Stopping for Crossing Wildlife on a Highway Can Lead to Serious Car Accidents


If you have spent any time driving in rural areas, you know that it’s somewhat likely that you are going to see wildlife as you travel. Deer, ducks, geese and several other types of animals tend to live and move around near roads that cut through unpopulated areas, and drivers need to be aware of them in order to avoid hitting them. This is especially true if animals that could wind up in the road are large enough to cause serious damage to a passing vehicle.

Unfortunately, that situation played out recently in Western New York, and a driver who stopped to avoid hitting an animal wound up being involved in a multi-vehicle accident. The crash occurred when a woman who was driving on a rural highway stopped to allow a wild turkey to cross the road. Soon after she did so, she was hit hard from behind by another vehicle, and the force of that impact sent the woman spinning into a lane of oncoming traffic.

Her vehicle crashed into another one that was moving in the opposite direction, and before the incident was over another car had become ensnared in this mess. Overall, four people were injured including one person who was injured critically after suffering a potential traumatic brain injury. Police are still investigating the situation, but this is yet another example of a crash that can occur in this type of an environment because of the presence of wildlife.

It’s likely that at least someone will file a New York personal injury lawsuit in the aftermath of this crash. How that will all play out presents an interesting question of liability. Issues that New York accident lawyers will likely review in an analysis of the situation could include:

  • Did the woman stop suddenly to avoid hitting the turkey?
  • Was it necessary to stop to avoid hitting the turkey?
  • Was the person who hit the woman from behind following too closely?
  • Who was at fault for the crash?
  • If more than one person was at fault, how would the percentage of fault be broken down between the parties?

Cases like this one would likely come down to the particular facts that relate to this situation. In other words, evidence will be of paramount importance when it comes time to decide how someone should proceed. Decisions will need to be made by all of the parties involved, particularly the people who were moving in the other direction who were injured, as their questions will involve naming the proper defendants in a lawsuit.

What all of this should tell anyone is that most car accidents are not cut-and-dried in terms of fault. Analysis needs to be done and important determinations need to be made by people who handle these situations on a daily basis. That’s because mistakes that are made with this analysis can prove costly for people who need help recovering damages. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact The Fitzgerald Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.