What Happens After a Car Accident on Private Property?
Any auto accident can leave the driver confused about how to handle claims for injuries or property damage.
But when the accident occurs on private property, it can be even more difficult to determine who is liable.
Knowing the basics of Wyoming traffic accident reporting and personal injury law can at least point you in the right direction and help you begin the claims process a little more confidently.
Reporting an Accident on a Private Road
Under Wyoming private property accident laws, a driver involved in an accident must report it by the quickest means of communication to the nearest authorities. They must do this if the accident involves:
- Bodily injury,
- Death, or
- Total property damage of $1,000 or more.
However, this excludes private roads that the driver doesn’t have express or implied permission to be on. If the road is not not open to the general public, the reporting statute does not apply. But without an accident report, it may be hard to prove liability.
Does Insurance Cover Accidents on Private Property?
Your insurance should cover accidents on private property up to the policy limits. After an accident on private property, you should follow the standard post-accident steps.
This may include a call to the police, even if state law does not not mandate it. Report the accident to your insurer, get any other drivers’ information, and document the accident scene to the extent that you are able.
In addition, you should contact the property owner as soon as you can, even if the accident had nothing to do with them. It is important to note that some accidents on private property might involve some fault of the owner.
This means there could be at least three parties involved in a dispute, which makes an accident report even more important for liability purposes.
Who Is at Fault for an Accident in a Parking Lot?
Proving parking lot liability can be tricky. It typically depends on two things: whether both cars were moving at the time and which car had the right-of-way. Determining fault is easy if only one vehicle was moving at the time.
As long as the non-moving vehicle was legally parked or stopped, the moving vehicle’s driver is at-fault. But if both vehicles were moving, a determination of who had the right of way is fact-specific. This is where an official accident report is potentially a huge boost to your claim.
Depending on where it happened, a parking lot accident can be considered either on private or on public property. The other party might insist that because the accident happened on private property, an accident report is not necessary.
But if there are any questions about who is at fault or how much fault each party has, an accident report is a necessity. It will be one of the best pieces of evidence you have to prove your claim and can help you reach a settlement much more quickly.
Contact Platte River Injury Law Today!
Injured in a car accident in Wyoming and don’t know what to do?
At Platte River Injury Law, we are here to help you get on the physical and financial road to recovery.
We represent clients in personal injury cases in Casper and throughout the state of Wyoming and offer a free case consultation to potential clients.
Call us at 307-215-9724, or fill out our online contact form today.