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I was involved in a car accident after I collided with an animal, can I recover damages?

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Date12 Jan 2019
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Auto Accident Lawyer Washington, DC

In most states you’ll find a variety of landscapes that include beautiful wildlife and splendid nature; however, these things are not always existing in peace with their human neighbors. This is especially true for those in cars. Deer, roaming livestock, rabbits, opossums, and other common animals can cross, unknowingly, out in front of a car, causing a collision and extensive physical, financial, and emotional damages.

Who May Cover Damages After Being in a Car Accident with an Animal

Every year there are thousand of car accidents because of a collision with an animal. Many more occur after trying to avoid a crash and colliding off the road or into another car. Although it’s not possible to take an animal to court, it may be possible to file a claim with your own insurance company or the animal’s owners’ insurance company (if it was an owned animal). There are many circumstances to a situation like this including the state the accident occured in, the type of insurance you have, and what animal was involved.

Deer: Deer are the most common animals involved in an accident. These collisions are particularly high during mating season which is between October and December. They most commonly occur at dawn and dusk, and can take place on any type of road. In general, standard insurance will not cover a collision with a deer. If you have comprehensive insurance, which is often available as an option, it may cover the damages.

Wild Animals: Any type of accident caused by a wild animal, of any kind, will likely only be covered when you have comprehensive insurance. The exception to this may be when the accident happened in an area in which the animal was frequently seen, there were no warning signs, and poor lighting. In this case, filing a claim with the government may be possible.

Livestock: Sometimes livestock escape their enclosures and wander down the roads. If cattle, goats, horses, pigs, or any other owned, domesticated animal causes an accident, the farmer, rancher, or owner could be held liable. Other parties, such as a third party who left the gate open, could also be liable.

Evasive Action: Some accidents occur because of a driver’s actions to avoid hitting the animal on the road. If this happens, it may be possible to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. When multiple vehicles are involved, the driver’s may need to file a car accident claim with their collision coverage, liability coverage, or uninsured motorist coverage.

Get Help from a Lawyer

It’s not easy being involved in an accident, especially when an animal in the road caused it. An auto accident lawyer Washington, DC offers at Cohen & Cohen, P.C. can review your case and determine whether or not you can pursue compensation from one or multiple sources. Consultations are typically free of charge and can help you to make a sound decision on your next steps to take.

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