What Happens If An Animal In The Road Causes A Multi-Car Accident?

The fall season brings with it unique dangers for drivers. There is less daylight, the roads are often slippery with rain, and there are more pedestrians and cyclists to watch out for with school back in session. Fall is also deer mating season, so you are more likely than ever to see a wild animal on the road. What if you try to steer around an animal that suddenly appears, and you end up colliding with a nearby vehicle? It's important to understand how a personal injury case might unfold in this situation.

Was the animal wild or someone's pet?

First, the ownership of the animal is something to consider. If the creature was a deer or other wild animal, then you'll have to rely on the insurance claims process between you and the other driver involved. However, if the animal was someone's pet, such as a cat or dog that ran out into the street, you may be able to name the pet's owner as liable for the accident. It's a pet owner's responsibility to keep their pet safe in the house or yard, so if their animal caused a car crash, they might be assigned partial fault in a personal injury lawsuit.

Do you live in a no-fault state or not?

Another vital factor is how the law in your state treats fault. There are 18 states with no-fault insurance laws. This means that no matter who is at fault for the accident, which is typically determined by a police officer called to the scene of the crash, each driver's own insurance policy will pay for their property damage and injuries. If you live in one of the other 38 states, then filing a personal injury claim will involve determining whether you or the other driver was at fault.

Were you or the other driver speeding, tailgating, or otherwise breaking traffic laws right before the collision occurred? Even if the crash happened because you were trying to take evasive action when an animal suddenly appeared in your path, the judge in a personal injury case might rule that the accident would have been preventable if not for the poor driving behavior. For example, if you were rear-ended because the driver behind you was tailgating and didn't have enough time to stop when you hit your brakes, then you may be entitled to damages from the driver's insurance.

Even if you avoided colliding with the animal in the road, an unexpected collision with another vehicle could cause serious injuries. Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver might be your best option for recouping your medical expenses and other losses.   

Contact a local personal injury attorney to learn more.

About Me

The Internet Makes Learning about Law Easier than Ever

Unlike many children growing up today, I am old enough to remember what life was like before the internet became popular! Many years ago, I ended up in a messy legal situation that stemmed from a simple misunderstanding. It turned out that I actually did not break the law, and finding that out in court was a great relief! While I had a great lawyer who helped me during that time, reading some legal information for myself about the laws surrounding my incident could have greatly eased my worries during the stressful time. I have since dedicated myself to learning more about the law, so I never have to deal with a legal mess again. I thought I would make a blog to share some legal knowledge I have acquired along with some general legal tips. I hope I can help many people!



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