A few years ago, in South Carolina a Florida mother and her children suffered a fatal auto collision after they collided with an alligator. According to the police report, they hit the animal, skidded off of the road, and hit a tree. On impact the vehicle burst into flames, resulting in the death of all three people.
If you live in Florida, this probably isn’t the first story you have heard about accidents that involved one of these reptiles. According to the USDA, approximately a billion dollars per year in damage occur because of alligators or other wildlife.
If you have been involved in this type of accident, and don’t know what to do next, it’s best to hire an attorney to help. Keep reading to learn more.
What to Do After an Animal-Related Auto Collision in Florida
If you have comprehensive auto insurance coverage, your vehicle will be protected against any type of physical damage from a car accident that wasn’t caused by another vehicle or a stationary object. This includes collisions that involve wildlife and a vehicle, as long as the claim meets certain requirements.
In most situation, it is a good idea to take the steps listed here:
- Be sure everyone is okay. If there are any serious injuries, contact emergency medical services right away.
- Take the proper precautions. If it is possible, pull over to the side of the road and do anything you can to make the scene and yourself more visible. Put your hazards on, light a few flairs out if you have them, too.
- Contact the police. Report the accident to the police. While there isn’t a law in the state against leaving the scene if you are involved in an accident with an animal, you should say until the authorities arrive to let them know if the animal is still alive. By doing this, you can let them know the animal needs to be put down.
- Take pictures. It’s best to document the scene of the accident, the damage to your vehicle, the animal, and any injuries you or your passengers suffered.
Avoid Accidents with Florida Wildlife
There are some commonsense tips you can use to help you avoid being involved in an accident with the most common wildlife in the state of Florida. These tips include:
- Avoid distractions
- Know the roads you are traveling
- Follow the posted speed limits
Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to avoid being involved in an accident with an animal on a roadway in Florida. However, the tips here will help.
In many cases, there may not be a way to hold another person responsible; however, it is still a good idea to discuss your situation with an attorney. If there were any factors that may have contributed to the accident, such as damaged roadways, poor visibility, or another issue, an attorney may be able to help you file a claim to hold another party liable. Additional information about legal services after an auto accident, of any type, is available by contacting Zimmet & Zimmet Lawyers at (386) 255-6400.