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Who’s at fault when an animal causes a collision?

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Imagine driving down the highway when a dog suddenly runs into the road. Alternatively, you might be driving through the backroads near your home when a couple of stray animals dart out in front of you.

If you slam on your brakes and an accident happens, is it really your fault? What about if someone else suddenly moves to evade an animal that ran into the road?

Car crashes caused by animals may be complex

Car crashes caused by animals can turn into complex cases. Why? In some cases, if you can figure out whom those animals belong to, the owner of the pets may be liable. Similarly, since North Carolina is a fencing-in state, owners of livestock could be held liable if their livestock causes a collision on a road. People are required to keep their animals off the roadways, so a beloved pet or farm animal that causes a crash may end up costing its owners hundreds or thousands of dollars.

This isn’t always the case, though. Sometimes, you can’t find the animal or won’t be able to identify the owner. In that case, who’s to blame?

It’s usually the driver who hits the animal. If the animal was small enough to hit without causing a crash, there was time to slow down, negligence played a role in the quick stop or other factors were at play, then the driver who hit or swerved to avoid the animal may be to blame.

What should you do if you hit or avoid an animal and end up in a crash?

If you are involved in a crash because of a stray animal or livestock, it’s important to get to know the state laws and how they may apply to your case. Accidents caused by animals are more common than you may think, but they can be tricky and complex with so many people potentially to blame. It’s your right as someone injured because of someone else’s negligence to attempt to collect compensation. This is a unique situation, but you may still be able to make a claim against another party.