How To Claim Compensation For Road Traffic Accidents Caused By Animals?

How Do I Claim Compensation For A Road Traffic Accident Involving An Animal?

By Olivia Sandbach. Last updated 16th March 2021. Welcome to our guide on making claims for road traffic accidents caused by animals. Were you made to suffer an avoidable injury from an animal collision? Did a road traffic accident caused by an animal cause harm and suffering to you or a loved one? If so, you could claim compensation for damages by making a personal injury claim for any subsequent suffering.

Being involved in accidents involving animals can be extremely upsetting, particularly when an animal passes away as a result of its injuries. However, in this guide, we’ll help ease the process of claiming compensation for your experience. We’ll explain how an expert solicitor could help a victim of a road traffic collision pursue a personal injury claim in a number of ways. You will find useful information regarding making road traffic accidents caused by animals claims, such as the law related to swerving to avoid an animal and who could be liable if a car hits a dog or the like. Furthermore, this guide explains how you could benefit from a personal injury lawyer who would represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.

If you have any questions regarding the information in this guide, or you feel you might hold a valid claim, call us today on 0161 696 9685. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with an expert legal adviser waiting to take your call.

Jump To A Section

A Guide To Claim For Road Traffic Accidents Caused By Animals

Although it may seem like an uncommon event, road traffic accidents caused by animals could cause harm not just to the animal, but to those in the car. In the UK, there are many species of wild animal that could stray onto public highways at any given time causing an accident in which people may be injured.

If you were involved in an unfortunate accident involving an animal collision, this guide could provide you with key information about how to pursue a personal injury claim for injuries and damages. Our guide covers many common questions which include the following:

  • “If I hit a dog with my car, who pays compensation in the UK?”
  • “How do you get over hitting animals?”
  • “If a dog causes a car accident, who’s liable in the UK?”
  • “What animal causes the most car accidents?”
  • “What happens if my dog causes an accident?”

Whether the road traffic accident in question was caused by livestock, wild animals or domestic pets, our team of advisers could help establish whether you have a valid claim.

What Are Road Traffic Accidents Caused By Animals?

A road traffic accident could involve a number of different domestic and wild animals. While some domestic animals, such as dogs and cats, may simply stray away from their homes, agricultural livestock could escape from their fields. Wild animals such as deer, foxes, badgers and rabbits can also be the cause of a road traffic collision.

When an animal is on the road, it poses a threat to other road users due to its unpredictable nature. While the possibility of claiming compensation for a collision involving a wild animal is almost non-existent due to the lack of ownership, if a domestic animal causes a road traffic accident, you may be able to claim compensation by making a claim for road traffic accidents caused by animals.

Liability For Farm Animal Road Accidents

There are two primary routes to a potentially successful claim for road traffic accidents caused by animals, both of which can be sought alternatively or independently. These are:

  • Under the Animals Act 1971
  • Through the negligence of a party failing to uphold its duty of care

The Animals Act 1971 states where an animal that does not belong to a dangerous species causes damage, the keeper of the animal can be held liable. If a claim is to be made on the basis of general negligence, you must be able to provide sufficient evidence that the animal owner was negligent in their duty to ensure the animal in question does not inflict danger to anyone.

If there is a breach in this duty and the animal(s) in question cause harm either through a road collision or another form of an accident, then the owner could be held liable.

Whether you are seeking to make a claim through the road traffic animal act or on the basis of third-party negligence, a legal professional from our panel of personal injury lawyers could help guide you through this tricky process of proving liability. So, please don’t hesitate to get in touch about road traffic accidents caused by animals today to see whether you could claim.

Drivers Responsibilities After Collisions With Animals

All drivers are legally responsible to take the necessary steps to reduce hazards where possible while travelling on roads. These steps are set out by the Highway Code and apply to England, Scotland and Wales.

A road user should try to avoid animals on the road where safe to do so. Otherwise, continuing along their intended path could result in road traffic accidents caused by animals. In the unfortunate case that a driver is involved in an accident where an animal suffers injury or a fatality, they must legally stop and report the incident to the police within 24 hours. They must exchange details with anyone else involved in an incident.

