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blog home Auto Accidents What Happens When an Animal Causes Another Driver to Injure You?

What Happens When an Animal Causes Another Driver to Injure You?

By Grant Law Office on August 20, 2022

a cow walking across the street in front of a driver

Wild animals can cause traffic accidents for a variety of reasons. Animals may dart out into the road without warning, suddenly causing drivers to swerve or a brake. Some animals may be attracted to the bright lights and noise of traffic and wander onto the road in search of the source of the commotion. In some areas, animals may be fleeing from wildfires or other natural disasters and crossroads in large numbers, increasing the chances of an accident. Deer and other animals are often active at dawn and dusk when visibility is low, and drivers may have difficulty spotting them.

All of these scenarios can lead to serious traffic accidents, so drivers need to be aware of the possibility of encountering wild animals on the road, especially in areas where such animals are known to live. If you see a wild animal on the road, slow down and be prepared to stop; do not try to chase it away or scare it off, as this could cause it to panic and run into the road. If possible, try to drive around the animal; if not, wait until it has moved out of the way before continuing.

Animals on the road present a random, unpredictable obstacle, but the onus is on us as drivers to be smart when an encounter happens. Normally, the best course of action when there is an animal in your path is to maintain your direction and brake, rather than swerve to avoid the animal. If you have been hurt in a traffic accident caused by a driver swerving to avoid wild animals, you should call a lawyer to discuss your legal options. You may be able to recover compensation in response to your suffering. Contact the Grant Law Office attorneys by calling (404) 995-3955.

Who is Liable When Wild Animals Cause Traffic Accidents?

Suppose a driver swerves to avoid a wild animal on the road and crashes their car into another vehicle. In that case, the driver is likely responsible for damages and costs. It is understood that if the driver had stayed in their lane, they would not have caused the accident and that human life is more valuable than animal life.

If someone owns the animal, the law changes. For example, a pet owner is liable when their pet causes a car accident. This is because the pet owner is responsible for their pet’s safety and should ensure that their pet does not harm others. If a pet owner causes a car accident, they may be held liable for damages caused by the accident.

Owners of livestock and other large animals are equally liable for the accidents their animals cause. Whether these animals are privately owned or owned by a government facility such as a zoo, it is the responsibility of the owner to fence and keep the animals safe from the public properly. If an animal escapes from the property due to loose fencing or any other improper caging and causes an accident, the owner or city can be held liable for damages.

What to Do When an Animal Dashes into the Road

If you’re driving and an animal dashes into the road, your natural, gut reaction is to try to avoid hitting the animal. It is important to practice safe driving discipline here. Because swerving could cause you to lose control of your vehicle, it is only ever a good idea in extremely safe conditions, meaning your speed is relatively low and the other lanes are exceptionally clear. Instead, you should train yourself only to brake when an animal is in your path to avoid putting yourself and other drivers at risk of a serious wrong-way collision.

If you cannot avoid hitting the animal, stay calm and pull over to the side of the road. Once you’re safely stopped, assess the situation and see if you can help the animal. Call animal control or a local wildlife rehabilitation center for help if the animal appears injured. If the animal seems unharmed, wait for it to move off the road on its own.

Hire a Lawyer for an Accident

If you are hurt in a traffic accident caused by a reckless driver who broke this rule, they have given the life of an animal greater importance than your life. Stay in your vehicle and call 911 to seek medical treatment.

Then, hire a lawyer to help you navigate the legal process. An Atlanta car crash lawyer can help you understand your rights and options as victim in a preventable accident. They can negotiate with insurance companies and get you the compensation you deserve. Call the Grant Law Office at (404) 995-3955.

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