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Car / vehicle road accident caused by an animal – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

Strange as it may seem, it is not that much of an uncommon event for a car accident in the UK to be caused by an animal in some way. If you have been involved in such an accident and have sustained injuries of any sort, you may be able to claim for compensation after the accident.

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A guide to road accident claims caused by animals

Animal Car Accident

Animal Car Accident

The UK is home to a number of different animals, and whether they are wild or domesticated, or owned by farms or stately homes, sometimes they stray onto our roadways. If this happens, then it can cause road accidents that can have devastating consequences, for the animal, the driver and passengers in a vehicle and even pedestrians walking nearby. If you have had the unfortunate occurrence of having been involved in a road accident caused by an animal, you may be surprised to hear that it might be possible for you to claim compensation for your injuries, loss of earnings while recovering and more. Our guide takes you through some more information on road accident claims for incidents caused by animals, whether a livestock road collision, or one involving a domestic pet, and advises you on how to begin a claim for compensation. In addition, we illustrate how much road accident compensation you may be awarded.

What is a road accident caused by an animal?

There are a variety of instances that can lead to an accident being caused by an accident. Whether it is a case involving a domestic animal, livestock or a wild animal, if an animal has encroached onto the roadway unexpectedly, and caused an accident, if someone responsible for that animal is found to be at fault, then you may have cause to make a compensation claim.

Who is at fault for road accidents involving livestock or farm animal?

In a livestock road accident, in many cases, the owner of the livestock, often a farmer, can be held liable for any accident that animals under their care have caused. If you are worried about their livelihood being affected by any claim, then it is important that you understand that public liability insurance can be and is taken out by most farmers in order to protect themselves should this type of event occur.

Can I claim if my accident was caused by a wild animal?

According to the road traffic act, animals should be avoided on the road if possible to take evasive action to do so. As the driver of a car that has hit a wild animal however, it may be unlikely you’ll be able to claim for compensation should a wild animal cause you to crash. Wild animals are not deemed to be ‘owned’ by anyone, so there would be no one liable for the accident. However, if you are travelling in a car as a passenger and sustain injuries due to the negligent action of the driver, it may be possible for you to claim compensation. If you require any more clarity on this point, do not hesitate to call us and we will be happy to explain the situation in more detail.

Can I claim if my accident was caused by a stray cat or dog?

You may be wondering if a dog causes an accident, or a stray cat, is it something you can claim for. The truth is, it depends entirely on what has happened and whether anyone is at fault for the dog or cat getting out. When a dog causes car accident who’s liable in the UK may vary, depending on the situation.

One car accident caused by animal statistics makes for interesting reading. In the UK, domestic pets cause hundreds of accidents on our roads each year, with over a hundred thousand dogs reported missing annually. If the pet’s owner is shown to be negligent in their care of the animal, allowing it to stray onto the roadway, then they may be found to be liable for your injuries. This type of accident is covered in many home insurance policies.

However, when it comes to stray animals, the situation is not so simple and can depend on your position in the accident. If you are a passenger, and the driver has not responsibly handled the situation so that an accident was to be avoided, you may be able to make a claim. Every case is different so it is best that you get in touch with our team to find out whether you may have a case.

I hit a deer, can I claim compensation?

It is estimated that each year, a large number of deer perish as a result of UK road accidents each year. Whilst you may think this only happens on country roads, you would be mistaken. Fifty two percent of deer accidents happen on motorways, with forty eight percent on A roads.

When it comes to claiming compensation, it depends entirely on whether the deer is deemed to be ‘owned’, perhaps by a venison farm. If it is, then it is likely to have some form of identification, perhaps an ear tag, making its ownership state. If, therefore, its owner has been negligent it their duty to keep the animal contained, you may be able to make a claim.

If you require any clarification on this, do not hesitate to call us and we can ask a few questions to determine whether you’re likely to be able to claim compensation.

Your responsibilities after a car vs animal collision

By law, all drivers involved in an accident where an animal has been injured or killed should stop at the scene. They are required to swap details with others involved as well as reporting the incident to local police within 24 hours. However, there are some anomalies within the law that do not make it a legal requirement to stop if you hit a cat or a deer. This is because the definition of an animal in the law covers only cattle, mule, ass, goat, pig, horse and dogs.

Most responsible drivers will stop regardless of the type of animal, but it is wise not to approach an animal that has been injured in case it becomes aggressive. You should also only stop if it is safe to do so without causing an obstruction that could be dangerous to other road users. Contacting the police should be done as soon as possible as they will have to attend to ensure an animal receives treatment where required, or is dealt with humanely if it cannot be treated. If the animal has perished, then the police should be contacted so they can arrange removal.

New Forest animal road collision map

In 2015, a map showing animal road collisions in the New Forest was published, along with some sobering statistics, in an attempt to ensure drivers take care on roads in the area to avoid animal collisions.