There are, however, some exceptions as the law only covers a handful of animals, such as cattle, mules, horses and dogs. On the other hand, there is no legal requirement to stop if a cat or deer is hit.

A driver should take safety into consideration when stopping at the scene of an accident. This includes checking it is safe and ensuring that stopping does not cause an obstruction, subsequently putting other road users at risk. By contacting the police, an injured animal may receive treatment for its injuries, or be dealt with humanely and removed.

Wild Animal Road Traffic Accidents

As previously mentioned, the road traffic act for animals states that all drivers take evasive action to avoid animals on the road where it is safe to do so. However, while it is the driver’s responsibility to avoid animal collisions, they are unavoidable in some cases.

Claims for road traffic accidents caused by animals exist to compensate victims that suffered as a result of third-party negligence. As wild animals have no legal ‘owners’, there would be no accountable party to file a claim against. Therefore, if a passenger suffers an injury such as whiplash due to a driver’s negligent actions, they could be entitled to compensation.

Stray Animal Road Traffic Accidents

When strays cause road traffic accidents caused by animals, there may be some confusion about who can claim compensation, especially if a driver hits a dog with their car in the UK. The law surrounding hitting a dog with a car depends on the circumstances surrounding an accident, and whether any party is at fault for the animal initially escaping.

If it can be shown that the pet owner was negligent in their care of the animal, then a personal injury claim could be made for your injuries. In many home insurance policies, this accident type may be covered. You should note, however, that in situations where stray animals are involved, your own actions would be taken into consideration.

If you were a passenger and the driver is seen to have acted negligently, then the driver may be held liable for the injuries you sustained. It is important to remember that every case is unique and therefore you may benefit from discussing your circumstances with one of our legal advisers.

Deer Collision Road Traffic Accidents

According to research by the Post Office on the cost of wild animal accidents in the UK, the following statistics apply to road traffic accidents caused by animals:

  • Over 100 people suffered serious or fatal injuries from deer-related accidents, with deer accidents alone accounting for 500 personal injuries each year
  • £17 million is spent on vehicle repairs as a result of deer collisions
  • 1 million animals are killed each year, including 100,000 badgers and deer
  • 10 million birds are killed each year

Again, whether a personal injury claim can be made depends on whether the deer are ‘owned’. If the deer in question escaped from a venison farm onto a road and the owner is deemed to have been negligent in their duty to contain the animal, then you may be able to make a claim. It is likely in these circumstances that the deer will have a form of ear tag as identification.

Steps To Take If You Have A Road Traffic Accident Caused By Animals

Following a road traffic accident caused by an animal, you should collect sufficient evidence to support your claim. A personal injury lawyer will explain this in greater detail, however, the more evidence you can provide, the stronger your claim would be. Some examples of this evidence include:

  • Photographs: Any photographic evidence you can recover from the accident will help support your claim. This includes pictures of the accident, the cause (i.e. the animal), damage to your car and any injuries you may sustain. If there is any dashcam footage, then you should retrieve this too
  • Evidence Of Costs: If you were made to cover travel expenses, medical costs or other forms of out-of-pocket expenses then it is important that you keep the receipt(s) for these as evidence
  • Witness Details: Gather witness statements and their contact details
  • Medical Evidence: This includes, but is not limited to, evidence of prescriptions, reports and other forms of treatment
  • Legal Advice: Following an accident, if you believe a negligent third-party is to blame for your harm, you should discuss your case with a legal adviser for more information

Calculating Compensation For Road Traffic Accidents Caused By Animals

If you are looking for information on how much compensation you could receive for an injury following an animal collision, the table below demonstrates various settlement amounts taken from Judicial College’s Guidelines. These are known as General Damages, which are typically based on the severity of an injury and what impact it has on a person’s life.

