Here is a staggering statistic: In the United States, every year, motor vehicle accidents involving a large animal (deer, dogs, etc.) number between one and 2 million. From these, $8 billion in costs such as property damage, 26,000 injuries, and approximately 200 human deaths occur. But you can’t sue a deer! What can you do?
A Guide To Liability For Motor Vehicle Accidents Caused By Animals
If, while driving, you could be seriously injured if:
- In an attempt to avoid an animal, another driver struck your car.
- In an attempt to avoid an animal, you struck another car.
- While driving, you hit an animal.
The result from accidents such as this can include the following:
- The need for surgery/hospitalization
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- The need for physical therapy/chiropractic treatments
What’s more, you may be permanently or temporarily unable to work as a result of the accident. A massive amount of stress can be caused by your fears about the future, your limited mobility, physical pain, loss of income, and mounting medical bills. But what can you do?
Animal Caused Accident Liability
More times than not, if a driver sees an animal on the road or crossing the road, they swerve to avoid it. This is particularly the case if it’s a large animal like a horse, cow, or a deer. Hitting one of these can result in not only harm/death to the animal but a significant amount of damage to the vehicle and possibly even to the driver. You can lose control or even total an automobile when you strike a large animal.
What can be done about an animal-caused accident depends on the animal, and whether it’s a domestic animal or a wild one.
- Wild Animal: As mentioned earlier, it’s hard to file a suit against a wild animal. So, if (for instance) you swerve to avoid an animal, and you hit another car, you can be held liable for the damages to that car and/or driver. Because the animal that caused the accident doesn’t have an owner, no one can be held liable but the people involved. Yet another reason why good insurance – and a good lawyer – are so important.
- Domestic Animal: Liability for an accident that involves one or more cars – when one or more of them swerved to avoid/struck a domestic animal – could fall on the owner of the animal. They have a responsibility to keep their animal in or on their property, and off the road. This can even apply to farm animals such as a pig, cow, horse, etc. In certain circumstances, the owner’s liability may be limited in some states.
Corradino & Papa – Where to Turn When You Can’t Turn in Time
Sometimes, no matter how hard you might try to avoid an animal on the road, you simply can’t. If you have been involved in an animal-caused accident, whether domestic or wild, immediately contact the seasoned professionals at Corradino & Papa. We are used to handling all sorts of motor vehicle incidents. Let us help.