Every year in the UK there are numerous road accidents caused by stray animals making their way onto our roads. When you’re being taught to drive, the general rule is that you shouldn’t swerve to avoid an animal if there is a chance it could affect other drivers around you.
Many drivers instinctively do the opposite however – swerving away from the path of an animal in order to avoid hurting it. The danger with this is that often the driver will then cause greater damage by hitting another car, colliding with road signs or other stationary objects or even hitting pedestrians. The sad fact is that many of these accidents could have been less severe had the car hit the animal and the driver could possibly have made a compensation claim for any injuries.
There are various laws that exist in regards to traffic accidents with animals and these vary on the type of animal involved. In all circumstances though, if you are involved in an accident where an animal has been killed or injured you are required by law to remain at the scene of the accident.
Your Rights in an Accident Involving Livestock
Individuals who own livestock have a responsibility to always ensure that their animals are safe and secure and can’t escape or stray onto roads. Livestock such as sheep, pigs and cows regularly cause serious road accidents, especially on country roads around the UK. When it comes to the rights you have when you’re involved in an accident involving livestock, you must always be able to prove that the owner of the livestock has failed to keep them within a safe area.
If you are able to prove that the owner isn’t maintaining their livestock as they should, by keeping them away from roads, then you may have a case against them. They could potentially face you making an injury compensation claim as the person who has been involved in an accident with their livestock.
Your Rights in an Accident Involving Pets
There are hundreds of road accidents every year in the UK involving domestic pets. Over 100,000 dogs are reported missing throughout the UK each year, so it’s understandable that many of them will end up straying onto roads and causing accidents. If you’re involved in an accident with a pet, the same rules apply as exist for accidents with livestock.
If you are able to conclusively prove that the pets owner wasn’t in control of their pet and allowed it to venture onto a road where it causes an accident, then this means the owner is responsible. In this case, you would be justified in making a claim against the owner. Many homeowners will have road accidents covered in their household insurance, so seek the advice of a good solicitor to help you.
Your Rights and Making a Claim
If you think you are entitled to make a claim when you’ve been in a road traffic accident with an animal, contact a local solicitor for advice. Many will offer you a no win no fee service so you shouldn’t be out of pocket. Always remember to stay on the scene if you have injured or killed an animal in a road accident and if possible seek witnesses who have viewed what occurred.
Driving home a cat ran under my car I stopped and looked for it the wheel definitely went over the cat but when I went back to look it had gone I searched all house fronts but it had gone playing on my mind.
Raga - 5-Mar-17 @ 9:13 PM
I really need some advice. Yesterday i was on my way to work, a normal day. Was a very dark road near the woods, i obviously had my lights on was not doing anything i shouldnt be like on my phone, i was paying attention and not speeding. All of a sudden a face of an animal looked up from smelling, licking or eating a dead deer and all i saw was eyes light up and a tail. I could not stop. 3 seconds was not enough time for me to react and i'd hit a familys pet. When i got out i was inconsolable i am a dog lover and this broke my heart, he was not disfigured but had a head injury as was bleeding from the ears. He was off his lead and didnt have a tag on his collar. I feel so guilty and responsible, how do i deal with this? I ended up having to see the owners due to them calling after their dog. I see comments on facebook saying they are sorry for their loss and its so sad, but i know deep down i couldnt do anything. Someone please help me try deal with this. If only recently lost two nans aswell as this.
Eleanor - 9-Feb-17 @ 9:33 AM
Wendy - Your Question:
Hi all,My dog was spooked and got off leash last year and was hit by a car. The driver continued without stopping leaving our dog in the dual carriageway. The driver later reported it to the police where she got my contact info because our dog is chipped and was reported lost.Nobody saw the accident but now I have a solicitors letter seeking recovery of damage costs of £1500 for the car.Sadly our pet is not insured and has received over £2600 of medical treatment as a result of the accident. Does she have a claim? Can I counter claim?Please help!
