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Car Crashes Caused by Animals: What Are You Required to Do and What Are Your Rights?

Texas highways have high speed limits and miles and miles of country roads. On those roads, there are some serious hazards to watch out for. Animals often cross the highways, especially at night when vision can be compromised. Sometimes, by the time a driver sees the animal, it is too late to stop or to avoid them. Car crashes involving animals can cause a lot of damage to the vehicle and injury or death to the animal. The driver can also suffer mild to very serious injuries.

What Can the Driver Do When Car Crashes Involve animals?

Every state has its own rules about driver safety, driver responsibility, and who is responsible in different accident scenarios. The traffic laws can be confusing. Insurance companies can also be a big problem when a car accident is caused by a wild animal. How can the driver sort all of this out and get some insurance compensation for damages and injuries? This is one type of car accident that having legal advice and assistance may be crucial.

In Texas, call a corpus christi car wreck lawyer to get advice and help with a claim. The law office has the resources to investigate Texas law and tell the driver what their responsibilities and rights are. They can help the driver navigate the complicated path to getting a fair insurance settlement.

Generally, when an accident happens, the driver should:

· Keep themselves safe by setting up a hazard area and moving the animal, if safe to do so, and the driver out of the path of oncoming cars and trucks. Call 911.

· Do not approach the animal unless it will be safe because the animal can be frightened and defensive. They might try to attack the driver in fear.

· If it is a pet or other domestic animal and is still alive, keep it warm and calm but do not offer food or water at this point.

· Take photos of the accident scene and the animal. Take photos of the car damage and the driver if injured. Write down the location, time, date, weather conditions, and injuries to the driver and the animal and the damage to the car.

· If there are witnesses, try to get statements and contact information from them.

If the animal is a farm animal such as a horse, donkey, goat, mule, cow, sheep, pig, or another farm animal, the driver should stop the car or truck, immediately call the police, and stay on the scene until they arrive. If the animal is loose because of careless behavior by the owner, there may be a liability to check out. In any case, the documentation of animal ownership and accident circumstances can be very useful to the lawyer the driver hires to represent them.

If the animal is a wild animal, such as a cat, deer, fox, badger, rodent, wolf, buffalo, rabbit, bear, or other wild animals, the driver should inform the police. If the animal is dead, get it off the road. If the animal is alive, call the wildlife rescue organization nearby to come to the scene and help the animal.

Animal Caused Injuries

There are over 26,000 driver injuries caused by accidents caused by animals every year. It is not proven that either braking for the animal or swerving to avoid the animal is the best way to react to animals running in front of vehicles. Statistics say that 1/2 of the vehicle injuries involving animals are caused by hitting the animal and 1/2 of the injuries are caused by motorists swerving to avoid the animal.

There were 247,000 animal-related car crashes in 2,000 and, since then, the number has surely gone up. The most common animal hit was deer, accounting for almost 90% of the crashes with animals involved.

Tips To Avoid Animal Involved Accidents

There are some commonsense ways to avoid or lessen the severity of animal-involved car accidents. Knowing how to react to a sudden animal appearance on the road is part of the battle.

1. Try not to panic. Keeping control can reduce the seriousness of the encounter. Being aware of the road conditions and surrounding landscape at all times can prevent surprises.

2. Swerving is not the best option to avoid an animal. It only works on empty roads when the car is traveling at a slow speed. In most cases, swerving to miss an animal can cause more harm, such as losing control of the vehicle and crashing.

3. Slow down as much as possible as soon as the animal is spotted. Make sure there are no vehicles coming from behind before sudden stops. Try to stop, but do not step on the brakes so hard the vehicle will skid.

4. If an animal is coming from the right side of the road, steer the vehicle towards the far right outer edge of the road. The animal might speed up and be safe.

5. If a collision is impossible to avoid, slow down as much as possible and brace for impact. Your life is more important than the animal, and there might be passenger's safety to consider. It is amazing how many animals avoid being hit at the last second.

6. When an animal is hit, stop and call the proper authorities to get the animal help. Be careful about approaching an injured animal.

7. If it is a large animal that might be hit, the impact might be serious. Try to lower your body as far down as possible so it is protected by the dashboard if the animal comes through the windshield.

8. If an animal is hit, get control of and stop the car as soon as possible to check for damage and injuries that require assistance, and call 911 for help.

9. Now, stay inside the car while calling for help. Turn on the emergency flashers to warn other drivers of the danger. Injured large animals can be dangerous.

10. Contact your car insurance agent as soon as possible to make a claim. If the insurance agent is not representing you fairly, contact legal help.

Car accidents involving animals are more common than most people think. It is okay to feel guilty, but if the accident could not be avoided, it was not your fault. Your insurance agent should be experienced in handling this type of claim fairly. Taking photos and gathering as much information as possible at the scene should help your case. Get any injuries cared for immediately and take care of the vehicle so life can go on. Do not hesitate to call a lawyer if you need help dealing with the insurance company.

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