The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. Articles Who Is Responsible for Car Accidents Caused by a Wild Animal?

Who Is Responsible for Car Accidents Caused by a Wild Animal?

By Christopher Hoffmann  Mar. 27, 2019 5:57p

In Missouri, a deer strike can occur every 2.4 hours. The rates go up drastically during October and November than the rest of the year, andoften these collisions with deer or other animals can have severe repercussions.

But for the drivers, the question is this: who is responsible? Or, in other words, who will pay for the injuries you sustained?

Insurance Might Not Be the Only Option

The authorities in Missouri advise drivers to be extra cautious for wildlife when on state roads. Obviously, if the accident was caused by an animal suddenly cutting your path, you can’t get compensation from it. So, in case of such an incident, drivers may be able to get compensation from their insurance policies.

Drivers in Missouri are required to carry auto insurance with certain minimums. Most people believe these policies cover them in case they cause the accident, but you can also file a claim if you are the victim, particularly if the other driver is uninsured.

When it comes to wildlife accidents, however, you should check your insurance policy. Insurance companies can refuse to return premiums to policyholders in accidents involving wild animals, and you should check to see if yours has any provision on the subject.

What If Auto Insurance Is Not an Option?

If your claim with your insurance company is denied, you may also cover for any medical bills through other health insurance you may have. However, if you’ve also sustained car or property damage, it’s most likely you’ll have to pay for repairs out of your pocket.

What If Multiple Cars Are Involved?

Sometimes, animals can appear out of the blue in front of a car, the driver swerves to avoid it, and then other vehicles are pulled in the pile-up. Well, in these cases, it’s possible for one of the drivers (or more) to be found responsible for the incident, and liable for damages.

But the details of the case matter a lot here. For any driver to be responsible, the claimant has to prove their behavior was negligent and caused the crash. But when the driver’s actions were induced by an unforeseeable event, like a wild animal on the road, then you’ll need to look closely at how the driver reacted, and if they did everything they could to avoid the collision:

  • Did they see the animal in time?

  • Were they breaking any other traffic law (talking on the phone, not looking at the road, speeding, etc.) which may have contributed to the crash?

  • Was their reaction (swerving, stopping, etc.) appropriate?

  • What was the state of the driver?

If you’re in an accident caused by wildlife, particularly if there are multiple vehicles involves, contact a St. Louis car accident lawyer as soon as you can, and discuss your case. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242.

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