When an Animal Causes a Wrong-Way Car Accident
American drivers witness plenty of things on their commutes, including animals. Often an animal is the last thing you expect to see while driving, but it is, in fact, common to experience animals near our roadways. While the most common animal we will see when driving is a deer, there are smaller animals you may encounter including birds, squirrels, cats and dogs. Neighborhoods and country roads are the most common places for coming into contact with these animals.
Often, when someone sees an animal on the road, their first instance is to swerve to avoid the animal. However, this can often be more dangerous than actually hitting the animal. If this happens, you may be able to seek a financial award to compensate you for the losses you suffered.
If a Driver Swerves to Miss a Wild Animal and Causes Your Injury, Are They Still Liable?
Finding out who is liable for such a crash will depend on the type of animal because the law treats accidents involving wild animals differently than it views accidents involving domestic animals. If a driver crashes into your car and causes you injury by trying to swerve away from a wild animal, they can be held liable. This is because there is no other party to hold liable or responsible for the animal such as an owner.
What If the Animal Is a Pet?
If a domestic animal enters a road and a driver swerves to avoid hitting the animal, but hits another car, the owner of the animal may be considered liable for the accident. This is because the owner of the animal has a responsibility to keep the animal off roadways where they could create a danger for others. In some situations, the owner’s liability may be limited by state law when, for example, there is a fence, so the danger that the animal creates is not foreseeable and, therefore, not preventable.
How Should a Driver Properly React to an Animal in the Road in Front of Them to Best Protect Themselves and Other Drivers?
The best thing to do when you see an animal on the road is to keep driving straight, or stay the course. Many people think swerving is the best method, but it is actually counterintuitive because you do not know where the scared animal is going to run off to. It is safer for you and other drivers on the road to not swerve around at high speeds.
What Should You Do After This Type of Accident?
If you hit an animal, or someone has swerved out of the way of an animal and hit you, it is important to first pull over and call the police. It is also important to remove the animal from the roadway. You can do this yourself if it won’t put you in any danger, or call your local animal control to assist.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Motor vehicle collisions involving animals can be tricky cases to fight. If you were injured due to someone swerving out of the way of an animal on the highway, you might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person, or the animal’s owner.
An attorney can help you piece your case together and get the compensation you deserve. Contact Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., at (307) 257-7800 to discuss your case and get the help you need.
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