What Happens if a Wild Animal Causes a Motor Vehicle Accident?

New Hampshire is rich with wildlife, from deer and wild turkeys to red foxes and raccoons. Unfortunately, when the path of wildlife and motorists intersect, it can yield tragic consequences. Wild animal-vehicular collisions cause approximately 350 million fatalities of vertebrate animals, about 12,000 human injuries, and over 150 human fatalities nationwide. In New Hampshire, some 1,200 crashes occur when deer and vehicles collide each year alone.

When a domestic pet or livestock causes a car accident, the animal’s owner may be held liable for injuries caused, as they are responsible for keeping their animal under control and off the roadways. But who would compensate you for your injuries when a wild animal causes a crash?

A single-car accident after a wild animal collision

If you crash your vehicle while swerving to avoid a wild animal or after hitting one, and no other vehicles are involved, your insurance company may compensate you for property damage and medical costs. However, the compensation amount will depend on the terms of your policy and the nature of the damage and injuries. In most circumstances, comprehensive coverage will compensate you for the costs related to the accident. Some policies may require you to pay a deductible before receiving any compensation. Carefully read the terms of your policy and contact an experienced New Hampshire personal injury lawyer if you believe the company has unjustly denied coverage.

A multi-vehicle accident

If an accident involving a wild animal leads to a crash with another car or a multi-vehicle pileup, the initial driver may be held liable for the resulting damage. As unfair as it may seem, if the driver swerved to avoid the animal and that action caused the crash, their decision–or reaction–could be determined to be unreasonable by an insurance company or the court. If the action is not considered reasonable, the driver will be held responsible for the crash.

If you’ve suffered injuries or property damage in a car crash because a wild animal darted into the road, contact the experienced attorneys at Tenn And Tenn, P.A., especially if other cars were involved. We help protect drivers’ rights throughout the state: Goffstown, Londonderry, Laconia, Concord, Bedford, and beyond. Call 1-888-511-1010 for your free consultation today, or reach out online for a case evaluation.

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