You’re calmly driving down a two-way road, enjoying the beautiful scenery ahead of you. Suddenly and unexpectedly, you come in contact with a large animal in the road. You try to avoid hitting the animal, but due to the speed and proximity, impact is unavoidable. Accidents involving large animals in the road, may have you wondering who is responsible for the losses sustained after an accident.
Calculated Damages with Animals
The damages associated with accidents involving wildlife or cattle, can be an unexpected loss, especially if you have substantial vehicle damage and/or are suffering bodily injury. The Federal Highway Administration (FHA), estimates 26,647 human injuries per year, with 22,498 of these human injuries resulted from collisions with larger animals, mostly with deer (86.9 percent), following a 12 percent which were the result of collisions with horses. 95 percent of collisions result in property damage claims, with an average amount of $2,570 per vehicle. Additionally ,as a consequence of hitting or attempting to avoid an animal on the road, 5 percent of these collisions result in injury or even death.
With the extensive amount of losses someone can obtain, its important to understand what steps to take after an accident.
Steps to Take after Hitting an Animal on the Road
There are different options available, depending the state law that govern your area regarding live cattle or wildlife animals such as cows, horses, livestock, moose, deer, and bears. After you have made contact with an animal, take the following steps to make sure the event is properly handled after being involved in accidents involving large animals or cattle.
Park your Vehicle – Stay calm and put your emergency lights on to alert any surrounding vehicles around you. Depending on the nature or the extent of the accident, stay in your vehicle until help arrives.
Contact the Police – Contacting a police officer will ensure to document the facts surrounding the accident. Collision report will include information of where the accident occurred, how many lanes running in each direction, weather conditions, were there any visible warning signs of wildlife or livestock on the road, and who does the livestock belong to.
Call Your Insurance Representative – Contact your vehicle insurance claims representative to report the accidents involving large animals or cattle. Insurance representatives will not only go over your policy options, they will also explain the laws that govern your state when making contact with an animal and help you identify who you can file a claim against for the damages sustained.
Who is Responsible for your Damages
Once the police report is completed, you can track if the animal that you came in contact with was owned by a local farmer or ranch where it may have escaped from. The owner of the animal could be held responsible if the fencing surrounding the animal was not properly maintained, causing the animal to break free from the premise. Again, depending the law that governs your state, will also determine if and what circumstance is an owner responsible for their animal escaping. Contact an attorney in your state to assess your particular situation and file a claim against the responsible entities in your accident.
Sweet Law Group Has 40 years of Experience
An injury or loss of a loved one as a result of hitting or avoiding an animal on the road, can leave you with unexpected monetary, physical, and emotional damages. The attorneys at Sweet Law Group have seen thousands of potential cases and know what it takes to win. Trust an attorney with the experience and resources to handle your legal situation, and is there to fight for you. Take action now to speak to one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today at (800) 203-3061.