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What to Do if You Hit an Animal on the Road

Statistics show that one out of 17 car accidents in this country involve collisions with wildlife. In addition to wildlife, residents in Hollywood and other South Florida communities may also find themes in crashes involving pets and domestic animals.

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It’s not a situation anyone wants to find themselves in, but no matter how careful you are an animal may jump in front of your car, causing a collision. There are several things you can do ahead of time to prevent these types of collisions. For example, you can drive sober and distraction-free and use your headlights to see ahead.

Even if you do everything right, you may end up hitting an animal that simply darts out onto the road in front of your car. When this happens, there are several things you’ll want to do:

1) Get your car out of the way.

Avoid secondary car accidents by pulling your car out of the way, if you can. Put on your hazard lights to alert other drivers that you’re pulled over.

2) Get help for the animal and for other drivers.

If anyone is injured or if there is property damage, contact emergency services or police. If the animal is injured, contact a vet, police, or animal control. In the case of a dog, for example, a vet may be able to save the animal and check for a microchip to find the owners. Police or animal control can remove a deer that’s blocking the road or get assistance for an animal needing medical attention.

3) Get an official report from the police if there are damages.

If there is property damage or you need to file an insurance claim because of damage to your car, get a copy of the police report and contact your insurance company right away.

4) Stay away from the animal in question.

Wild animals, especially, can be dangerous when injured and may kick or try to bite if you try to approach them. Unless you’re sure an animal is safe to approach, leave the animal treatment to the experts.

5) Take photos of the scene.

Document as much as you can. Get contact information of any witnesses and any other drivers involved. Take lots of photos from different angles so you can prove what happened. Write down as much of what you remember as possible.

6) Check your car.

Before you drive off, check your tires and the state of your car. If parts seem to be loose or if your car is leaking fluids, your vehicle may not be safe to drive. It may be safer to call for a tow truck and have your car checked over by a mechanic.

If you have been involved in a collision and think you may have a legal claim, contact Flaxman Law Group. Our law firm represents people who have been injured in South Florida and we’re happy to offer a free consultation.