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What happens if you hit an animal with your vehicle?

Unfortunately, animals can dart onto Pennsylvania roadways and get hit by accident. Depending on the type of animal that was hit, it may be an overwhelming experience that comes with a lot of questions regarding liability. It’s important to keep a cool demeanor and follow the steps explained below.

Wild animals vs. pets

Car accidents can happen with wild animals and house pets. As a driver, you don’t have any legal obligation to report hitting a wild animal. However, if you hit someone’s pet like a dog, then it’s important that you take steps to report the incident.

You’ll want to start by checking the health of the animal and, if necessary, move it off of the road if it can’t do so on its own. You should contact the police or an animal hospital in the event that the animal is severely injured. It’s always advisable to check the animal’s collar to determine who the owner is and the veterinarian. You should be contacting these individuals to let them know of the incident.

Dealing with the insurance company

When you hit a pet with your vehicle, there are various costs that are incurred. The most common are the physical damage to your car and the veterinarian’s bill for the injured animal. Depending on who is deemed at fault for the accident and the limits of your insurance company, these fees may or may not be covered by your insurance.

Typically, it’s the dog owner’s responsibility to pay for any veterinary care for the animal. This is because it’s the dog owner’s responsibility to keep the animal from running into traffic. When it comes to the repairs for your vehicle, comprehensive car insurance will likely cover it. If you do not have comprehensive coverage, the dog owner’s homeowners insurance policy may pick up the claim.

While you never want to think about hitting someone’s pet, it does happen sometimes. By being prepared ahead of time, you can better work through the claims process. If you have any questions about dealing with insurance companies, it’s always advisable to contact an attorney.