Who is Liable When a Car Accident is Caused By An Animal?
May 17, 2022
Wildlife-vehicle collisions are quite common in Colorado and across the United States. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), on average, there have been about 3,300 reported wildlife hits annually over the past ten years.
Being hurt in an accident involving an animal can result in serious injuries and vehicle damages, depending on the animal’s size. However, seeking damages for your auto accident injuries requires determining the at-fault party. An experienced Colorado personal injury attorney can enlighten you about who may be liable for a car accident caused by an animal and help pursue fair financial compensation.
At Gama Law Firm LLC, we are committed to providing knowledgeable legal guidance and compassionate representation to clients in their wildlife-vehicle collision cases. As your legal counsel, we will fight diligently to protect your best interests, help identify the liable parties, and attempt to recover the maximum possible compensation. Our firm proudly serves clients across Aurora, Denver, Centennial, Parker, and Castle Pines, Colorado.
Understanding Car Accidents Involving Animals
Animal car accidents, commonly referred to as wildlife-vehicle collisions, can be described as traffic collisions involving a motor vehicle and an animal. Unfortunately, these animals are unable to – or not expected to – obey traffic signals and rules. Animal car accidents may occur in any of the following scenarios:
A motor vehicle hits an animal that suddenly runs across the road.
The driver ran off the road or into a tree to avoid hitting an animal that suddenly ran across the road.
The driver stopped to let the animal cross the road but was rear-ended by another oncoming vehicle who couldn't slow down in time.
If the accident involved farm animals or larger animals, such as deer, cows, or horses, the driver might suffer serious injuries, or the vehicle could be significantly damaged. Seeking damages following the incident will require identifying the at-fault party. An experienced attorney can enlighten you about the various types of animal car accidents and help determine who may be at fault.
Types of Animal Car Accidents
Here are some types of animal car accidents in Colorado and who may be held liable for the traffic collision:
Accidents Involving Pets
Under Colorado law, pet owners are required to take reasonable care to control the animal and ensure that it doesn't get loose. If a pet caused the accident, for instance, a dog running loose, the pet's owner may be held liable for damages.
Accidents Involving Livestock
Furthermore, a livestock owner can cause a traffic accident by negligently allowing their livestock to wander. Hence, if the accident was caused by livestock or farm animals wandering into a public road, the livestock owner may be considered negligent and held responsible for your injuries and damages.
Accidents Involving Wild Animals
If a wild animal such as a deer, bear, or moose caused the accident, it would be considered a single-vehicle accident. Your insurance provider will have to pay for your damages. However, you may only seek damages if you have comprehensive insurance coverage on your car. The comprehensive insurance will help pay to repair or replace your motor vehicle if it's damaged or stolen in an incident apart from a collision.
Steps to take to Avoid Animal Car Accidents
Here are some insightful tips to avoid collisions with wildlife:
Slow down and obey the speed limit.
Keep your eyes on the road when driving.
Avoid tailgating. Always keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
Use brighter lights to increase visibility when driving.
Always wear your seat belt.
Avoid driving distracted
Always stay in control when driving
Wear your seat belt.
If you or someone you know were involved in a car accident involving an animal, you need to reach out to a skilled Colorado car accident attorney immediately. Your lawyer can evaluate the surrounding facts of your unique situation, determine the at-fault party, and explore your possible legal options to recover damages.
How an Experienced Attorney Can Help
Getting injured in an accident involving an animal can be a difficult experience. Thankfully, Colorado laws allow victims of wildlife-vehicle collisions to seek compensation for their injuries. However, recovering damages requires determining the at-fault party, which may present different challenges. Therefore, when involved in a wildlife-vehicle crash, retaining an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial to help prove fault and explore your possible options to pursue damages.
At Gama Law Firm LLC, we have the diligence, resources, and expertise to help you hold those liable for your damages accountable. Our knowledge of the laws addressing liability in personal injury cases involving wildlife-vehicle collisions can help guide you through the overly-complex claims process. Our trusted attorneys will fight compassionately to protect your best interest and help pursue fair financial compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wage, pain and suffering, and other potential damages.
Don't leave your fate in the hands of an insurance provider or claims adjuster who wouldn't protect your rights. Contact Gama Law Firm LLC today to schedule a simple case assessment with knowledgeablecar accident attorneys. Our skilled lawyers will fight vigorously on your behalf and offer you the reliable representation and assistance you need in your wildlife-vehicle collision claims. We proudly represent clients across Aurora, Denver, Centennial, Parker, and Castle Pines, Colorado.