What If Another Driver Hit You Because of an Animal On the Road?
There are many types of animal-related scenarios and encounters that may cause accidents on the road.
Domestic animals are commonly seen on roadsides, as they are often used by people as transportation. These include horses, donkeys, cattle, and sheep. A person may encounter an accident in which a domestic animal is involved if they are driving too close to the side of the road where these animals are grazing or moving around.
Wildlife is another type of animal that can cause accidents on the road. There are several different types of wildlife that can be found on roadsides, including deer, elk, moose, and bears. When driving through areas with wildlife on the sides of roads, it is important to be aware of whether or not there are any signs indicating that there might be dangerous animals nearby.
Drivers should also be aware of where certain types of wildlife live so that they can avoid driving through those areas at night when these animals may be most active. Get in touch with The Lenahan Law Firm today.
If a Driver Swerves to Miss a Wild Animal and Causes Your Injury, Are They Still Liable?
In some circumstances, a driver who swerves to avoid hitting an animal may be considered at fault because they did not take reasonable precautions when driving on the road. They should have been aware of the potential dangers of driving in that area and should have compensated by taking extra care.
Is a Pet Owner Ever Liable in This Kind of Situation?
The owner of the animal, who should have control over it, may be responsible for your damages if the animal is owned by that person.
Texas dog owners are liable for damages caused by their dogs. Texas prohibits dogs from running free. The owner of a dog that causes an accident can be held financially liable as long as the dog isn’t a stray.
In regard to livestock, unless there is local stock legislation that specifically holds them liable, livestock owners do not have a duty if their animals stray into smaller streets. However, livestock owners do have a duty to keep their animals off state and federal routes.
If Fences Should Have Prevented Animal Access, Could a Property Owner or the City Be Liable?
The short answer is yes; either the property owner or city could be liable for an accident in that situation.
A landowner has a duty to maintain their property in a way that does not create a hazard for others. This includes taking reasonable care to ensure that animals are kept off of public and private property alike. If someone’s negligence caused an accident because the person failed to do this, they would be liable for any damages caused by their negligence.
The same goes for the city. They have a duty to make sure that public areas are safe for everyone who uses them. If someone’s negligence caused an accident because they failed to, for example, put up a fence correctly, they would be liable for any damages caused by their negligence.
How Should a Driver Properly React to an Animal in the Road to Best Protect Themselves and Other Drivers?
A driver should always be aware of their surroundings. Even if they are focused on the road, they should still be keeping an eye out for animals in the road.
If you see an animal in the road, slow down, but do not stop until you are sure it is safe to do so. If possible, try to avoid the animal by steering around it or slowing down enough that it can get out of your way. If there is no room to steer around or slow down without hitting another car, then you must brake as hard as possible and try to avoid hitting the animal at all costs.
It is also important to know what kinds of animals live in your area and what characteristics those animals have (color, size, etc.). This will help you identify which animals are likely to be found on roads and how best to react when you encounter one.
What Should You Do After This Type of Accident?
- Call 911 and report what happened. They will want to know: where it happened; when it happened; how many animals were involved; what type of animal was involved; and whether anyone was hurt.
- If you are involved in this type of accident, you should contact an experienced auto accident attorney at a firm such as The Lenahan Law Firm so that they can assess your case and guide you through the process.
Should You Try to Photograph the Animal or Do Anything Else at the Accident Site?
Photographing the relevant details of the accident may be helpful in allowing authorities or others to understand the context of the accident.
If you were driving on a highway, that’s going to be different than if you were driving in a residential area. If you were driving at night, that’s going to be different than if you were driving during the day. And so on and so forth.
Photography can help those assessing your case to understand aspects like how close other vehicles or animals were to your vehicle when they collided with you. It can also help demonstrate what your field of vision was at the time of impact (or lack thereof), in reference to whether or not someone else had time to stop before colliding with your car.
Photographing the animal may also be helpful in some circumstances. It would be best to photograph the animal’s body as it is currently positioned on the road and surrounding area. Include any damage to the animal, and make sure you include a scale in your image so that the viewer understands how big or small this animal is.
How a Lawyer Can Help
The Lenahan Law Firm will make sure that no one gets away with hitting you because of an animal in the road. We will fight tirelessly for you so you can get the best possible outcome.
Call (214) 295-1008 today to talk about your case with a member of our team. We’ll give you a consultation and let you know if you have any options for compensation after the accident.