If you’ve been in an auto collision involving a wild or domesticated animal, you might ask yourself, “Who is at fault in an accident when an animal is hit?” The answer to that question isn’t always clear, as it depends on the specific details of the collision.
Fortunately, the team at Vaughan & Vaughan is familiar with cases like yours. An experienced attorney from our firm can investigate your accident, collect evidence, and determine who should be held liable for any injuries, accident-related expenses, or losses you’ve suffered.
Parties Who May Be at Fault for an Accident Involving an Animal
Depending on the specific circumstances of your accident, several different parties may be at fault. An Indiana car accident lawyer from Vaughan & Vaughan can collect and analyze evidence to determine which of the following individuals should be held liable for your injuries and losses:
If another motorist swerved into your lane or cut you off and caused you to collide with an animal, they might be at fault for the accident. If your car accident attorney finds that to be the case, they’ll file a claim with the motorist’s insurance provider and negotiate a settlement that covers your vehicle damage and any other losses you’ve incurred due to the incident.
The Animal’s Owner
If a domesticated or livestock animal ran out in front of you while driving, causing you to collide with it, you may be able to file a claim against the animal’s owner. If you’ve been in such a collision, try to find out who the animal belongs to before leaving the crash scene.
If you’re able to locate the owner, ask them for their name and insurance information. Then, pass the information on to your lawyer, and they’ll be able to determine if the animal’s owner is at fault for your accident.
Sometimes, no one is at fault when an animal is hit in an accident. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t pursue payment for your vehicle repair costs, medical expenses, and other losses. You may be able to seek compensation by filing a claim with your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance.
While PIP insurance isn’t required in Indiana, some drivers may still opt to enroll. If you have PIP insurance, an attorney can help you prepare a facts-based claim and work hard to maximize the insurance settlement you receive.
Can I Be at Fault for an Accident Where an Animal Was Hit?
There’s also a chance that you may be found to be at fault for an accident involving an animal. If that’s the case, Indiana law may still allow you to collect compensation for the economic and non-economic losses you’ve incurred.
If you and another driver or individual both contributed to the accident, the state’s comparative fault law might allow you to receive a reduced amount of compensation, but only if you were less than 51% at fault for the incident.
For example, if you were 50% at fault for an accident where an animal was hit and the accident cost you $20,000, you’ll be eligible to collect as much as $10,000. Understanding Indiana’s fault laws can be difficult, but a skilled attorney can answer any questions you have about the law and ensure you get all the damages you’re eligible to receive.
Compensation You Could Receive After an Accident Involving an Animal
If you were involved in a car accident in which an animal was hit, you could receive a number of different damages. When you first meet with a car accident lawyer, they’ll ask you about the expenses, losses, and intangible challenges you’ve been burdened with due to your collision.
Using the information you provide, they’ll determine which damages you’re owed and calculate how much your claim is worth. Then, they’ll either file an insurance claim or a personal injury suit on your behalf. If your case is successful, you could receive any of the following damages:
One of the most important forms of compensation you can receive after an accident is economic damages. These damages can cover anything from medical expenses to lost wages caused by the collision. Depending on how the crash has impacted your employment and financial standing, you could receive any of the following damages:
- Current, ongoing, and future medical expenses
- Cost of assistive medical devices and rehabilitative therapy
- Emergency ambulance transportation costs
- Vehicle repair costs
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning capacity
The damages mentioned above can offer the financial support you need to recover from an accident involving an animal. No matter who is at fault for your collision, an experienced attorney can work hard to get you as much compensation as possible for your economic losses.
If you’ve never filed a car accident claim before, let alone a claim for an accident involving an animal, you might not know about the non-economic damages that are available to you. These damages can be used to compensate for intangible, non-monetary challenges you face due to a crash, such as:
- Pain and suffering caused by your injuries
- Emotional distress, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by the collision
- Diminished quality of life
Let your car accident attorney know if you’re experiencing any of the issues listed above. They’ll do their best to identify the at-fault party and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Seasoned Car Accident Attorney
Determining who is at fault in an accident when an animal is hit can be incredibly challenging. Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate the legal process alone. Instead, an experienced car accident lawyer from Vaughan & Vaughan can investigate your collision and determine who should be responsible for your losses.
To get started on your case, contact us and schedule a free consultation with one of the attorneys from our team. If they agree to help you with your claim, they won’t charge you a cent for their assistance. Instead, they’ll take a reasonable percentage of the money you receive from your claim.