In Germany, thousands are injured in a wildlife accident every year. In addition, there are killed animals and of course the damage to the vehicle. This can be significant after a wildlife accident. Most drivers do not even know what to do after a wildlife accident. But what actually counts as a wildlife accident? According to applicable German law not every collision with an animal also a wildlife accident. One speaks of a wildlife accident only when there is a collision with an animal, subject to hunting law. In Germany, these include the following animal species: Red deer, roe deer, fallow deer, wild boar, wild boar, wild rabbit, hare, fox, polecat, roof.
What is not a wildlife accident?
Many wild animals are subject not the right to hunt, but only that conservation law. These are, for example, hedgehogs, lizards and smaller birds. A collision with these animals is consequently no wildlife accident. A collision with pets and farm animals also falls into this category. This is important! Because in this case, as a rule, the pet owner or his Liability insurance responsible for settling the damage. the Partial or fully comprehensive insurance is only responsible for settling the damage in the event of an accident involving an animal that is subject to hunting law Committed.
What should you do immediately after the wildlife accident?
- First you should get the Accident site: to secure. Pull out the safety vest on and turn on your Hazard warning light a. Next they should Set up warning triangle. A distance of about 50 meters is sufficient in the local area. Because of the longer braking distance, the distance to the accident site should be at least 100 meters on country roads and even 150 meters on motorways.
- If more people have been injured, first call the emergency number 112 and, if necessary, First aid.
- You should also always Report the accident to the police by dialing the emergency number 110. They also inform the hunting authorities if there is an obligation to report wildlife accidents.
- Next is the to clear the roadway. Try to pull dead animals to the edge of the road. In this way you reduce a further hazard to road traffic. It is advisable to wear gloves during this activity to protect against infection. In the case of injured animals that are still alive, it is better to keep your distance. Even normally harmless animals can become aggressive when frightened.
- Well they should Gather Evidence. Once you have secured the road and taken care of injured people and animals, you should secure and collect evidence. This is important in order to assert your claims later. Use your cell phone to take photos of the damage to the car and the damage in the area. These can be damaged crash barriers, fences or traffic signs, for example. If there are witnesses to the accident with the game, then ask for their contact details. Also a Video from the scene of the accident or a permanently installed one Dashcam in the vehicle can help.
- In the end it just says Warten. You should stay at the scene of the accident until either the police or the forest ranger or hunter responsible for the area arrives. It is important that you get one accident certificate fill in.
What is to be avoided at all costs after a wildlife accident?
There's some things you can't avoid hitting a wild under no circumstances should do. The most important thing is that you don't just drive on and leave the injured animal to fend for itself. This falls under animal cruelty and in many cases is a violation of the Animal Welfare Act. This can often result in a hefty fine. This also applies to accidents involving smaller wild animals and not just those involving deer, roe deer or wild boar. It is also not a good idea to remove the wild animal from the scene of the accident and take it with you or bury it. That falls under the penalty of poaching. In order to protect yourself from such suspicions, it is right to always call the police, even if it is actually for a wildlife accident no obligation to report in the relevant state. Nevertheless, as information: the disappearance from the scene of the accident is not a hit and run. It is only a hit-and-run if there is personal injury. According to German law, game damage is a damage
Do wildlife accidents always have to be reported?
A wildlife accident with a larger wild animal must be reported in most federal states of Germany. There are exceptions to the reporting obligation in Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. But even in these federal states you cannot simply continue driving after an accident with a wild animal. It is better, always to notify the police. After reporting the accident, they will provide you with the accident certificate out. This document is required by the insurance company as proof. Damage to the vehicle as a result of a wildlife accident immediately report to the partial or fully comprehensive insurance. And, of course, a cover letter must have been issued for the damage before the repair. If this is not the case, you will have to pay the cost of the damage pay out of pocket.
Can you get compensation?
In practice, the chance of getting compensation from the owner of the forest is almost zero. In current German law, wild animals are classified as abandoned things classified. This means that there is no one responsible. Special circumstances, such as during a hunt or if warning signs are missing at known game crossing points, can (but don't have to) be an exception. Here it is possible that you damages can claim.
When does the insurance step in?
It depends on the insured event in question whether partial or fully comprehensive insurance pays for the damage. There are contracts that only damage with a so-called hair game cover. Others also include accidents involving feathered game, i.e. birds. There is also insurance coverage that covers accidents involving all animals. Damages caused by accidents involving small wild animals and domestic and farm animals are also settled here. If in doubt, contact your insurance agent or read the contract and especially the fine print. You can also change the tariff if necessary. Sometimes this is even possible “after” the accident. But that clearly depends on the insurance company.
And usually the insurance pays for damage caused by a evasive action , or clash have arisen. Usually, however, the insurance company has to pay for the wildlife accident be detected. Here, however, photos and confirmation from the responsible hunter or the police accident report are usually sufficient. Problems can arise if an evasive maneuver causes another accident. In this case, testimonies are often required. This is mostly not a problem if other road users help them. But in some cases there are no witnesses. Here, an expert is usually commissioned by the insurance company to clarify the matter. In such a case, we also recommend one Dashcam in the vehicle. And who pays for damages from third parties? It is often not just your own car that is damaged in a wildlife accident. Other vehicles may also be involved in the accident. Things like crash barriers, fences or even buildings can also be damaged. These damages are from the Motor vehicle liability insurance covered.
How can you prevent wildlife accidents?
It can always happen that a deer or a rabbit crashes into a vehicle. But the potential for danger can be increased by a anticipatory driving style sometimes be greatly reduced.
- Slow down, when signs warn of a deer crossing. This also applies if you are traveling in a wooded area. Here you should always be alert and ready to brake and take your foot off the accelerator when cornering sharply.
- If you are an animal see, reduce immediately with Be careful of any vehicles behind you the tempo. If necessary, you can also stop completely. It is best to activate the briefly Hazard lights.
- Drive without high beams. The bright light can blind animals. They often just stand there as if frozen. Honk when an animal wants to cross the road. That might drive it away.
- The greatest risk of being involved in a wildlife accident is during the dusk and in the early morning and late evening hours, because deer crossing is particularly common here. Particular caution is called for here.
- Often they are Animals traveling in groups. If an animal has crossed the roadway, better wait a moment and see if more follow.
- Naturally, wild animals cannot judge the speed of cars. Just because she looks at an animal on the side of the road doesn't mean it will stop and wait for her to pass. For this reason you should always ready to brake .
Particular caution is required small wild animals, commanded as a hare or a badger. You should definitely use one if there is a lot of traffic Avoid emergency braking, when the animal runs out onto the road in front of you. Otherwise there is a risk that the following vehicle will crash into your car. Damage can be far greater than if you had run over the animal. So always brake in a controlled manner and pay particular attention to the Oncoming traffic. Nothing is worse than swerving into oncoming traffic because of a rabbit and a head-on crash cause. Under current law, you are partly to blame if you are involved in a rear-end collision. In the worst case, you will even be fined (administrative offence) for an unnecessary emergency stop. Of course, it would be even worse if you crashed into oncoming traffic.
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