Recently, an unusual accident on the I-75 came to light, where a man transporting four llamas crashed into a bridge. Both the driver and the llamas survived, though he and one of the animals sustained some injuries. While this type of story usually just arouses people's curiosity, it can also serve as a springboard for discussing the involvement of animals in car accidents more generally.
Millions of people in the US take their pets along with them in the car, at least some of the time; frequently it's the family dog. Based on a 2007-2008 pet owner survey by APPMA, 80% don't restrain their pets in the car. This is a problem, because an unrestrained pet can lead to a car accident.
Let's say it's a dog. Dogs may physically impede drivers by jumping on their laps, blocking their access to the wheel, and interfering with what they can see in the rearview mirror. They could also distract drivers by barking, or by doing playful things such as licking their faces. When drivers are distracted, they're also more liable to get into a collision with other vehicles. In addition to endangering human safety, getting into an accident will also endanger the safety of an unrestrained dog; it can get knocked around, suffering injury or death.
Pets may also jump out of a car window, into oncoming traffic, which may lead to other drivers trying to swerve out of the way to avoid them. This too may cause accidents.
Injury to pets
In addition to car accidents brought about by drivers distracted by their pets or by the unrestrained animal exiting the vehicle at an inopportune moment, pets may also be injured in a car accident even if they are properly restrained. While people rightly focus on human injuries and fatalities during car accidents, a pet that's involved may also be in need of expensive veterinary care in the aftermath of an accident. If you've behaved responsibly, and your pet sustained injuries during a car accident, you may be able to receive some compensation from the responsible party.
Pets are involved in car accidents more frequently than you think. If you were involved in a car accident brought about by an irresponsible pet owner traveling with an animal, or if your own pet was injured during the accident, you can discuss your case with a Stuart, FL car accident lawyer. When you contact us, you can be assured that we'll review your case thoroughly and advocate for you.