The park has been home to roaming wild animals for centuries, but in 2014, there were 138 vehicle to animal collisions in this area alone. In 2013, the number was even higher, as 182 animals were subjected to a vehicle collision. The B3056, B3054 and B3078 were the roads worst affected, amounting to over a third of the total number of incidents.

What to do if you are involved in a road accident caused by an animal

If you are involved in a road accident that has been caused by an animal of any kind, then it is best to begin to collate evidence as soon as you are able to support your claim. The type of evidence you should collect and keep breaks down into the below categories.

Photo Evidence – Pictures of your injuries, or the scene of the accident and anything else you may feel is relevant.

Evidence of costs incurred – Receipts for travel costs for medical appointments, doctor’s bills and prescription receipts

Witness details – Contact details of anyone who has witnessed the accident so that they may provide a witness statement at a later date

Medical Evidence – Any prescriptions, medical reports etc.

Notes about the event – Often, writing down the events straight after the incident is a good idea to ensure everything is fresh in your mind.

If you have any questions about what evidence is relevant, then why not get in touch. Our team will be happy to advise you.

How to begin a road accident claim

An initial phone call to us is all it takes to begin a claim. A sympathetic member of our team will begin with a consultancy session, which is free of charge. As we work on a No Win No Fee basis, we will not ask for any money upfront to begin your claim. Instead, in this consultancy session, we will be able to find out the facts surrounding your case and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have surrounding the claims process, including asking us to explain our No Win No Fee service in more detail, as well as providing more information about animal accidents with cars claims.

We may also need to arrange a local medical assessment, in which you will be reviewed by a doctor who will compile a full report of your injuries, your prognosis for recovery and any other medical details our solicitors may need.

What can be claimed for after a road accident caused by an animal?

When you come to make a claim for compensation after sustaining injuries in an accident caused by an animal, then you may find that your compensation comes with several different elements. The most common types of compensation include claims for the following:

Damages (General) – This part of your compensation is meant to compensate you for any suffering and pain you have encountered as a result of the accident.

Care Claim – If a person has had to care for you after your accident due to you not being able to perform some daily tasks around the home, then that person can file a claim for care costs.

Travel Expenses – This covers the cost of travelling to medical appointments, etc.

Medical Expenses – Included items may be prescription costs, counselling fees, physiotherapy costs, etc.

Earning Loss – If you have been unable to attend work due to your injuries then your usual pay may not be forthcoming. This loss of income can be claimed for as part of your claim.

If you have incurred costs directly as a result of your accident, then why not call us to find out whether they could be covered as part of a compensation claim. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

The most common types of road accidents caused by animals

There are a number of different injuries and accidents caused by animals but the most common are listed here:

Vehicle to animal collision – If a driver is unable to stop or swerve to avoid an animal in the road, then a vehicle to animal collision will occur. Some animals on our roads can cause extensive damage to a vehicle when hit as they are quite large and heavy in stature, and therefore can cause severe injuries to occupants of the vehicle that has hit the animal.

Vehicle swerving to avoid animals – UK law knows that this can have more dangerous consequences in some cases than hitting the animal with the car. If a car is coming in the opposite direction and a car swerves onto the wrong side of the road to avoid an animal, a head on collision with another car can occur.

Emergency stop to avoid hitting animal – If a driver slams on the brakes to avoid hitting an animal, this can cause injuries, even if there is no other traffic on the road. However, if there is another vehicle behind, this could lead to a collision between the braking car and the car behind it.

Whether your accident type is listed here or not, we can tell you if you are likely to be able to make a claim. Do not hesitate to call us if you need any clarification on this.

How much compensation will I get after a road accident caused by an animal?

This is one of the more common questions we are asked when people call us, and the simple answer is that there is no set answer. Claims differ wildly in some respects, and in others, there may be small intricacies within the law that dictate different compensation amounts be awarded. This is why we cannot give you a certain guaranteed amount of compensation. It would be wrong of us to make false promises, and we pride ourselves on our honesty.

What we can do, however, is provide a rough guide, or estimate, based on what has been awarded for certain injuries in the past. These guidelines have been compiled together in a table below that will give you an idea of the sort of awards given for common injuries. The most common injuries suffered in these types of collisions are neck injuries, such as whiplash, but there are others that are common too. We hope this information is something you will find useful. However, if you have any questions about any of the categories, or would like clarification of an injury that is not included in the table below – as we cannot cover everything here – then please call us. We will be happy to talk you through any questions you might have.

