Many drivers have experienced wildlife or domestic animals running across the road in front of their vehicles on the roadways. While some states have larger animals such as elk wander onto roadways, the Chicago area often sees smaller wildlife such as foxes, skunks, raccoons, dogs, and cats dash out across the street. In more rural areas surrounding the Windy City, a driver might experience deer or bobcats unexpectedly in their path while they drive.
Any animal that crosses the street in front of a motorist can cause an accident to occur. While smaller animals will not do a significant amount of damage to a vehicle, the driver might unexpectedly swerve into another lane or even oncoming traffic to avoid hitting the animal directly.
If you experienced a car crash involving an animal in the roadway, you might want to have an Aurora animal crossing the street accident lawyer explain your legal right to receive compensation. Call the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 223-5115 for a free case review.
Types of Animals that Cause Accidents
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) indicates that nearly five percent of all car accidents involved animals. Of these crashes, up to 10 percent involving large animals like deer or elk result in injuries—the report attributes approximately 26,000 injuries to large-animal collisions. Meanwhile, State Farm found that Illinois drivers have a one in 148 chance of crashing into an animal, putting it in the medium-risk category of states.
The FHA reported that as many as 90 percent of wildlife-vehicle collisions involved deer. Deer can cause severe damage to a vehicle and catastrophic injuries to the driver and passengers inside. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources indicates that white-tailed deer native to our state can weigh up to 250 pounds. When a vehicle collides with something as substantial as a deer, the result can include damage to the outside of the car and the inside if antlers or hooves crash through the windshield.
Smaller animals such as bobcats, cats, dogs, raccoons, and foxes do not cause as much physical damage to a vehicle. However, suppose a driver makes the split-second decision to swerve to avoid hitting the animal. In that case, it can easily result in a head-on collision or a sideswiping accident when a motorist veers out of their lane.
Compensation Following an Accident Involving an Animal Crossing the Street
Several scenarios could allow a victim to pursue compensation from a negligent party regarding an accident involving an animal crossing the street.
If you experienced a head-on or side-impact accident because another driver attempted to veer away from an animal on the roadway, you might have the legal right to pursue compensation against that driver for their negligent actions. Consider the following questions to help you determine if you can seek compensation from a swerving motorist:
- Was the motorist speeding or failing to obey traffic laws, leading them not to have the appropriate time to stop or slow down for an animal crossing the street?
- Was the motorist attempting to swerve around one animal without considering that animals travel in groups, and therefore another animal might also approach the roadway?
- Was the motorist driving in an area with animal crossing signs clearly posted?
In many cases, an independent investigation into the accident can discover the exact cause of the accident involving an animal crossing the street to help better determine negligence and liability.
Suppose a pet owner did not follow appropriate leash laws, resulting in their animal running across the roadway and causing an accident. In that case, victims could file a claim against the pet owner through a homeowner’s insurance policy, renter’s insurance, auto insurance policy, or another type of insurance that might cover the injuries and losses. You might also have grounds for a personal injury or property damage lawsuit against the pet owner.
Farmer or Livestock Commercial Entity
If livestock or other animals owned by a farmer or rancher cross the roadway and cause an accident, the victim might have the legal right to receive compensation from the farmer, rancher, or other commercial entity that owns the livestock. In many cases, you only find a horse, cow, pig, or other livestock on the roadways due to the negligence of the owner of these types of animals.
Personal Automobile Insurance Coverage
In cases where a wild animal runs across the roadway, and a motorist collides with it, causing either physical injuries or property damage, the motorist could file a claim with their insurance to receive compensation for their out-of-pocket expenses and other non-economic losses.
Did you experience injuries or other losses related to an accident caused by an animal crossing the street? Consider visiting with the legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to learn how an Aurora animal crossing the street accident lawyer can help you determine whether you qualify to receive compensation for your economic and noneconomic losses. Call us today to get started, as you have only two years to file a personal injury claim per 735 ILCS 5/13-202.
For a free legal consultation with a Animal Crossing the Street Accidents Lawyer serving Aurora, call (800) 794-0444
Learn How an Aurora Animal Crossing the Street Accident Lawyer Can Help You
You should always contact the police following an accident with an animal on the roadway, even if another motorist was not involved. Additionally, you should always seek medical evaluation, as many severe and life-threatening injuries do not appear right away because of either shock or adrenaline.
Accidents involving animals crossing the street can often become challenging and legally complex cases that take a great deal of effort to recover compensation for injuries and losses. If you experienced a car accident involving an animal on the roadway, learn how an Aurora animal crossing the street accident lawyer can help. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 223-5115 to speak with a team member and better understand who you could hold liable for your injuries and losses.