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Here’s What to Do if You Hit an Animal on the Road with Your Car

You could be driving along the road when an unsuspecting animal darts out in front of you. Within the blink of an eye, you find yourself in an accident with an animal. Now what can you do concerning the animal and the damages and injuries you experienced?

Don’t worry, the expert team of car accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are here to guide you through the process of getting through this situation and recovering compensation fo any damages caused in the accident. 

What to Do After a Collision with an Animal 

Accidents with animal happen and it’s not your fault, although it’s understandable the feelings surrounding The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) reports that more than one million car accidents involve animals and that about 10% of these collisions result in personal injuries. 

Any time there is a collision with an animal out on the road, it’s important to act fast to get the help that you need in order to stay safe and protected from liability. After an accident you should do the following: 

  • Pull over to the side of the road and put on your emergency lights. Try to distance yourself from the animal, as they could try to attack you in response to the accident. Try to notify on-coming traffic about the animal on the road by using flares or a traffic cone to defer traffic. If you don’t have any of those available and the animal is in danger of further oncoming traffic, you may have to move the animal. However, be aware that once you move the animal, you become liable to getting the animal the care that it needs. 
  • Call 911, and request an ambulance and animal control. You need to let them know that you hit an animal and the police should come to the site of the accident to create an official report of the accident. The ambulance should come to provide you with emergency medical care and get you to the hospital if needed. Animal control will file a report of the animal collision and get the animal to care as needed or dispose the body if the animal died. 
  • Gather as much evidence as possible. It’s important to gather evidence of everything at the site of the accident, including photos of the animal, damage to you car, injuries, and site of the accident. If there are any witnesses to attest to the accident, ask for their information and if they would be willing to offer their testimony of the incident. All of this evidence is important when it comes to building your case to file your insurance claim. 
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you don’t feel injured at the time of the accident, it’s important to be examined as soon as possible. If you realize later that you sustained injuries from the accident, and waited too long to get medical attention, the insurance companies will try to use that against you to say that you weren’t injured in the accident, but some other way. 
  • Speak to an attorney in order to file a successful animal car collision claim. An expert car accident attorney is one who will help you build you case, file a successful claim, and negotiate with your car insurance company to ensure that you get the care and coverage that you need. 

These are the important action steps to take after an accident to ensure that you prepare to file a successful claim and recover the maximum amount of compensation available for the damages you experienced as a result of the accident. 

Insurance and Your Animal Collision

California is a non-no fault collision state, meaning that in the case of an accident, somebody must be found liable for damages caused. However, in the case of a collision with an animal, even though it might not have been your intention to hit the animal because it likely came out of nowhere, you will still be found liable for causing the accident. 

This means that you will file an insurance claim against yourself. If you have comprehensive coverage, this may cover the damages cause by the animal collision. If you don’t have comprehensive coverage, but have personal injury insurance, also known as med pay, this can cover the costs of your injuries as well. 

Before you speak to an insurance agent, it’s important to get an expert legal team on your side to ensure that you are not short handed compensation. 

West Coast Trial Lawyers is Here to Help 

If you were injured in an car collision with an animal, the expert team of car accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are here to help you recover maximum compensation to get the care and coverage that you deserve. 

We offer free consultations and work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that you won’t pay us a penny until we successfully settle or win your case. Contact us 24/7 to set up an appointment by calling (213) 927 - 3700 or by emailing [email protected]


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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