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Should I Hire an Injury Lawyer if I Hit an Animal?

If you hit an animal while driving (or perhaps you’d rather think of it as the animal hitting you) and you’re injured, you might be wondering what your next steps are. Liability for hitting an animal can vary depending on whether the animal was a domesticated pet that got out onto the road like a dog or a cat, livestock like a cow, or a wild animal like a deer. Thus, making the decision to hire an injury lawyer, such as those from The Paul Wilkinson Law Firm, will vary depending on your unique situation. Here are some things you’ll want to take into account before deciding.

Whose Fault Was the Accident?

When you hit a wild animal in the road, since there is no owner, then this is typically considered a “no-fault” kind of car accident. In some states, the state government is actually responsible for wild animals on the road. If your state is responsible for wild animals on the road and you were injured after hitting one in an unavoidable accident, you can hire an injury lawyer to help you make a clear case of negligence on the state’s part. But in most cases, when hitting a wild animal, your insurance company will pay for the damage to the vehicle and any medical bills.

If you hit a farm or livestock animal, then the farmer or livestock animal’s owner is typically responsible for paying for damages and is considered the guilty party. This is because livestock and farm animals are supposed to be contained within their owner’s grounds, so if they escape, you can make a case for negligence because they shouldn’t have been on the road in the first place. 

Now, if you hit a domesticated animal like a pet dog or cat, the animal’s owner is typically at fault for this accident, particularly in cases where a dog was allowed off-leash in an area that they’re legally supposed to be leashed, allowing them to roam out into the road. 

Determine Whether or Not You Have a Case

Consult with a personal injury lawyer to determine whether you have a case or not for any injuries sustained by striking an animal. A good personal injury lawyer will walk you through the unique details of your case and establish whether or not we can help you with your case. They can walk you through the ins and outs of how they can help you and take into consideration all of the facets that play into your case, such as medical coverage, auto coverage, the type of animal involved, and the extent of your injuries. 

So what could hiring an injury lawyer do for me?

After your consultation, if it’s determined by legal experts that there are grounds for a lawsuit in your case, now’s the time for you to decide to hire an injury lawyer. An injury lawyer will take care of determining liability (figuring out who is responsible or “at fault” for the accident or collision), obtaining your medical records, and keeping track of any medical bills related to the collision, which they will eventually submit as evidence, filing your case and completing your insurance claim or lawsuit. 

Injury lawyers can also hire experts to testify on your behalf, obtain other supporting evidence for your claim, and help be your advocate and middleman when dealing with insurance companies and the guilty party’s lawyers. Insurance companies might be reluctant to pay out what they owe you fully, and hiring an injury lawyer can help to provide you with the payout that you will need to cover the losses you experience. 

You will want to consider any lost wages you experienced while away from your employment to handle the inconvenience of the accident, to seek medical treatment or to recover from injuries. You may also have expenses related to medical treatment required to help in your recovery not to mention the cost of your auto repairs, towing, a rental car, or possible loss of your vehicle. 

Can I try to file a lawsuit without the help of an injury lawyer?

It’s important to have the help of an injury lawyer who knows the legal ropes and the ins and outs of the system. Hiring an injury lawyer will also take the pressure off of your shoulders to be entirely responsible for dealing with the aftermath of your accident while you’re still focusing on your own healing. 

It’s also important for you to take the time to get better and rest up while allowing us to take care of your case. If you are determined to file your suit without an injury lawyer, it is helpful to have a free consultation at the very least. 

Higher Insurance Company Settlements

Even if your case isn’t grounds for a lawsuit, studies have shown that working with an injury lawyer results in higher insurance company settlements. Whoever the at-fault party is will have to have their insurance company pay you for your damaged vehicle, but hiring an injury attorney will help you ensure that they don’t try to get away with underpaying you for medical bills, lost wages if you had to take time off from work following the accident, pain, and suffering related to the accident, and, of course, property damage. 

You may have heard that having an injury lawyer file your case will result in you only receiving a portion of the settlement or payment. While this can be true, the payouts are typically much better when you have this help and it makes sense to take this route to receive the payment that you are entitled to receive. 

Hiring an Injury Lawyer Will Save You Time

Chances are, you don’t have endless hours of free time to spare combing through your medical records and submitting them to insurance companies, figuring out how to file a claim, and dealing with the other party’s legal counsel or insurance companies. Hiring an injury lawyer will give you free time to focus on yourself and what you need to heal while you can put your mind at ease knowing that your injury lawyer is working hard on your case. Injury lawyers also have the staff necessary to focus on the details necessary to make a positive impact on your claim. 

How Do You Hire an Injury Lawyer?

It is often customary to ask family, colleagues, and friends for a personal referral to an injury lawyer that they know, have used themselves, or have heard that others they know had a good experience with this lawyer. You can also use the internet to search injury lawyers near you, and it may be a good idea to check the lawyer out with your local Better Business Bureau.