What Happens When You Hit an Animal with Your Car

Sometimes it’s not the other cars on the road that pose the biggest threat. Traveling down Texas roads you can come across a variety of animals that don’t know to stay out of the road. When that happens, knowing how to handle things from the get go can save you time and potential injury.

Right After the Accident

Once you’ve pulled over and/or put your hazard lights on here’s what you should do:

Call animal control – If the animal is still alive, first call animal control so that they can help it in any way they can.

 Right After the Accident

Call the police – Even if another car isn’t involved, if you hit an animal you need to report it. It will also help during the claims process.

Don’t get out of the car if you hit a bear or boar – These animals, as well as deer, are very dangerous and can withstand a hit from a car. Instead stay in your car and call the police.

Contact the owner of a pet – If you hit a cat or dog check to see if it’s wearing a collar. If so look for contact info so you can get a hold of the owner. If the animal is still alive get it to a vet ASAP.

Assess the damage – Once the animal has been taken care of, take a look at your vehicle to determine what, if any, damage has been done. When you call your insurance company (see below) this is one of the first things they will ask about.

Take pictures – If you have a smart phone or a camera handy take pictures of the damage at the scene where the accident occurred. If you are an unable to do it then, take pictures ASAP before getting your car washed.

Call your insurance company – Call your auto insurance agent right away to let them know what has happened. Give them as much information as possible and get an email address to send the pictures to. Your agent will inform you of the next steps that need to be taken.

If You Only Have Liability Insurance

In Texas it’s only required that drivers carry liability insurance. Unfortunately, this type of insurance doesn’t cover the damage that happens when you hit an animal. Comprehensive car insurance offers assistance for animal-related accidents as it is usually considered a “no fault” collision.

If you only have liability insurance it will be up to you on how you proceed with getting your car repaired, and you’ll have to cover all the expenses.

The Claims Process After Hitting an Animal with Your Car

Unlike most car accidents you won’t have to contact the other party to get the claim handled. This can help things go a lot faster, however getting back to your agent in a timely is also important.

The first thing you should do is supply your insurance company with all the pertinent information – pictures, police report, statements from passengers, etc. This will make the claims process go a lot smoother.

Prepare to pay the deductible. It’s not uncommon for the insured person to have to first pay the deductible if the damage is over that amount. The good news is the deductible may be smaller for this type of accident compared to others.

Next you’ll have to take the vehicle into a shop for an estimate of the damage. An insurance appraiser may also come out to take a look at the damage.

Finally, arrange for a rental car to pick you up at the shop whenever you drop the vehicle off to be repaired. Your insurance company will likely cover the cost, so work with them to get everything scheduled.

Animal-related accidents are much more common than one may think. Around a million deer alone are hit each year by drivers. Handling things correctly at the time of the accident can make a huge difference in how easy it is to get everything taken care of and your car back to normal.

Original Source: http://www.mybiginsurance.com/auto-insurance/happens-hit-animal-car

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