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I Hit an Animal in Denver: Can I Sue?

If you get into a car accident in Denver, your accident likely occurred because of a negligent driver, a roadway hazard, or bad weather. However, car accidents can also happen because of animals. The Colorado Department of Transportation warns drivers to watch out for wildlife on the road, especially during the fall and winter months.  

If you get into a car accident in Denver, your accident likely occurred because of a negligent driver, a roadway hazard, or bad weather. However, car accidents can also happen because of animals. The Colorado Department of Transportation warns drivers to watch out for wildlife on the road, especially during the fall and winter months.  

When short days approach or big game animals become more active, the potential for collision typically increases. Although accidents involving wild animals seem most common, drivers should also be aware they can hit domestic and farm animals on the road, as well. When you hit an animal in the road, it’s essential to investigate and determine who’s at fault if you hope to recover compensation.

The Denver personal injury lawyers at Justice for Colorado have in-depth knowledge of Colorado’s negligence laws. If you were injured while hitting an animal with your car, your lawyer can investigate who may be liable for your injuries by using evidence from the scene of the wreck. Your insurance company may cover you for collisions involving animals, but if they don’t, an experienced attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf and work to maximize your claim in Denver court. 

How Car Accidents Involving Animals Occur

There are various situations when an animal can cause a car accident. If a wild animal, such as a deer or a raccoon, strays out into the road unannounced, then you may not have time to avoid it before crashing. Unfortunately, no one can regulate the actions of wild animals, so you’ll need insurance to cover this type of wreck. Your comprehensive collision coverage may cover wildlife collisions.

Domestic animals and livestock can also cause car wrecks. For example, if a dog or cat owner doesn’t keep their dog or cat inside or a farmer or rancher doesn’t fix their fence, then a dog, cat, horse, cow, or other animal can travel to nearby roads and cause severe and sometimes fatal car accidents.

When domestic animals and livestock cause accidents, the animal’s owner may be responsible for any resulting damages if we can prove the owner was negligent. 

Proving Liability for Your Injuries

It's often difficult to find the owner of an animal and prove negligence against them. If you hit a dog in the road, the dog may have a collar that will lead you to the owner. Usually, farm animals travel to highways or roads from nearby land.

Your car accident lawyer in Denver can use evidence such as witness testimonies, video footage, and photographs to determine where the animal came from and locate the animal’s owner, if any. Video footage from traffic cameras may show your wreck in action, and witnesses may know where the animal was wandering before it got to the road. Any information regarding your wreck or the animal can be helpful.

Not only must you locate the animal’s owner, but you must prove that the owner was negligent. For example, if a livestock owner had a hole in their gate and they didn’t repair it, then they may be liable for the animal’s escape; however, if a dog escaped by crawling under an apparently secure fence, then the dog’s owner may not be liable because the owner did their best to restrain the dog.

When the Tables Are Turned—Comparative Negligence

Animals shouldn’t be on roadways; however, there are circumstances when drivers may share a percentage of fault in car accidents involving animals. If it’s proven that the driver was grossly negligent and caused harm or death to an animal, then the animal owner can sue the driver. Some car accidents involving animals occur off-road, which often places an even larger percentage of fault on the driver.

For example, if a driver hits an animal while on someone else’s property or kills an animal with their vehicle because they’re driving under the influence, then the animal owner can usually sue the driver for damages.

Colorado’s comparative negligence law can determine fault and calculate damages. Any party that is less than 50 percent at fault can file a claim. The court will deduct the liable party’s percentage of fault from their overall settlement.

Types of Injuries Resulting from Car Wrecks with Animals  

Depending on the size of the animal and how much time you had to avoid them, your injuries may be severe or life-altering. As with many car accidents, bone fractures, spinal damage, and traumatic brain injuries can occur when colliding with animals on the road because your body may experience a significant amount of force.

Bone fractures may require surgery, physical therapy, and many trips to the doctor. Spinal damage can result in a loss of coordination or complete paralysis. Symptoms of traumatic brain injuries differ but can include loss of learning ability and memory loss. If someone contributed to causing your injuries, then they should have to contribute to your treatment, as well. 

Recoverable Damages in Auto Accidents Involving Animals

Both economic and non-economic damages can be recovered for auto accidents involving animals. It’s essential to account for all your damages if you hope to increase your settlement.

Your economic damages are the financial losses you’ve suffered and may include items like medical expenses, lost wages from being out of work, and property damages. Your non-economic damages are the nonfinancial losses you’ve experienced and may include losses like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and scarring and disfigurement.

Contact a Denver Personal Injury Attorney

Hitting an animal in the road can be traumatic, because on top of the physical and emotional injuries you’ve experienced and the injury or death you’ve caused, you may think there’s no hope of recovering a settlement. 

You shouldn’t give up hope until you’ve discussed your case with an experienced Denver attorney. A lawyer will assess your situation and determine whether you have a chance of recovering compensation.

Although auto accidents involving animals can be complex, there are instances when you can successfully obtain a settlement. A lawyer can support you and negotiate on your behalf in court. You’ll feel relieved knowing your Denver case is being handled by someone you can trust, and once your case is settledArticle Submission, you can move forward with your life as normal.

 

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Allan Gregory is an author, designer, engineer, artist, playwright, and comedy writer. His work across multiple disciplines broadly addresses narratives of human experience. As a playwright, Allan has had his pieces performed at multiple play houses. As an artist and illustrator, he has had his art exhibited at multiple galleries. His work has appeared on a number of online and offline outlets. 



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