Road Accidents Caused By Animals *
The Animals Act of 1985 outlines that owners are responsible for their animals. If the animal was to leave the property and cause a road traffic accident * on a public road they may be held liable. The owner of animals has a duty of care to prevent any escapes. This duty can be obliged through the maintaining of gates, fences, hedges and other barriers.
If a person’s quality of life is affected a legal remedy can be sought after for both this and any expenses incurred such as rehabilitation and medical bills. Some of the common injuries sustained from such a collision include:
Swerving to avoid a collision
When a car is on course to collide with an animal that is unlikely to move it places the lives of all the people situated inside the car at risk. Larger animals such as cows, bulls, deer and some breeds of dogs can be very dangerous to road users. In an attempt to save the animal, the driver can swerve, which sometimes steers them on course with another vehicle or a tree/wall/signpost etc.
Accidents in public places
In most collisions in public places caused by animals it is due to livestock exiting from their land. In more rural areas it is common for sheep to roam secondary roads. This can pose as a threat to all road users.
In accordance with the Animals Act of 1985 owners animals can be held accountable for any collision that is caused by them. The farmer or owner of the animal may be covered by their own public liability insurance which covers damages when a person is injured.
What to do after the accident
Seek medical attention
No matter how minor you think the collision was, it is highly advisable to seek medical attention immediately after the incident. This will ensure that any internal injuries can be assessed. Any treatment administered with your consent should be documented for referral. If everyone involved is in a stable condition a veterinary professional can then be called if the animal is severely injured.
Gather information from the other party
It is necessary to exchange information with the other party involved in the collision. This will be of benefit in the claims process. To follow protocol, it is recommended that the Gardaí no matter how minor the accident may be. The owner of the animal that caused the accident should also be notified. When exchanging information there are a few details that should be included:
- Details of the other party: name, address, contact information, vehicle registration number and vehicle insurance information.
- Name and contact details of any emergency service workers who attended the scene of the accident.
- Time and date of the accident.
- Weather conditions at the time.
In some circumstances it can be difficult to determine where liability lies in a road traffic accident caused by animals *. For this reason, it is important to collect any evidence that may assist in showing how the collision occurred. If there were any people who witnessed the collision their contact details should be noted. Any photographic evidence of when the accident occurred should be obtained along with any CCTV footage. This will provide a better understanding of how the collision occurred. Once these steps have been followed you can discuss your situation with a solicitor to figure out what option is most suitable for you to pursue.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE
If you were involved in a car accident involving an animal * and are contemplating your legal options, don’t hesitate to contact 01 649 9900 for a confidential discussion or reach out via email to email@example.com.
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