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Who is liable when a wild animal causes a car accident?

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2024 | Firm News

Thousands of crashes in Arizona happen every year after a collision with an animal. Many of these cases resulted in devastating injuries, while some were fatal. With wildlife present across the state, it becomes crucial to know who bears the responsibility for any damages and losses incurred after a crash.

Understanding liability in Arizona

Imagine driving along Arizona roads, and suddenly, a wild animal jumps in front, causing an accident. One question may arise: Who will pay for your damages?

In Arizona, the individual who causes the accident typically bears financial responsibility for the resulting damages. If no one else was involved, the driver may have to shoulder the damages themselves. In the same vein, if the driver’s attempt to avoid the animal causes them to hit another person or damage property, they could be held liable.

Things may become complicated if multiple drivers are found at fault. Arizona courts abide by the legal doctrine of comparative fault. The judge will determine how much each party contributed to the accident and assign an amount based on their responsibility.

In case of a single vehicle accident, the driver’s insurance provider may pay for a portion of the damages. However, this depends on the exact terms of their policy. It can also become particularly difficult to make a claim.

Determining the at-fault driver is crucial when determining liability. However, it is likely that the driver involved in a car accident with an animal will have to shoulder the expenses.

Don’t let your guard down

Navigating Arizona roads demands extra precaution, particularly due to the risk of encountering wildlife. In case of a car accident with a wild animal, the guidance of a personal injury attorney can be pivotal when pursuing compensation.


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