According to statistics released by the ICBC, on average, about 11,000 accidents involving animals occur each year in BC. While animal-related accidents in the Metro Vancouver area account for only a small fraction of that number, there is still the risk that you might hit a wild animal while driving in Surrey.
How to avoid collisions with wildlife
Here’s what you can do to reduce the likelihood of an animal-involved accident:
- Always pay attention to warning signs that identify areas you are likely to spot a wild animal on the roadway.
- Follow the speed limit at all times. Doing so will improve your ability to stop or steer clear to avoid a collision. If a crash is unavoidable, the force of impact will be reduced if you are travelling at the posted speed limit.
- Exercise extreme caution at dusk and dawn, especially during fall and spring, as this is when you are most likely to see wild animals using the roadway.
- Examine the road shoulders to ensure there aren’t animals attempting to cross ahead of you.
- Generally, avoid swerving as you may lose control of your vehicle cause an even more serious accident. If you are about to hit a moose, however, you should always consider swerving. The size of a moose means there is a higher risk of severe injury or death in a collision. Before you hit a moose, crouch down in your seat as low as you can.
- If a crash is inevitable, attempt a side swipe instead of a head-on collision.
- Even after an animal has crossed, watch to see if the animal will attempt to cross again.
- Always ensure your vehicle is fit for the road before operating it.
Steps to take after a motor vehicle collision involving a wild animal
The first thing you should do after you’ve hit a wild animal is to move your vehicle out of the way of oncoming traffic. If anyone was injured, or if the animal is blocking the roadway, you must call 911. If your car is no longer fit to drive, call for a tow. Never touch the animal that you have hit even it seems harmless and is struggling. A hurt and scared animal can be dangerous. If you have roadside reflectors or flares, you may put them up if it is safe to do so. As with any other accident, be sure to report all animal-involved collisions to the ICBC.
Will you be compensated for injuries sustained in an animal-involved collision?
If you sustained injuries in a collision with a wild animal, you might be entitled to compensation through ICBC’s Part 7/no-fault car accident benefits. Generally, no-fault benefits are available to any BC resident who was injured or killed in an accident anywhere in North America or anyone injured in an accident in British Columbia. No-fault benefits may cover medical and rehabilitative costs, wage benefits and homemaking expenses. If a loved one died as a result of their injuries, you might also be entitled to death benefits. The amount you will receive from a Part 7 benefits payout varies depending on your injuries and how they have impacted your life, while death benefits vary based on the relationship to the deceased.
Contact the experienced car accident injury lawyer at Nirwan Law Corporation today!
If you were injured or a loved one died in a car accident involving a wild animal, contact us at Nirwan Law Corporation. At Nirwan Law Corporation, we have won millions in compensation for our clients and would love to put our experience and skill to work for you.
So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today to schedule a free legal consultation with our experienced car accident injury lawyer. Let us show you how we can help.