If you live in Florida, you’ll know stories about car accidents involving wild animals aren’t too uncommon. In 2018, a fatal collision occurred in South Carolina, where a mother and her two toddlers were killed after their car rammed into an alligator.
The larger reptiles are responsible for many accidents every year in the sunshine state and other regions along the Gulf of Mexico. After been caught in such an accident, you need a Florida car accident lawyer to help you.
To start with, here’s everything you need to know about animal-car collisions.
What Can Lead to a Car-Animal Crash in Florida?
USDA reported that billion-dollar damages take place every year due to collisions involving alligators and other wild animals. This is a serious consideration for the drivers on Florida roads. You have to take care while driving and avoid these circumstances:
1. Don’t Indulge in Distracted Driving
Over the past years, auto accidents due to distracted driving have increased in their numbers across the country. Florida is no exception. A report says that nearly 50,000 crashes take place in the sunshine state alone due to distracted driving. Whether it’s texting on the phone, eating, checking the GPS, or playing with your radio, a simple diversion from the road can be fatal, especially when driving through alligator-prone areas.
2. Be Careful on the Wildlife-Populated Roads
Before going out on a road trip, take stock of the roads you’re planning to cross in your journey. Consider studying the wild animals populating the area, especially at the crossing points. During dawn and dusk, be more alert as animals are generally more active during the same time. Keep your eyes low on the roads when passing through alligator-prone areas.
What Should You Do If You Hit an Animal in Florida?
Despite your best efforts, if you hit an animal on Florida roads, take these steps immediately.
- Check if all the passengers in your car are unhurt. For serious injuries, call emergency services right away.
- Pull over at a safe side after the accident and put on the hazard lights.
- For damages, get a preliminary police report to file the claims.
- Contact a Florida car accident lawyer to make your case stronger with the right documents and facts.
- Check your car and take photos of the accident site.
Insurance Coverage You Need for Such Accidents
Sometimes, collisions with animals on the roads can cause serious injuries to car drivers. The average costs of car repairs after such crashes can go up to $2000 or more while medical bills can run above $3000. Basic insurance required by the Florida laws might not suffice all these expenses.
Well, you need comprehensive insurance to cover these expenses. It pays for the damages to the vehicle. Also, you can add collision coverage to your policy for covering the repairs, even if you’re at fault in the accident. Lastly, opt for Personal Injury Protection or PIP coverage under the no-fault laws of Florida. It covers medical bills and wages lost after the collision.
In these incidents, knowing how to handle the claims can save your money in the long run. So, hire the best Florida car accident lawyer for obtaining the right compensation.