Posted on behalf of Anderson Cummings on May 25, 2022 in Auto Accidents
A collision with an animal can have serious consequences, especially larger animals like cows or deer. In many rural parts of Texas, drivers are more likely to encounter wildlife or farm animals. What if you are injured in an accident because of an animal on the roadway?
Our car accident attorneys in Fort Worth can discuss your claim during a free consultation to see what legal options may be available to you when pursuing compensation. There are no fees while we investigate your claim and build a case.
Below, we discuss who may be liable for your damages for a collision caused by an animal.
Steps to Take After a Collision With an Animal
After a collision with an animal, there are some steps you should take, including:
- Pulling off to the side of the road if possible
- Calling the police to report the collision
- Requesting medical services to evaluate injuries
- Taking photos of the damage to your vehicle
You should not approach the animal, as it may become aggressive due to its injuries.
If there is another vehicle involved in the collision, remember to get the other driver’s contact and insurance information and provide yours as well.
Once you file the accident report, you should strongly consider calling an attorney to discuss your claim. Our client intake specialists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you schedule a free consultation.
Who May Be Liable for My Damages?
In a single-vehicle collision with a wild animal, your insurance company is not likely going to find you at fault for the crash. Instead, it might be considered an unavoidable accident. There are some other scenarios when a third party could be held financially liable for your damages, though.
A driver who swerves to avoid hitting an animal on the road and hits your vehicle instead could be held liable. Especially if he or she had room on the roadway to avoid a collision with your vehicle. For example, if the driver swerved into oncoming traffic instead of onto the shoulder where there was enough space for his or her vehicle.
Another scenario when someone else could be liable for your damages is if the animal that caused the crash was domestic. A farm owner could bear responsibility for the collision, for example, if his or her cattle were out in the middle of the road due to the farmer’s negligence. In a more suburban setting, a pet owner could also be liable for your damages if his or her pet caused a collision.
What Are My Options When Filing a Claim?
You may have several options for recovering compensation after an accident caused by an animal.
Through Your Own Insurance
If only your vehicle collides with wildlife, the first option would be to file a claim through your own insurance policy. Depending on the type of insurance coverage you have, you might be able to file a claim under your comprehensive or collision coverage for any property damage you sustained in the crash.
If you suffered an injury in a collision with a wild animal you may be able to file a claim with your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage to recover medical bills, lost wages and other economic damages. It is important to note, however, that you check to see if you have these coverages as they are optional policy add-ons.
Filing a Third-Party Claim
When a collision with an animal is due to another driver’s negligence, then you might be able to file a third-party claim.
For instance, if another driver is at fault, then you may be able to file a claim with his or her liability insurance to pursue compensation for both economic and non-economic damages.
You may also be able to file a claim with the property insurance liability policy of the owner of a domesticated animal that caused your collision.
If you are eligible to file a claim, our attorneys are prepared to help you negotiate an insurance settlement on your behalf. However, if the liable insurance company is not willing to offer maximum compensation, then our firm is prepared to help you file a lawsuit. We have access to resources and are prepared to thoroughly investigate your claim and build a strong case on your behalf.
Call a Knowledgeable Attorney Today
Collisions caused by animals can be complex cases since liability may not always be clear. A thorough investigation may be needed, and for a person who suffered a serious injury, this may be difficult.
At Anderson Cummings, we have over 50 years of combined legal experience. Our knowledgeable attorneys are prepared to review your claim, determine who may be liable for your injuries and help you navigate the legal process. Our goal is the same as yours – to recover maximum compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering and other damages.
There are no upfront fees, and we only get paid if we win.
Call (817) 920-9000 to get started.