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Collisions With Animals Accidents in New York

According to AAA, in 2020 there were 33,956 animal-related crashes sin New York state. Collisions with animals on roadways in New York pose serious risks to drivers and animals alike. With a diverse wildlife population and a dense road network, encounters with animals such as deer, moose, and smaller creatures are not uncommon. These accidents can result in significant vehicle damage, injuries, and even fatalities. Understanding the complexities of liability and seeking appropriate legal guidance is crucial for those involved in such accidents. In the event of a collision with an animal, it is important to contact an experienced New York car accidents lawyer. At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, we can provide valuable assistance in navigating the legal process, determining liability, and seeking fair compensation for injuries and damages. With our knowledge and expertise, victims can focus on their recovery while ensuring their rights are protected.

Where Most Collisions with Animals Accidents Occur in New York

Collisions with animal accidents in New York can occur practically anywhere across the state. However, certain areas are more prone to these types of accidents due to factors such as wildlife habitats, road characteristics, and traffic patterns. Citing AAA, the Hudson Valley Post lists the following New York counties as places where the most animal crashes were reported in 2020.

  • #10 Onondaga- 970
  • #9 Dutchess- 1,015
  • #8 Jefferson- 1,142
  • #7 Ulster- 1,143
  • #6 St. Lawrence- 1,196
  • #5 Ontario- 1,206
  • #4 Oneida- 1,279
  • #3 Monroe- 1,310
  • #2 Suffolk- 1,311
  • #1 Orange- 1,427
Why Collisions With Animals Are So Dangerous

Collisions with animals can be particularly perilous due to various factors. First, the sudden presence of an animal on the road can catch drivers off guard, leaving them with limited time to react. Animals often dart across roadways unexpectedly, increasing the likelihood of an accident. Additionally, collisions with larger animals, such as deer, can lead to significant vehicle damage and potential injuries to the occupants. The force of impact may cause the animal to be thrown into the vehicle or result in the driver losing control, leading to secondary collisions or rollovers.

Moreover, the risk of injury is amplified at higher speeds. When drivers encounter animals on highways or rural roads, where speeds are typically higher, the likelihood of a severe accident increases. The force of impact at higher speeds can make it challenging to control the vehicle and avoid a collision altogether. In rural areas with limited lighting, collisions with animals during nighttime can be particularly hazardous, as drivers may have limited visibility and reduced reaction time.

Who Would Be Liable

Determining liability in collisions with animals can be complex and depends on several factors, including whether the animal involved was a wild animal like a deer, a pet like a dog, or livestock like cattle. In New York, the general rule is that drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care and take necessary precautions to avoid collisions with animals on the road. However, liability may vary depending on the circumstances of the accident. If a driver fails to take appropriate action to avoid a collision, such as speeding or not paying attention to warning signs, they may be held partially or fully liable for the resulting damages.

When collisions involve domestic animals such as dogs, cats, or livestock, determining liability can depend on specific circumstances and applicable laws. In New York, the liability for such accidents generally falls upon the owner or caretaker of the animal involved. The owner may be held liable for any damages and injuries caused. Under New York law, dog owners are typically responsible for controlling their pets and ensuring they do not pose a threat to others. If the owner fails to restrain or control their dog, resulting in a collision, they may be held accountable for the damages.

In the case of livestock, such as cows, horses, or sheep, the liability may extend to the owner or person responsible for the animals. Livestock owners are expected to adequately contain and control their animals to prevent them from wandering onto roadways. If livestock escape from their enclosures and cause a collision, the owner or caretaker may be held responsible for the resulting damages.

Damages Available

As an experienced New York car accidents lawyer can explain, in collisions involving animals, various types of damages may be available to compensate the injured party for their losses. The specific damages that can be pursued depend on the circumstances of the accident, the type of damages, and the extent of the injuries. Here are some common types of damages that may be available.

If your vehicle or other personal property is damaged in the collision, you may seek compensation for the cost of repairs or the fair market value of the property if it is deemed a total loss. If you suffer serious injuries in the accident, you can pursue compensation for past, current, and future medical expenses related to injuries sustained in the collision. This may include costs for emergency medical treatment, hospitalization, surgeries, medication, rehabilitation, and ongoing therapy. In addition, if your injuries prevent you from working and result in lost income, you may be entitled to compensation for the wages you would have earned during the recovery period. This can include both past and future lost wages.

Pain and suffering damages may also be available to victims of collisions with animals accidents in New York. Damages for pain and suffering compensate for physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma resulting from the accident. These damages are more subjective and can vary depending on the severity and long-term effects of the injuries.

It is important to note that each case is unique, and the types and amounts of damages can vary based on the specific circumstances. Consulting with an experienced car accidents attorney in New York will help determine the appropriate damages to seek based on your case and ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Collisions with animals pose significant risks to drivers in New York, leading to property damage, injuries, and potentially fatal outcomes. Understanding the reasons behind the dangers of such accidents, as well as identifying potential liability, is crucial for those involved. If you have been involved in a collision with an animal in New York, seek legal guidance from an experienced car accidents attorney serving New York at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We can provide valuable assistance in navigating the legal complexities, determining liability, and seeking appropriate compensation for damages suffered. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.

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