The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. Articles What if a St. Louis Car Accident is Caused by a Wild Animal?

What if a St. Louis Car Accident is Caused by a Wild Animal?

By Christopher Hoffmann  Jun. 11, 2020 6:41a

Hitting an animal on the road is a terrible event, for many considerations. Car accidents caused by an animal darting on the road unexpectedly can lead to fatalities or severe injuries, and they can involve multiple cars on time.

In Missouri, there are about 3,500 collisions with deer on the road, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Statistical Analysis Center. They are just an example of the wild animals you can encounter on the road. Not to mention, the animal you hit or avoid at the last moment might actually be domesticated and belong to someone.

Car accidents can result in a lot of damage, from personal injuries to property damage and emotional distress. When a car accident only involves people’s decisions and behavior, Missouri law indicates that the compensation should be paid proportionally to the amount of liability each involved driver is found to have.

However, what should you do when an animal is involved? Things get more complicated and the course of action depends a lot on where that animal actually came from and why it was on the road in the first place.

Is the Animal wild or Stray or Does It Have an Owner?

This is a critical piece of information that will help you determine who is going to pay for your damages in case you hit an animal with your car.

If you hit someone’s dog, cow or other animals, the owner of that animal will likely be held responsible for the damage it causes, because they should obviously keep their pets or cattle off the road. Most of the time, the animal’s owner will have home insurance that covers such incidents, and you will negotiate with their insurance company. If they are uninsured, the owner will have to personally pay for your damage.

However, if the animal you hit was a wild animal or a stray, who can you turn to for compensation? In this case, your own insurance company should be able to pay for the damages. However, you would have to be covered by a comprehensive insurance policy. Accidents caused by animals may not be covered by basic auto insurance.

What If You Hit Another Car Trying to Avoid an Animal?

What happens if you get into a collision with another car while trying to avoid hitting an animal on the road? As unfair as it might seem, you may be liable for the damage inflicted on the other driver(s), because it’s expected of you to put the lives of people before those of animals.

Speak With an Experienced Lawyer

No matter how straightforward or complicated your case is, it’s highly recommendable to consult an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer about it. They can help you figure out how to negotiate with the insurance companies and what laws can back up your claim. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.

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