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Wyoming Statute of Limitations

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Lawsuits aren’t timeless. If you want to file a suit, you need to ensure that you do so within the statute of limitations. Every state, including Wyoming, has a timeline for filing against a person or business. Learn more about Wyoming’s laws, and what they mean for your case.

What is a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is a law that prevents people from filing legal claims after a certain amount of time. If you wait too long to file, there are a couple of situations that can occur. First, you might not be able to file at all. Secondly, the defense against the claim could argue that it is time-barred.

Either way, the result could be a loss of opportunity to file. In criminal cases, the statute takes the power away from the court after the period expires. However, some criminal cases are excluded from statutes of limitations. Federal law has an affect on the laws regarding limitations.

In civil court, you have similar limitations. The court might refer to it as a period of prescription. Although there is some flexibility in that you might be able to reduce or extend the limitation, the statute could prevent you from filing a civil suit. You must file within a certain period, or you risk losing your chance in court.

Wyoming’s Statute of Limitations

In Wyoming, you have between one and five years to file a civil suit. That timeline depends on the type of your case. Typically, your time begins on the day of the incident or when you discovered harm.

The harm refers to incidents of which you are unaware of negligence. For example, you might be unaware that a doctor performed a surgery incorrectly on you. The time does not begin to tick until you become aware of the doctor’s malpractice.

Here are a few of some of the more common timelines for filing lawsuits:

  • Injury to an individual: Four years
  • Fraud: Four years
  • Libel or slander: One year
  • Property trespassing: Four years
  • Medical malpractice: Two years
  • Wrongful death: Two years

The Purpose of the Statute

The limitations imposed by this statute are meant to make lawsuits more fair. Specifically, it prevents someone from holding a legal issue over your head for an extended time. You can put incidents behind you and avoid worrying about legal ramifications long after they occurred.

Of course, the statute is only beneficial to the offender. After your incident, you only have a short time to decide whether or not you want to recover damages. For that reason, it’s important for you to file promptly. In most cases, you only have a few years to file.

Waiting too long to file could place your case in jeopardy. In one Wyoming lawsuit, a judge dismissed part of a malpractice case because time expired. Although a hospital left a patient unattended for over 24 hours, that is irrelevant. The court merely saw that the family filed the lawsuit after the statute of limitations. By waiting too long to file, the family lost their chance at compensation.

Understanding the statute of limitations can be difficult. If you need help understanding the laws, you should speak to a Wyoming personal injury lawyer. It’s your best chance at filing your lawsuit in time. Likewise, it may be your only chance to seek compensation for your incident.