What To Know When An Animal Causes A Car Accident

When you think about a personal injury involving animals, the first thought is often an animal attack. However, animals can also cause an injury by darting out in the road while you are driving, causing an accident. If you attempt to dodge the animal, you can get into a serious accident with injuries as a result. Here are some things to consider if this happens to you.

Who Will be Liable?

The first question in accidents like these is who is the liable party. Most people would assume the owner of the animal would have to pay the damages. Although the laws regarding animals and leash laws are different, the onus is almost always on the animal if it was not secured and caused a car accident. Some would argue that the animal was contained on a leash or in an enclosure of some kind but escaped and therefore the owner should not be held responsible. However, in most states, the owner of the animal is liable regardless.

If it can be proven that the driver sought out an animal in order to hit it and caused an accident, one could argue that the driver was acting negligently, or even egregiously. In that case, the driver may be responsible. You will have to speak to your attorney to determine the liability for the accident.

How Can You Avoid an Accident?

While the best option is for the animal to be contained, they do sometimes get out by accident. You, as a driver, have to always be on the lookout when you drive, especially when you are in a neighborhood where families and pets are present. Animals can jump out into the road at any time, but so can children. Paying attention is the best way to avoid an accident.

If you do have an animal run into the path of your car and you cannot avoid it, try not to swerve. Though you do not want to hit an animal, you may do less damage than if you swerve and hit a person, another car, or even a house. You could also overcorrect and flip your car.

If you are in an accident involving an animal and you are hurt as a result, be sure to call an auto accident attorney right away. You need to gather your evidence to prove your injuries are directly related to your accident and the animal was the cause.