InjurySeverityAmountInformation
Neck InjurySevereIn the region of £139,210A victim will wear a collar for 24 hours a day for a number of years but will have little-to-no movement in their neck region. An injury associated with incomplete paraplegia or that which results in permanent spastic quadriparesis is one example of an injury which may qualify for this amount.
Neck InjuryModerate£23,460 to £36,120A moderate neck injury will display symptoms of various injuries, such as fractures or dislocations which cause severe immediate symptoms. This may include chronic conditions, soft tissue injuries and marked impairment of function.
Neck InjuryMinor£4,080 to £7,410To qualify for this bracket, a full recovery from a minor neck injury may be possible up to two years after treatment. This rule also applies for short-term acceleration and/or exacerbation injuries where recovery is possible between one and two years.
Back InjurySevere£85,470 to £151,070The most severe of back injuries will display damage to the spinal cord and nerve roots. As a result, the victim will suffer a combination of serious consequences which you do not usually find in normal cases of back injury.
Back InjuryModerate£26,050 to £36,390Although the severity of symptoms are less than those in the above bracket, any residual disability will still persist. For example, a case of compression/crush fracture of the lumbar vertebrae will display such symptoms.
Back InjuryMinor£7,410 to £11,730A full recovery (or at least to a nuisance level) may be possible without surgery within two to five years. In some cases, a full recovery could also be made for shorter term acceleration and/or exacerbation injuries.
Shoulder InjurySevere£18,020 to £45,070A severe shoulder injury will associate similar degrees of pain to neck injuries that involve damage to the brachial plexus.
Shoulder InjurySerious£11,980 to £18,020The victim will experience pain in the neck and shoulder as a result of a dislocated shoulder and damage to the lower part of the brachial plexus. In addition to this, cases of rotator cuff injury will also apply, whereby symptoms after surgery will persist.
Shoulder InjuryModerate£7,410 to £11,980A moderate shoulder injury could be seen as a frozen shoulder with discomfort and symptoms which will likely persist for around two years.

Special Damages You Could Claim After An Animal Collision

Together with General Damages, you would also be able to claim Special Damages. These are out-of-pocket expenses associated with the injuries you suffered following a road traffic accident involving an animal. Any expenses incurred could be included in your claim, including medical costs, travel expenses and loss of earnings.

An adviser from our expert team could provide you with a more accurate idea of the level of compensation you may be awarded in a successful claim, please get in touch today.

Why Choose To Make Your Claim With Our Team?

Our panel of solicitors could help you pursue a compensation claim for road traffic accidents caused by animals. Our personal injury lawyers have up to thirty years’ experience in representing victims of third-party negligence and provide excellent, impartial legal advice.

An adviser from our team will assess your unique circumstances in a free, no-obligation consultation. If you hold valid grounds for a compensation claim and it is within the relevant personal injury claims time limit, a solicitor would be willing to offer you No Win No Fee terms.

No Win No Fee Claims For Road Traffic Accidents Caused By Animals

Whether you are making a personal injury claim for a car accident caused by an animal, a specialist from our team may offer to represent your case on a No Win No Fee basis. Also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), this financial agreement sets out the terms of your solicitor’s fees.

The contract states that your legal representative will only require payment for their time and services if they are successful in securing compensation on your behalf. Upon a successful claim, a small percentage will be automatically taken from the final settlement amount to cover your personal injury lawyer’s legal costs. This fee is commonly referred to as a “Success Fee”.

If your claim is unsuccessful, for whatever reason, then you will not be held accountable for your lawyer’s fees. This is one of the many benefits to pursuing a personal injury claim on a No Win No Fee basis as it significantly reduces the financial risks associated with accident claims.

Our team of advisers will answer any questions you may have regarding No Win No Fee agreements. Please consider the contact options below.

Start A Road Accident Claim Today

The next step towards your personal injury claim is to discuss your circumstances with an adviser. A specialist from our expert team will assess the validity of your claim under a free, no-obligation consultation and advise you on how to begin proceedings for your claim. You can reach our team by:

Road Traffic Accidents caused by Animals Claim FAQs

What to do if you hit an animal and it’s still alive?

In the unfortunate case that a driver is involved in an accident where an animal suffers injury or a fatality, they must legally stop and report the incident to the police within 24 hours. They must exchange details with anyone else involved in an incident.

There are, however, some exceptions as the law only covers a handful of animals, such as cattle, mules, horses and dogs. On the other hand, there is no legal requirement to stop if a cat or deer is hit. However, you can always call your local animal rescue service to see if they can help.

Related Information

Thanks for reading our guide on making claims for road traffic accidents caused by animals.

Article by HH

Editor HW