Owners Can Be Held Responsible When Pets Cause AccidentsSeptember 8, 2017 | Category: Motorcycle Accidents | Share
The recent motorcycle accident in Fort Myers involving an animal’s crossing the road, brings to mind the question of a pet owner’s responsibility. The accident occurred when two motorcycles crashed after an animal ran in front of them, according to the FHP (Florida Highway Patrol). One of the motorcyclists was able to slow down when he saw the animal. The second one did not, and crashed into the first motorcycle at 2:00 a.m. on McGregor Boulevard. Both drivers and a passenger were sent to Lee Memorial Hospital.
Animals, being unpredictable, can be difficult to avoid when they dart out onto the road. Some of the animals are large enough to do serious damage to vehicles and injury to drivers and passengers.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that about 2 million animal-car accidents occur each year causing injuries and sometimes death to drivers and passengers, along with about $1 billion in damage.
Responsibility is different depending on the type of animal. Cats, dogs, horses and cows usually have owners; whereas, other animals such as turtles, bears, alligators, deer or raccoons usually do not. Owners are responsible for damages caused by their animals when the animals are not properly restrained.
Florida law considers animals as property and holds property owners responsible for injuries and the damages their property causes. Animal owners may be liable for property damage, medical bills, lost wages, or even pain and suffering.
In order to prove that the animal’s owner was liable for the accident, the following will need to be established:
- The animal caused the accident.
- The accident caused the injuries and damages.
- The animal’s owner was negligent.
What to do after an animal-vehicle collision?
When involved in an accident with an animal, the first thing to do is call 9-1-1 immediately even if there do not appear to be any injuries. The responders will be able to deal with any traffic issues and animal removal. It is not safe to touch the animal even if it is harmless-looking. Document damage using a cell phone; if possible, get any witness information; file a police report, and try to find the animal’s owner. People in the area may know the owner.
“If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by an animal, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. to determine your rights,” said Fort Myers Motorcycle Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey.
Fort Myers Motorcycle Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.