Many factors play a role in who is at fault when hitting an animal. It may depend on the circumstances that led to the collision, the type of animal involved, and where the accident occurs. In general, you will most likely file an insurance claim with your own insurer, as long as you have comprehensive coverage.
Animal-versus-vehicle accidents can do a lot of damage. According to data from insurance company State Farm, the average cost of this type of claim is around $4,000. There may be other options if you do not have this type of coverage and hit livestock of a domesticated animal.
Car Insurance and Accidents Involving Animals
In most cases, drivers who carry comprehensive car insurance coverage file a claim based on this policy after hitting an animal. This policy will pay out for your vehicle repairs and some other expenses if you hit:
- A dog or cat
- Livestock, such as a cow, sheep, or goat
- A deer or other wild animal
Comprehensive coverage is generally not mandatory. If you do not have this type of policy, you will have to pursue a case against the owner of the domestic animal or livestock.
When a dog or cat causes a crash, the owner’s home insurance will likely cover your claim. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), these carriers generally pay out for any damage a pet causes. Depending on local and state laws, home or business liability insurance may also pay when livestock causes an accident.
Owners are responsible for accidents that occur under these circumstances because of negligence. They may be negligent by:
- Allowing their pet to roam free when there are local leash laws
- Failing to keep livestock contained or away from roads
If you were hurt in this type of collision, you may want to work with our personal injury attorney to pursue additional damages. This could include:
- Your medical care and related expenses
- Past and future lost wages if you missed work
- Repairing or replacing your car
- Pain and suffering
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 537-8185
What About the Animal?
In most cases, the owner of a domesticated animal is responsible for paying for all expenses related to their pet’s veterinary care and making any related decisions. It was their responsibility to protect their pet and keep it out of the road. Failing to do so means they are liable for any resulting expenses.
This is generally true for livestock, as well. However, some states have different laws. These statutes determine if you are responsible for damages that occur to a cow, horse, sheep, goat, or another farm animal after this type of accident. The circumstances that led to the collision could also play a role.
In some cases, a driver may be responsible for paying for the farm’s loss due to the death of their head of livestock.
What Will My Insurer Do to Recover Their Costs?
If you file a claim based on your comprehensive auto insurance policy after hitting a domestic animal or livestock, your insurer will likely go after the owner to recover their money. The good news is that this step generally does not require any additional action from you.
The insurer will enter into a process known as subrogation, where they will file a claim with the homeowner’s insurer or another appropriate insurance company and demand a payout for the losses they covered.
This is not possible in cases when the animal is wild and there is no owner. Deer, especially, cause thousands of crashes each year.
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How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help with My Claim?
If you were hurt after hitting an animal, our personal injury law firm may be able to handle your claim and recover an appropriate payout for you while you focus on healing. Our team will investigate what happened, identify the liable parties, explore your insurance options, and more.
Most of these cases settle without needing to go to trial. However, if the need arises, your attorney will sue the animal’s owner and take your case in front of a judge and jury. There are time limits that apply, though. We encourage you to act quickly.
Speak with Morris Bart, LLC, About Your Claim for Free Today
If you suffered injuries in a collision with an animal, you may not be sure how to recover the compensation you need to pay for medical treatment, repair your car, and cover lost wages. The Morris Bart law firm helps clients in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. We are a contingency fee firm with 15 locations.
You pay us nothing up front or out of pocket unless we win your case. Allow our team to get to work on your case right away. Get your free consultation by calling (800) 537-8185.
Questions?Call (800) 537-8185
to find a Morris Bart office near you.