Compensation typePossible payout amountFurther Information
Back injuries classed as minorA few hundred pounds - £9,500In order to determine the award, certain factors need to be considered. These include, when it comes to minor back injuries, the amount of pain you have suffered, the severity of the initial injury, and the consistency and type of symptoms you’ve experienced. Claims at the lower end of this award bracket are those where full recovery is within a few months.
Back injuries classed as moderate£9,500 - £29,475Moderate back injury awards take into account the level of residual disability, which should be less severe than the ‘severe’ bracket. At the lower end, there will likely be ligament and muscle damage that can cause pain in the back and injury to the soft tissue.
Back injuries classed as severe£53,000 - £122,350At the higher end, injury to the spinal cord and/or nerve roots is common. At the lower end, disc injuries, soft tissue injuries and disc lesions or fractures resulting in chronic condition/s are likely.
Neck injuries classed as minorA few hundred pounds - £6,000Minor neck injury awards take into account the medication required, the pain experienced and how long recovery has taken, along with the severity of the initial injury.
Neck injuries classed as moderate£6,000 - £19,000Dislocations and fractures are at the higher end of this award level, and these usually have severe symptoms immediately. Lower amounts may be awarded for injuries that have exacerbated a pre existing condition.
Neck injuries classed as severe£34,575 - £112,750Incomplete paraplegia and permanent spastic quadriparesis are at the top end of this bracket. The lower amount is for someone who has suffered with a very severe soft tissue injury, dislocation or fracture.
Anguish – Mental£3,550If you have faced the expectation of the end of your life and/or fear of your own death, this could form part of your award.
Pain & Suffering£1,000 - £200,000It is likely that at least some suffering and pain will be experienced, and this award should compensate you for that.
Anticipated earning loss£10,000 - £400,000Your current pay grade, possibilities for promotion and future earning potential are looked at when calculating this. It should compensate you at the level you would likely have reached during the time you are unable to work.
Benefit loss£5,000 - £500,000If you have actually lost income due to the accident and injuries sustained, this compensation should be calculated to cover this. If your pay is of a high grade, this may end up being more than the maximum amount stated here.

No Win No Fee road accident claims

When it comes to pursuing a claim for road accident compensation, we know only too well that some household budgets will already be under strain after an accident. This is particularly true if the main household income has been affected by sick leave. This, as well as the possibility of medical bills, including prescription costs should not, in our opinion, leave you unable to begin a claim immediately after your accident. To this end, we offer a No Win No Fee service for animal road accident claims that does not require you to pay out any money upfront. In addition to this, should your claim submission not be upheld, and compensation be refused, you will not have to pay a penny in legal fees. The only fees due will be after a successful claim has been awarded.

This means that we are dedicated to only taking on cases we feel have a good likelihood of being successful. Unlike some solicitors that charge by the hour no matter what the outcome of the case, you’ll know that our solicitors will be working hard to ensure you get the compensation you deserve – and the maximum amount possible too.

Why choose us as your claims service for a road accident claim?

We believe in our service, and thousands of clients who have successfully pursued compensation claims through our service are likely to agree with our claims that we offer not only a fantastic customer-focussed service, but one that help to secure the maximum payout for their compensation claim. With years of experience in pursuing compensation claims for cases as simple as someone having sustained whiplash when they crashed into an animal on a country road to those more complex situations, we are adept at matching you with the right solicitor, as well as taking the time to treat you as a person, not just a patient. We will take the time to answer any questions you may have, too as we believe everything is better when you’re fully informed. Whatever your question, be it what happens if I hit a dog with the car, what’s the law in UK about swerving, or something else related to a possible claim, we will answer it honestly and clearly.

We also like to think we are a champion for what’s right. We do not believe that anyone’s financial situation should stop them claiming compensation for injuries sustained in an accident that was not their fault. This is why we offer our clients a No Win No Fee claims service.

Call for free advice and to start a claim

It is extremely easy to make an animal collision accident claim via our claims service. All you need to do is call 0800 073 8804, where you will be connected to one of our experienced team of advisors. We will then listen to your story and ask relevant questions to find out the facts we need to know to begin a claim. At this point, we can answer any further questions you may feel have not been covered in this guide, as well as explaining in further detail how your case is likely to proceed. Our advisor will then connect you with an in-house No Win No Fee animal road traffic accidents solicitor, based on your injuries and the accident details, ensuring we match you with the best solicitor for your case. If you are ready to get started, why not call today?

Helpful Links

Government highway code rules about animals

This is the link to the Highway Code, and the portion of the code that concerns animals.

Government report dead animal

In many cases, you must report when an animal has died, whether as a result of a road accident or otherwise. This link shows you how to go about it. Car Accident Compensation Amounts

Our guide covers compensation for car accidents that don’t involve animal collisions. You may find this information useful. animal_accidents

This is a link to the full report on animal accidents in the New Forest Whiplash Compensation Guide

One of the most common injuries in car accidents is whiplash. Here, we have produced a guide to whiplash claims that you may find helpful.

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