The animal kingdom and the open road usually don't mix too well. There are many ways an animal can cause a car accident and personal injuries to drivers or passengers in the car. Often, you may think the accident is just bad luck, but many times the accident is not your fault. If you were involved in an accident involving animals, then you may have the right to seek compensation for the damages. Work with a car accident attorney, like one at Hardee and Hardee LLP, to help build a case.
The following five types of animal-related car accidents can open up a case and have a number of guilty parties involved. While the animal itself is usually not at fault, there is typically another responsible party.
If a dog or cat comes running across the road, you can easily lose control of your car and crash. When an accident like this occurs, the pet owner can be held liable for the damages. During the course of the case, an attorney will determine who owned the pet, how the pet escaped, and if past instances have occurred of this animal breaking loose. If there were past incidents, then this can showcase even more negligence on the part of the owner. Basically, the accident would have never occurred if the pet was not loose.
Animals Riding in Cars
Another example related to pets are owners that take their animals in vehicles. A dog can hang out windows or in the back of a truck and create a distraction for other drivers. This can lead to rear-end accidents or swerving off the road. Additional problems can occur if the pet manages to get out of a car and cause problems in traffic.
When a pet is not properly harnessed or kept in a vehicle, the driver could be liable for any accidents that occur. A lawyer can use past case examples to showcase instances where this occurred and help build evidence for your own case.
Companies and business will often transport animals for farms, traveling shows, or other purposes. There are multiple ways these animals can cause problems on the roadways.
- Escaping Animals: Animals like horses may get loose from trailers and cause traffic problems or actual accidents.
- Animals in Accidents: If an accident does occur, the transported animals could cause further injury. For example, a truck filled with honey bees overturned and released millions of bees into the air. You could experience more injuries by getting stung by the bees.
- Animal Droppings: Horse trailers or chicken trailers may release hay or animal droppings onto the road. This could cause car tires to slips, swerve, and lose control.
Animal Vehicle Products
When you are transporting your animals, it's important to use safety equipment so the dog or cat can stay secure in a car. There are a number of different products including pet seat belts or crates for the animals to stay in. If one of these products fails, the animal may get loose and cause problems in the car.
This could lead to an accident that injures both you and the pet. When the products fail, a car accident attorney can work on opening a case against the company that manufactured the product. They may be liable for the injuries if the product did not work correctly and caused these injuries.
Animal Crossing Areas
It's important to be aware of wild animals that could be crossing the street. Squirrel, deer, and foxes are just a few of the animals that can be found crossing the road. This is why many cities and states will highlight densely populated areas with animal crossing signs. This is common for deer or moose that can cause maximum damage.
If you are traveling in an unknown area without these proper labels, you may be involved in a car accident with some type of wild creature. A lawyer can help prove the area should have properly labeled signs designating the animal crossings and high populations. A huge factor in this case will be previous accidents that occurred there. If there have been many, then your case is stronger against the city or state and their lack of proper warning signs.
Even if you think an accident was just an accident, it's a good idea to consult with a lawyer and determine what options you have to seek compensation for injuries and emotional damage.