If you hit an animal while driving, or if another driver struck your car in an attempt to avoid a collision with an animal, you may have been severely injured. You may have suffered from:
- Back and neck injuries
- Broken bones
You may need to receive chiropractic treatments or physical or occupational therapy a few times per week for the next several months.
The accident may have left you unable to work either temporarily or permanently.
The mounting medical bills, loss of income, physical pain, limited mobility, and fears about the future may be causing you intense emotional stress. You may have exhausted your savings and may be struggling to make ends meet. Worries about the future may be straining your relationships.
A car accidents caused by an animal crossing the street lawyer may be able to help you seek a financial award to compensate you for the losses you have suffered so far, plus future medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, at 800-959-1444 to discuss your case with a member of our staff.
Liability When an Animal Causes an Accident
If an animal suddenly darts into the street, or if a motorist rounds a corner and finds an animal standing in the road, a driver’s natural inclination is to try to avoid striking it. That is especially true if it is a large animal, such as a deer, cow, or horse. Hitting such an animal can total a car and cause serious injuries to the driver and passengers. Unfortunately, swerving to avoid a collision can injure people in other vehicles.
Figuring out who is liable for such a crash will depend on the type of animal. The law looks at accidents involving domestic animals differently than it views collisions with wild animals.
If a domestic animal enters a road and a driver hits it or swerves to avoid a collision and strikes another vehicle, the owner of the animal might be considered liable for the accident. An owner of a domestic animal has a responsibility to keep them out of roadways where they could create a hazard to others. That is true whether the animal is a pet, such as a dog or a cat, or a farm animal, such as a horse, cow, or pig, according to the Missouri University Extension. State laws may limit an owner’s liability in some circumstances.
In a collision involving a wild animal in the road, a driver who swerves to avoid the animal and hits another car may be found liable. There is no owner who may be held liable if an animal such as a squirrel, raccoon, or deer runs into the road and causes an accident.
How a Car Accidents Caused by an Animal Crossing the Street Lawyer May Be Able to Help
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), there are about 300,000 collisions involving animals each year.
If you were hurt because you hit a domestic animal or because you swerved to avoid striking a domestic animal and instead collided with a tree, a fence, or another object, you might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the animal’s owner. You may also be able to seek compensation from the animal’s owner if you were injured because another driver attempted to avoid a collision with a domestic animal and hit your car.
If the animal did not have any form of identification, such as a tag, a personal injury lawyer might investigate to locate the animal’s owner. Many pet owners have microchips inserted under an animal’s skin, so it can be identified if it gets lost. If the animal that caused the accident has a microchip, that will clearly identify the owner. An attorney may also interview witnesses and people who live in the area to find out if anyone knows the identity of the animal’s owner.
In some cases, it is not clear whether an animal is domestic or wild. For instance, dogs and cats are generally pets, but sometimes strays roam a neighborhood. Interviewing people who live nearby may shed light on the status of the animal that caused the accident.
If a wild animal tried to cross the road and a driver swerved to avoid it and struck your car, the other driver may be found liable for the collision. A lawyer may be able to file a lawsuit against that motorist to compensate you for your losses.
The defendant’s attorney may claim that you were partly liable for the accident. For example, a lawyer may argue that you were speeding and that you could have avoided a collision if you had been driving at the speed limit. If that is true, you may still be able to recover a financial award. In many states, comparative negligence laws allow a person who suffered personal injuries to receive reduced compensation, even if that individual was partly liable for the accident.
Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney
Ben Crump Law, PLLC, has represented clients across the United States who were injured in a wide range of circumstances. If you were hurt in an accident involving an animal in the road, we might be able to obtain compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. You will not have to pay us anything unless we secure a financial award for you.
Statutes of limitations require victims of personal injuries to file a lawsuit within a specific period of time. That amount of time varies from state to state. A car accidents caused by an animal crossing the street lawyer who has experience handling cases in your state can explain the statute of limitations and other relevant laws. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today at 800-959-1444 to talk to a member of our team.