When an Animal Caused Your Accident
If you were injured by a driver who swerved to miss an animal, you may be wondering what options are available to you. Accidents are typically caused by wildlife, but pets can also get onto the road. If your accident was caused by an animal, The Husband & Wife Law Team is here to help. Call us at (602) 457-6222 today.
If a Driver Swerves to Miss a Wild Animal, and Causes Your Injury, Are They Liable?
Wild animals, such as deer or elk, cause many motor accidents. These accidents are most likely to happen in June and October, coinciding with the monsoon season. The increase in water enables animals to roam further, and forage in places they otherwise cannot go.
According to experts, if an animal is on the road, a driver should remain in their lane while attempting to slow down and stop as quickly as possible. A driver should not swerve into another lane, unless they have thoroughly checked it is safe to do so. If a driver has swerved, and caused your accident, typically they are at fault. This fault, however, must be proved. A skilled Phoenix auto accident attorney, such as The Husband & Wife Law Team, can help you prove this fault and recover damages for your accident.
What if the Animal Is a Pet? Is a Pet Owner Liable?
If a driver swerves to avoid a pet, and causes your accident and resulting injury, they could be liable. In this situation, however, so could the owner of the pet. Pet owners have a duty to ensure their pets are appropriately managed. If the situation was caused by a dog that was running loose, this is a sign of carelessness and poor pet ownership as the dog should have been leashed or secured by a fence.
All animal owners have a duty to keep their animals secured so they do not go into the street. Most animal owners take this duty seriously, as the street is a place where pets are often critically injured. Some animal owners, however, are negligent. If the pet and its owner can be identified, the owner could be found negligent and held accountable for your accident. If, however, a property owner or the city have fenced an area to keep animals contained, they may have a defense to a claim of negligence as they have not been negligent. This, of course, must be proved.
Such a claim and defense involves many factors and legal nuances. Some of the factors include whether the fence has been properly maintained and whether it is an adequate height or built to keep animals contained. Our skilled attorneys can help you with your claim.
What Should You Do After This Type of Accident?
If you are able to, and it is safe to do so, try and capture some photos of the animal and the scene of the accident. This proof can be useful in claims where there are disputes with insurance companies. If you sustained injuries in the accident, it is important you are assessed by a medical professional. In an instance where you do not feel injured, it is still vital to be assessed by a medical professional and have the incident noted on your medical record. This ensures there is proof of your injuries in case any disputes arise.
If you have been involved in an accident caused by an animal, contact The Husband & Wife Law Team. We will thoroughly examine your case to determine liability, allowing you to seek compensation for your injuries. Call us at (602) 457-6222 today.
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During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. All submissions are confidentially reviewed by Mark Breyer.
Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer