the size of the case or the might of the Defendant. We practice in Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas and California in personal injury litigation, medical malpractice, defective products, class action lawsuits, Qui Tam lawsuits, litigation across multiple districts, bad faith insurance, and civil litigation.

We look forward to providing top quality service and representation for you and your family.