What Do I Do If I Hit an Animal?
In Pennsylvania, it sometimes seems like there is a deer behind every tree. Collisions between deer and motor vehicles are common, and so is the ensuing damage.
Usually, the driver of the car is not responsible, and their auto insurance should cover any damage as well as any medical expenses. However, if a driver hits a deer, spins out from the force of the crash– and then another accident with a car occurs, that is a different situation—and liability is less clear.
There is an exception– if you can prove that the other driver acted negligently or recklessly. A Pittsburgh personal injury attorney at Chaffin Luhana can protect your rights and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
What to Do After Hitting an Animal
If a wild animal is still alive, call the police to have it put down.
If the animal is domestic, look for any identification. If the animal is still alive, do not touch it, because even a normally friendly animal might attack when badly hurt.
Take photos of the animal to show that it was the cause of damage to your car and vehicle occupants.
If there is no proof that you hit a deer, your insurance company might allege something else– usually, an incident for which you are responsible– was the cause of the crash.
Along with checking the damage to your vehicle, assess your injuries and those of your passengers. It is wise to seek immediate medical attention, even if it does not appear anyone is hurt.
If another vehicle was involved, use your phone to take photos of it, and notate the driver’s name and address, license number, insurance, and contact information. If there are any eyewitnesses, collect their contact information, as well.
Do not admit fault.
No one wants to hit an animal, but creatures do not obey the rules of the road. While striking a small animal such as a squirrel is unfortunate, it is unlikely to cause harm to anyone.
Larger domestic animals on the loose, such as cows or horses, can result in significant damage. In these cases, the animal’s owner should prove liable for their livestock getting out.
The animal’s homeowner’s insurance company should cover this accident.
Other Accidents Involving Animals
Perhaps you saw a deer cross the road and know that odds are there are other deer nearby. Maybe you stop or slow down to let an animal cross, and in either case, the vehicle behind you strikes the rear of your car.
Rear-end accidents not only cause vehicle damage but are among the top causes of whiplash. In this scenario, your insurance company and that of the other driver are likely to dispute fault. Obtaining legal advice as soon as possible is vital.
Contact us today
If you were injured or your car seriously damaged after hitting an animal, a Chaffin Luhana Pittsburgh Car Accident Attorney can help. Contact us online or call or text us 24/7 to arrange a free consultation.
After evaluating your case, we will let you know your options. Our experienced attorneys have recovered over $1 billion for clients in verdicts and settlements.