Florida drivers are well aware of the dangers posed by animals and the increased likelihood of an animal caused accident on rural roadways. Wildlife is often present on rural roads, and are notorious for jumping out in front of unexpecting vehicles. Animal caused accidents routinely occur in Florida. Many unfortunate drivers have head-on collisions with large animals at high speeds, resulting in injury and sometimes fatality. Additionally, many drivers must swerve and dangerously maneuver their vehicle to avoid striking an animal. Drivers in these situations may swerve into another lane to avoid the animal and end up striking another vehicle. Likewise, drivers may stop short to avoid hitting an animal in a roadway, causing their vehicle to be struck by a vehicle that is behind them.
Animal caused accidents can be difficult to prevent. Wild animals are unpredictable and keeping them off roadways is nearly impossible. In places outside of the United States, like England, cows and other animals are sprayed with a blue reflective paint to make them more visible to drivers, especially at night. Studies have shown that reflective paint not only saves innocent animals from becoming victims of a roadway accident, but also protects drivers by reducing the number of fatal accidents on rural roads and countryside highways. Until similar measures are adopted in the United States, drivers should stay vigilant to avoid collisions with wild animals.
Many drivers who are involved in an animal caused accident may wonder whether they can collect compensation for their injuries. In situations where the accident is caused by a wild animal, such as a deer, drivers are typically not entitled to compensation. This is due to the fact that no individual or company is negligent for the animal that caused the accident. In these situations, the driver will use their own coverage to be compensated for their losses and damages. Passengers involved in these types of accidents, however, may have more options than the driver. Passengers involved in an animal caused accident may be able to seek compensation from the driver.
There are situations where drivers who are injured or suffer damages as a result of an animal caused accident can recover compensation. In situations where an animal that caused the accident should have been restrained in some way, drivers may seek compensation from the person or entity responsible for restraining the animal. Typically, this deals with accidents involving pets or livestock, rather than wild animals. The at-fault party in these situations would be the owner or party responsible for restraining the animal. If the animal was not properly restrained, generally the owner’s homeowner’s insurance or livestock insurance policy would cover the accident costs. If the owner acted negligently in any way, drivers involved in animal caused accidents may be able to seek additional compensation outside of medical costs and property damage.
If you have questions regarding an animal caused accident, the knowledgeable attorneys at Wittmer|Linehan are here to help. Being in an accident, especially one involving an animal, can be scary. You are left alone to decide how to obtain and pay for necessary medical treatment as well as any property damage caused by the accident. The only way to know if you are entitled to compensation is to speak with an experienced accident attorney. The attorneys at Wittmer|Linehan can help you evaluate your claim. Call us today at (941) 365-2296 for a free consultation.