Do Florida’s Insurance Companies Compensate for Animal-Vehicle Collisions?
There are plenty of scenic routes you can take through West Palm Beach and other parts of Florida. But doing so presents dangers, especially when driving on rural roads and highways that offer a fantastic view.
Wildlife is plentiful on rural roads, as these natural habitats are home to the state’s wildlife, including bears, deer, tortoises, and even alligators, among other animals and creatures.
When one of these creatures wanders onto a road, an inattentive, distracted, or unwary driver can be at risk of an auto collision. Speak with a West Palm Beach auto accident attorney to find out how you can recover damages after an animal-vehicle crash.
Do Florida’s Insurance Companies Compensate for Wildlife-Vehicle Crashes?
Wildlife-vehicle collisions cause an estimated more than 26,000 injuries per year. Although reasons why animals dart into the road vary from seeking out food sources to seeking out new mates, you cannot recover damages for vehicle repair or medical expenses by suing the creature.
So, how do Florida’s insurance companies compensate for a driver’s injuries and property damage caused by animal-vehicle crashes? In fact, you do not necessarily have to hit an animal to suffer personal injury or property damage, as attempting to avoid hitting the creature can result in a single-vehicle accident.
The cost of vehicle repair after a wildlife-vehicle crash can total $5,000 or more, while the approximate value of medical expenses after this collision could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars and diminish your earning capacity and quality of life.
Although your Florida insurer will most likely compensate you for your vehicle damage and related medical expenses, the policy may not be enough to cover all of your damages and losses.
How to Recover Damages After an Animal-Vehicle Collision in Florida
If you purchased the most basic insurance policy that meets the minimum legal requirements in the state of Florida, your policy might not be enough to cover your property damage and medical expenses after a wildlife-vehicle accident.
The following insurance coverages can help you recover additional damages after an animal-vehicle collision in West Palm Beach or elsewhere in Florida:
- Comprehensive coverage is optional but pays for any damage to your vehicle caused by events other than motor vehicle collisions involving two or more cars. These events include natural disasters, vandalism, fire, theft, and accidents involving animals.
- Collision coverage is applicable to get compensated for vehicle repairs even if you were at-fault for causing the wildlife-animal crash. This policy covers repairs to vehicles as a result of hitting a tree, curb, pothole, and colliding with other vehicles, fixed, or moving objects.
- Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is mandatory in the state of Florida. Motorists in the state must carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage to cover medical expenses and loss of income caused by an auto accident.
Tips for Avoiding an Animal-Vehicle Collision in Florida
To avoid hitting an animal while driving in West Palm Beach or other parts of Florida, follow these tips:
- Watch the road and surroundings at all times
- Always keep your both hands on the wheel and avoid distractions
- Use your high beams and be on alert when driving in dawn and dusk, which are more active times for animal crossings
- If you spotted an animal near the road, slow down and keep an eye on the creature until you have passed safely
- If you see an animal on or near the road, there may be more nearby, so be more cautious and alert
Contact a West Palm Beach car crash lawyer to discuss your options for recovering damages following an animal-vehicle collision. Consult with our lawyers at Pike & Lustig, LLP. Call at 561-291-8298 or complete this contact form.