When You Strike an Animal on the Road and Are Injured

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strike an animalOn Sunday in West Earl Township in Lancaster, a 23-year-old man struck a loose horse on the roads and was announced to be in critical condition. The horse broke free from a man from Manheim as he was attempting to hitch it to a buggy. The man was then transported to the injuries from the crash and listed as critical condition and the horse was killed as a result. Unfortunately, these accidents can happen faster than anything when an animal gets loose or a wild animal is attempting to scurry across the roads when cars are headed to their destinations. We hear about a lot of accidents, such as those that happen between trucks and cars, pedestrians, and more, but we tend not to think about what happens when we have been injured as a result of a loose animal. Today we will talk about a few different scenarios involving animals and how you can gain help with compensation after your accident.

The Differences in Accidents: Who Owns the Animal? 

Let’s look at an example of a common accident: You come across a deer while you’re driving through the woods, and you aren’t able to stop in time. Instead of slamming on your breaks, your car collides with the deer and you sustain multiple injuries, as well as huge property damage to your vehicle. These are some of the most common accidents that happen between cars and animals on the roads every year. Deer and other large animals are so big that they’re able to cause very serious damage to you and your vehicle. But here’s the difference in these accidents as compared to ones involving large dogs, horses, and cows: Nobody owns the deer. Because they have no owner, it is easy to make an insurance claim and receive damages in many cases. In fact, you can file a claim under your comprehensive coverage and typically this will cover everything.

So what happens in an accident where you hit a horse or a dog who has an owner? Owners are responsible for damages caused by their animal when the pet has not been properly restrained. This means that the owner could be held liable for fixing your vehicle as well as compensating you from the resulting injury damages. In some cases, this means that the owner’s homeowner policy will cover your damages unless they prefer to pay out of pocket and avoid the claim. Other times, your case may end up becoming a small claims matter if the owner does not respond well to you wanting to be compensated for your damages and injuries. And, if the owner of the animal is never found, you will likely see your own car insurance paying for it.

So as you can see, just as with the accident that happened this week in Lancaster, there are many directions these types of cases could take. It’s important to seek the help of an attorney if you have experienced an accident involving someone’s pet. Give us a call at 888-208-1810 at Edelstein Martin & Nelson for more information on how we can help you get the most out of your case.

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