Unfortunately, car accidents involving wildlife are extremely common. According to the Defenders of Wildlife’s fact sheet there are approximately 725,000 to 1.5 million wildlife-vehicle collisions every year in the United States. A fair share of these accidents occur in Florida as our state is teeming with wildlife that frequently wanders onto roadways. In order to help keep Florida drivers well informed about wildlife-vehicle accidents this article discusses the basics of filing an insurance claim based on a wildlife collision and provides tips on how to help avoid wildlife-vehicle collisions.
Filing an Insurance Claim
The Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) website provides some very helpful information about how to file a wildlife-collision accident claim. The DMV notes that wildlife accidents are frequently not covered by a driver’s collision insurance. Therefore, a driver involved in a wildlife accident generally needs to have comprehensive car insurance (i.e. insurance that covers damage not resulting from collisions with other vehicles) in order to file a claim with their insurance provider. If the driver does have comprehensive insurance they will need to file a claim and pay their deductible before their insurance company will pay their claim (up to the limits of the policy).
Tips for Avoiding Wildlife Collisions
While drivers should always be on the lookout for wildlife in the road it is especially important to be attentive when driving through wooded or swampy areas as these habitats tend to host many animals. While car accidents are often caused by larger animals such as deer, keep in mind that even small animals who unexpectedly dart out in front of cars frequently scare drivers and cause them to crash. Therefore, consider following the driving tips listed below whenever possible in order to help avoid wildlife collisions:
- Pay special attention when driving at dawn and dusk as this is when animals are most likely to wander out onto roadways,
- Reduce your speed when driving in areas with posted animal crossing signs,
- Be aware that car accidents involving deer spike during October and November,
- Keep in mind that deer (and other animals) tend to travel in groups so if you spot one reduce your speed as there are likely to be others nearby,
- Scan the shoulders of the road for animals while driving in wooded areas,
- Consider installing a deer whistle on your vehicle, and
- Note that hitting an animal is often less dangerous than swerving to avoid it.
Reach Out to Us for Help with Your Case
If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident involving wildlife in Florida and would like legal advice surrounding a resulting insurance dispute contact Piccin & Glynn, Lawyers at Law. Our experienced car accident insurance dispute lawyers would be happy to communicate with the insurance company for you, negotiate with the insurance adjuster on your behalf, and represent you during a resulting dispute resolution proceeding if the matter is not able to be resolved via negotiation. Schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case today by calling our Ocala office at 352-581-6174.