Animal-related personal injury accidents usually brings the scenarios of
dog attacks or bite to mind – thoughts of aggressive and dangerous
animals attacking someone and leaving them with serious injuries. But
this isn’t the only type of circumstance where pets may be responsible
for injuries to others. Even the tamest animal can cause unintentional
injuries. One common example of this is a dog running into a roadway,
causing an auto accident.
Liability in these types of accidents caused by an animal may be difficult
to understand and is heavily reliant on state laws. Essentially,
Georgia statute O.C.G.A. § 51-2-7 says that if an animal is allowed to go at liberty by its owner and it
causes injury to another person, the animal’s owner may be held
liable for damages.
There are many reasons legislation wouldn’t want animals off leashes
and running at liberty – breeding, bite risks, and especially driving
dangers. Swerving to miss objects in the roadway, including animals, can
easily lead to crashes. Imagine a motorcyclist having to avoid an animal
– the dangers are overwhelming.
Here are a few tips to avoid serious accidents as a result of animals running
in front of your vehicle:
If you’ve experienced property damage or injuries as a result caused
by a loose animal, it’s not an absolute guarantee that the animal’s
owner will be held liable. You’ll need an experienced personal injury
attorney to prove negligence and argue your cause. For more information
on dog accident liability, call Jones & Swanson today at 770-427-5498
for a free consultation.
- Stay alert while behind the wheel – checking the radio or your phone
for even a moment can make all the difference.
- Avoid swerving to avoid an animal in the roadway unless you’ve had
time to make sure it’s safe to do so. While striking an animal with
a car isn’t something any of us want to do, it is many times safer
than the loss of control caused by swerving.
- Travel at or below the speed limit – slower speeds provide more distance
to stop before hitting an animal or object in the roadway.
- At night use your bright lights or high beams – this allows for improved
vision and viewing distance.