Important Things to Do if You Hit an Animal with Your Car

It’s traumatizing when you are driving down the road and an animal darts out in front of you. You want to avoid it, but there are times when it is simply not possible. No matter how mindful you are of your surroundings, animals can sometimes come out of nowhere. If you are in an unfamiliar area, observe the speed limit and always keep an eye out for motion along the side of the road.

Avoid Hitting Animals if You Can

It’s always best to avoid hitting an animal if it is at all possible. Avoid swerving into the other lane or into the ditch. If you have enough time, gradually use your brakes and honk your horn. One animal darting across the road could be the first of many. Deer and other types of wild animals often travel in groups, so once one crosses the road, others will usually follow. Additionally, drive carefully during peak hours and always wear your seatbelt to protect yourself in case of an accident.

Hitting Someone’s Pet by Accident

There are times when pets get loose and take off running. Most don’t know to avoid the road and will dart out into traffic, unaware of the harm that may come to them. Hitting someone’s pet can be very stressful, especially when you have to try and find the animal’s owner. If you can safely get to the animal’s tags, try and find an address or phone number. Injured animals can be overly aggressive due to both fear and pain, so be very careful when approaching it.

Hitting a Wild Animal by Accident

While it’s important to make sure you and your family are not injured, you should also check on the animal as well. An injured animal can be extremely unpredictable. If you get out of your vehicle, avoid direct contact with the animal if at all possible. Animals that are wild and have had little to no human contact should not be approached. Instead, call the closest police department and have them come to your location to contain the animal and get the medical care it needs.

Examine Your Vehicle Properly for any Damage

As soon as you have taken care of the injured animal and called law enforcement, you will need to check your vehicle for damage. Take photos of the scene, the animal, and your vehicle to document any damage that you may find. If you are in an unsafe area, drive to a spot where you can safely look over your vehicle. Comprehensive car insurance coverage covers any physical repairs required for your car due to damage caused by hitting an animal.

Contact Your Insurance Agent before Leaving the Scene

Before you leave the scene, you will also want to call or text your insurance agent. Let them know what you hit, where the accident happened, and what type of damage your vehicle sustained. Send any pictures that you may have taken as well. If the police were called and an accident report was completed, you will want to send a copy of that as well.

When you hit an animal, it is up to you to ensure that it has been properly cared for and the proper authorities have been called. Contact our experienced insurance professionals at the Action Insurance Group to determine the laws in your state if you hit an animal with your vehicle. All our insurance professionals are well trained and highly experienced in handling multiple situations, including accidents involving animals that enter the highway while you’re driving. Call us today to schedule a consultation!

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