Drivers in Arizona have approximately a 1 in 400 chance of colliding with an animal in a given year, according to State Farm’s annual animal collision study. An accident involving an animal can be a serious incident with an array of harmful effects, depending on the nature of the crash and the size of the animal. Whether you need compensation for defaced automobiles, medical costs, or other damages, your first question is likely, “Will my insurance cover this?”
The simple answer is yes. Most comprehensive insurance plans cover animal collisions. However, if the animal in question belonged to someone else, there’s a strong chance that their insurance company will be responsible for your compensation instead.
Regardless of whether the animal you struck was livestock, a pet, or a wild animal, you must properly document the accident and call the police. Many states enforce strict laws on fleeing from the scene of an animal collision, much like any other car crash. Provided you handle things calmly, pull over, and provide the proper documentation, comprehensive insurance policies will cover your damages.
This is especially important with the consideration that most animal collisions involve large animals, rather than smaller creatures (such as birds and cats) which might only inflict minor cosmetic damage. According to a similar study, deer cause 1.33 million automobile accidents a year, accounting for over half of the United State’s annual animal collisions. In the event of a collision with a large animal, damage to a vehicle is more severe, and the odds of injury and resulting medical costs are greatly increased. However, though most of these accidents involve wild animals, a generous amount of car crashes still involve pets and farm animals.
If the animal you hit was owned by someone, they may or may not be responsible for the collision. Much like premises liability cases, a rancher or pet owner is responsible for their animals and property and must take steps to prevent them from creating hazards.
You’re likely entitled to a settlement from the owner’s insurance company if they demonstrated any of the following signs of negligence:
Over 2000 animal collisions happen a year in Arizona, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. If you’ve been a victim of an animal collision, an experienced auto accident lawyer can be an invaluable resource to guide you through the process of receiving fair compensation. At Escamilla Law Group, we can provide you strong legal representation and advice, so don’t hesitate. Contact us today at (623) 321-0566 for a free consultation.
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