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Michigan ranked second-highest in the US for insurance claims reporting a collision with an animal. Many of these accidents occur during deer season, but other wild animals and domestic animals also stray onto the roadways. When any type of animal strays into oncoming traffic, the result can be a catastrophic collision causing injuries for drivers and their passengers. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision with an animal, the personal injury lawyers of Mike Morse Law Firm can provide you with the legal guidance and representation that you need. 

Contact us today at 855-MIKE-WINS or fill out the online case review to schedule your free case consultation. You’ll pay no fees until your Michigan car accident case is settled!

Types of Accidents Involving Animals

 

There are many different types of animals that may wander onto Michigan roadways: deer, rabbits, moose, pheasants, squirrels, turtles, coyotes, dogs, and cats. Depending on the size of the animal and the speed the vehicle was traveling, an animal crossing can cause a variety of different types of car accidents.

An animal crossing can result in:

  • Head-on collisions: If an animal darts into the highway or street and the driver is unable to safely brake in time, a head-on collision occurs. This can cause a serious accident, especially if the vehicle is traveling at a high speed and hits a large animal. 
  • Rollovers: If a driver spots an animal in the road while traveling at a high speed and suddenly swerves, a rollover accident could occur. 
  • Collision with a fixed object: In some situations, a driver may see the animal in the road and swerve to avoid hitting it, but instead collide into a stationary object like a tree or building. 
  • Rear-end collisions: A motorist who suddenly brakes to avoid colliding into an animal could be rear-ended by the following vehicle. 

Determining Liability in Vehicle Animal Collisions

 

Determining liability in car accidents involving an animal will depend on whether it was a domestic or wild animal and whether another vehicle was involved.

Pets and livestock

Michigan state law requires owners of livestock to keep them properly fenced or penned in. If a cow, pig, or other animal gets out and causes an accident, then the owner could be held liable for the car accident and resulting injuries. Livestock owners are typically required to hold liability insurance that would provide coverage for claims in these types of situations. 

Housepets such as a cat or dog are required to be restrained by owners when not on their own private property. If a domestic animal darts into traffic and causes an accident, then the pet’s owner could be held liable for resulting injuries. 

Wild animals

If your accident was primarily caused by a wild animal such as a deer, then there may not be a third party to hold liable for damages. However, this doesn’t mean that you’re out of options with no way to get compensation for your losses. 

Single-vehicle claims involving a collision with an animal will typically be covered under your personal comprehensive car insurance plan. Passengers in the vehicle who were injured may also be able to collect a payout for medical expenses and losses under the driver’s policy. 

Another vehicle

If you stopped abruptly to avoid a collision with an animal and were rear-ended as a result, you could possibly seek compensation from the other driver for injuries and property damage. 

On the other hand, if you swerve to avoid hitting an animal and collide with a vehicle, you could be held liable for the other driver’s damages. 

How a Michigan Personal Injury Can Help After an Animal Crossing Accident

 

If you hit a wild animal and you or your passengers were hurt, you’ll need to file a claim with your insurance company. But should you risk doing this on your own, without legal counsel? There are several benefits of having a skilled Michigan animal crossing lawyer file the insurance claim on your behalf.

Your attorney will:

  • Complete all necessary paperwork
  • Pour over your insurance policy to ensure you receive the maximum amount of benefits you are entitled to 
  • Negotiate with the insurance adjuster to make sure he or she doesn’t pay out less than your claim is worth
  • Keep you updated as to the progress of your claim and answer any questions that you may have

It may be a little more difficult to recover compensation for your injuries if the animal that you hit was livestock or a pet, but we will leave no stone unturned to determine your options. Our car accident lawyers can investigate the accident, gather evidence, and help you file a claim or lawsuit against the owner of the animal and his or her insurance company. 

Steps to Take After Hitting an Animal

 

Hitting an animal with your vehicle is a terrible experience. You may be concerned about the injured animal, coping with injuries of your own, and worried about the financial expense of car repairs and medical bills. 

The following are important steps to take if you hit an animal:

  • Pullover if safe to do so: This allows you to check yourself and passengers for injuries and assess the damage to your car. Be sure to turn on your hazard lights so that you’re visible to passing drivers. 
  • Contact emergency services: If anyone in the vehicle requires medical attention, immediately call 911 and request an ambulance. If nobody is injured, you still need to contact the police and inform them that an animal was hit. The officers will fill out a police report that may be necessary when filing the insurance claim. 
  • Document the incident: If it’s safe to do so, take photos of the surrounding area, the animal, the damage to your vehicle, and any injuries sustained. 
  • Avoid approaching the animal: Your first instinct may be to try and help the creature, but even an injured animal could harm you. It’s safer to contact animal control or a local veterinary office and let them handle the situation. 
  • Contact your insurance company: If your car is damaged, it’s important that you contact your insurance provider and inform them of the accident. They may be able to assist in arranging a tow if necessary and starting the claims process. However, you should be careful what you say to any insurer and consider calling a lawyer first.
  • Call a personal injury lawyer: Contact a car accident lawyer before accepting a settlement from the insurance company. Your lawyer will help file your claim and ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.

Contact a Michigan Animal Crossing Accident Lawyer Today

 

Car accidents involving an animal crossing can leave victims with serious injuries and property damage to their vehicles. If you or someone you love suffered personal injuries in a motor vehicle accident after colliding with an animal, contact our law firm to learn how an attorney can help. The compassionate attorneys at Mike Morse Law Firm are committed to advocating for the legal rights of injured people.

As the largest personal injury law firm in the state, we have been proudly representing clients in Michigan for over 25 years and have won over $1 billion for them. Let us put our expertise to work for you, too. We take cases on contingency, which means you pay nothing out of pocket. 

Schedule a free case consultation today with our personal injury attorneys to discuss your auto accident case. Call us 24/7 at 855-MIKE-WINS or email us. We charge NO FEES unless we win your case. 

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