Does Insurance Cover Damages from Swerving to Avoid an Animal Accident?

If an animal suddenly darts out on the road right in front of your car while you’re driving, your first instinct is probably to swerve. Many people try to avoid an animal accident even when the critter is very small. However, in spite of your good intentions, this can still result in an accident. You may wonder if you can use your insurance to cover the damages. However, that depends on the animal.

Wild vs. Domestic Animals and Car Accidents

Overall, if you have an animal accident, whether insurance coverage can apply depends on the animal involved in the crash. If you swerved to avoid hitting a wild animal that suddenly darted out onto the road, there is obviously no person you can hold responsible because wild animals don’t have owners. In that situation, you may be able to recover animal damage to your vehicle from your own insurance.

On the other hand, if you swerve to avoid having an animal accident involving someone’s pet dog, you may have a claim. A pet has an owner who is responsible for keeping the dog under their care and supervision at all times. If you have been injured and suffered vehicle damage while trying to avoid hitting the dog, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the owner.

Animal Accidents That Occur When Swerving

If an animal accident occurs while a driver swerves to avoid hitting a wild animal, things are a bit trickier. If they end up hitting a tree or other stationary object or if they hit another car, that driver is the one who is going to be considered at fault. As a result, they will have to be liable for the damages and any injuries suffered by other people. If you are struck by such a vehicle, you have the right to contact injury attorneys to start a personal injury claim.

What to Do If You Hit an Animal

If you try to swerve to avoid an animal accident but fail to do so and actually hit the animal, there are things you can do to help yourself. Obviously, you should already have auto insurance in the event of such a disaster. However, after a crash, you should check the animal damage to your vehicle and the animal itself to see if it’s domestic or wild. If the animal is a pet and has a collar, you will probably not be held liable for the accident.

These are important things to keep in mind if you have an accident while swerving to avoid striking an animal. You should be able to recover the compensation you deserve.