Car accidents are all too common across the United States and around the world. Typically, collisions involve two or more vehicles, and the post-accident process of contacting the authorities and gathering evidence begins. But what if the other party isn’t human? What happens when your accident involves a deer or some other common wildlife? According to a report by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) in 2020, there were over 20,000 crashes directly attributed to animal interference.
You may be surprised to learn that the process in these cases is fairly similar to any other collision, but the animal does complicate matters a bit. Allow us to be your guide as we walk through the process step by step. In no time at all, you’ll feel more confident in your ability to handle the situation, should it ever arise.
1. Pull Over
Assuming that the collision was not serious enough to total your vehicle, pull to the side of the road. Inspect your vehicle for damage, then evaluate the status of the animal. If it’s injured, it might be lying in the road or off the shoulder. Fortunately, there’s always the possibility that it walked away unscathed.
2. Approach With Caution
If the animal is still around, approach with extreme caution. It may react with panic upon encountering a human, and its injury will only add to the fear and frustration. Dangerous predators should be avoided entirely.
3. Take Pictures
Just like with any other car accident, begin collecting visual evidence of the collision. Take pictures of any damage to your car, and capture photos of the animal as well.
4. Contact an Animal Expert
Which of the services you contact is entirely dependent on the state of the creature. If it’s injured, contact a wildlife rehabilitation center that may be able to revive the animal and nurse it back to health. If the creature is dead, contact animal control to dispose of the body.
5. Report to the Authorities
Accidents should be reported to the local authorities, even if you were the only human victim. The police will be able to inform you of the local law and assist with accident proceedings.
6. Contact Insurance Company
Your insurance company must be notified soon after the accident to begin the process of filing a claim. This will allow you to receive compensation for damages that occurred as a result of the collision.
Get In Touch With Wayne Hardee Law
Wayne Hardee Law is here to help you navigate your wildlife collision. With damage to your vehicle and the potential for personal injury, you may well be entitled to compensation. Contact us today to set up a consultation!