While you may not think that there are many wild animals in the Miami area, there are actually quite a few. Deer, bear, alligators, Florida panthers, and other creatures are an interesting sight to see – unless they are present in the road while you are driving. When animals wander into the road, they can cause serious, and sometimes deadly, car accidents. If someone you love has been killed or injured in a car accident involving an animal, you may not know what to do because an accident involving an animal is different than an accident involving another driver. There are things that you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from injury and financial damages, both before and after encountering wildlife on the roads in the Miami area. Our Miami car accident lawyers urge you to consider the following:
• Since you never know when you may encounter an animal in the road while you are driving, and since you may not always be able to avoid a collision with an animal that you do encounter, it is important that you carry car insurance that will enable you and your loved ones to recover for damages that could be incurred as a result of a collision with an animal. If you carry the minimal insurance that is required by the State of Florida, the medical bills that you (or your family) incur as a result of a collision with an animal could easily exceed the $10,000.00 of personal injury protection that the basic insurance provides.
• Choosing insurance coverage over and above the minimum requirement can protect you and your loved ones in the event of a Miami car accident involving an animal. Be sure that you know what coverage you are buying, because there are a few options available. For example, comprehensive coverage can help you recover for damage that occurs to your vehicle from accidents (like those involving animals) where there are not other motorists involved. Uninsured Motorist Protection Coverage may pay for your other damages including lost wages and the ability to earn money in the future, pain, suffering, scarring, disfigurement, etc. Collision and liability insurance do not offer that protection, so check your policy to see if it is time to change your insurance coverage.
• When you are driving, especially in areas where there are likely to be wildlife present, pay close attention to the road at all times. Alertness and attentiveness are your best defenses against serious wildlife – related car accidents. Dusk and dawn are peak times for animal activity, and there are more animals on and around the roadways at these times of day. You may be able to avoid a serious or fatal car accident by paying close attention to any movement that you see along the side of the road wildlife in the road. Keeping your speed down can also help you to see animals near the road more easily and give you more time to respond to their presence. It can also lessen the severity of the impact if you do hit the animal. By paying close attention to the road and driving at a safe speed, you increase your chances of seeing animals in the road while you still have enough time to maneuver safely around them.
• Sometimes, animals do dart into the road, and you may not have time to safely avoid them. Even though your instinct is likely to tell you to swerve to avoid hitting the animal, in some cases it is safer to hit the animal than it is to swerve so hard that you roll your vehicle or cross the center line into oncoming traffic or into a tree.. This is especially true for smaller animals.
If you or someone in your family has been injured or killed as the result of a Miami car accident involving an animal, a Miami Car Accident Attorney can help you to understand your rights and obtain the maximum possible recovery for your loss. The seasoned Miami Car Accident Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano have decades of experience helping car accident victims and their families recover from their losses. We can help you to learn more about your legal options during this difficult time. Please call us at 1-888-499-9700 or 1-305-595-2400 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.