Yes she can claim for damage to her vehicle caused by your dog. That's partly what insurance covers.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 7-Feb-17 @ 1:59 PM
My dog was spooked and got off leash last year and was hit by a car. The driver continued without stopping leaving our dog in the dual carriageway. The driver later reported it to the police where she got my contact info because our dog is chipped and was reported lost.
Nobody saw the accident but now I have a solicitors letter seeking recovery of damage costs of £1500 for the car.
Sadly our pet is not insured and has received over £2600 of medical treatment as a result of the accident. Does she have a claim? Can I counter claim?
Wendy - 6-Feb-17 @ 4:31 PM
Chay - Your Question:
Hey all. I am very shocked about the fact last night I was driving home and a ginger cat ran under my car. I saw it at the last Minute at the corner of my eye there was nothing I could do. I hit it. Stopped moved it out the road knocked afew doors. A woman who fosters for cats gave me some bags and cat cage to take to well pets this morning. It passed away instantly I was doing 29mph.Am I liable for any fees?
No you will not be held liable for any fees as the cat does not belong to you. You do not have to report hitting a cat to the police but it's kinder to do so in case the owner is searching for it.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 20-Jan-17 @ 11:56 AM
I am very shocked about the fact last night I was driving home and a ginger cat ran under my car... I saw it at the last Minute at the corner of my eye there was nothing I could do.
I hit it.. Stopped moved it out the road knocked afew doors.. A woman who fosters for cats gave me some bags and cat cage to take to well pets this morning. It passed away instantly I was doing 29mph.
Am I liable for any fees?
Chay - 19-Jan-17 @ 7:52 AM
my cat was killed after being run over by a 7.5 tonne lorry, it happened in front of me. i was able to catch the driver as he had stopped outside a shop not far from my flat and confronted him, he said he was going 27.5 mph and said he saw something white on the road, but did not give a reason for not slowing down or stopping, which he could have done without causing an accident as the car behind was some distance behind him. all roads apart from motorways should be 20- 25 mph, and drivers should be able to be charged with due negligence, if he had slowed down by 1 or 2 mph my cat would still be alive now
Helen - 6-Jan-17 @ 11:14 AM
on the morning of 15 march I was coming down wilford lane in Nottingham when I saw a cat running across the main road it was so quick I did not have time to stop and hit the animal I stopped the car and went back but by the time I got there it had died I placed it on the pavement but felt very sad of the through that this could be some ones pet. Having a cat and a dog myself this has made me think it could have been on of my pets this last image of this poor animal will live with me for a very long time
ricky - 15-Mar-16 @ 7:03 AM
Hi on the night of 29th of February 2015 @12.00 me and a mate of minewitnessed the death of a fox on Dover deal main road in Kent by the essco petrol station we moved it off the road and put in his garden is there anything more we can do or could we dig a grave orskin it ?
Jd - 30-Oct-15 @ 12:23 AM
Someone hit my dog and killed it with a car and just left I was walking my dog in an enclosed area away from the road and a cat ran over the field and over the wall and my dog went after it and over the wall then I heard the dreaded noise of the car hitting my dog. Am I in the wrong and could be held to a claim against me or is it the other way round? My dog was 7 and I had him from 6 weeks old and I'm still stressing over my dog being gone
danny - 17-Sep-15 @ 2:23 AM
Hi tash, I'n not a lwayer, so this is just my personal opinion; my understanding is that unfortunately collisions with cats don't need to be reported. ( Dogs, sheep, cattle, mules, goats plus a few others, yes - cats - no). I think the driver who hit your cat showed little empathy for you for not attempting find you; but that's sometimes what people are like.Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.Chris.
ChrisF - 3-Apr-11 @ 4:58 PM
On thursday evening 31/03/11 somebody ran over my cat, unfortunately he died. I heard the car come zooming dwn the road and the brakes squealing. They didn't stop to move my cat out the road ( a passer by did this ) and they didn't bother to knock at any doors to see if my cat belonged to anyone. Is this a crime?