August 21, 2023

Crossing Animal Accidents in Louisiana: A Comprehensive Guide


Crossing animal accidents in Louisiana are a serious concern that many drivers face. As a Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney, I’ve seen firsthand the devastating impact these accidents can have on both the drivers involved and the local wildlife populations. In this article, we’ll explore the issue of crossing animal accidents, provide tips on how to avoid them, and discuss your legal options if you’ve been involved in such an accident.

Understanding the Risk of Crossing Animal Accidents

Every year, between 725,000 and 1.5 million wildlife-vehicle collisions occur across the country, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The Federal Highway Administration reports that these collisions lead to approximately 100,000 injuries annually.

In Louisiana, the risk of encountering wildlife on the road is even higher due to the state’s diverse ecosystems and numerous wildlife habitats. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that one to two million collisions with wildlife occur every year.

Among these, deer collisions are the most common, resulting in around 200 deaths, nearly 30,000 injuries, and $8 billion in damages to vehicles each year. These accidents also severely affect wildlife populations, underlining the importance of driver awareness and caution.

The Louisiana Context: Unique Challenges and Concerns

While many drivers may not expect to collide with an animal, such incidents are surprisingly common in Louisiana. The state’s roads and interstates cross multiple types of ecosystems, home to a variety of wildlife. This unique context has led to several notable incidents, including a bear being killed on the Interstate-10.

The implications of these accidents extend beyond the immediate damage and injury. Determining who is at fault in such instances can be a complex process, often requiring the assistance of a Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney. Understanding your legal options and the next steps to take can significantly impact the outcome of your case.

Measures to Avoid Crossing Animal Accidents

Given the potential for extensive damage and personal injury, it’s crucial for drivers to take measures to avoid crossing animal accidents. Here are some tips to decrease your chances of a serious accident with a crossing animal:

  1. Stay focused on the road: Avoid distracted driving and keep a keen eye on the road ahead. This will enable faster reactions if an animal crosses your path.
  2. Drive slower: This gives you more time to react to a crossing animal on the roadway. If you see an animal crossing the road from a distance, slow down but do not slam your brakes, as this could cause your vehicle to skid.
  3. Resist swerving: Swerving into another lane can result in a collision with another vehicle, resulting in further damage and potential injury.
  4. Use your headlights correctly: Keep your headlights on while driving on Louisiana roadways, especially at night when nocturnal animals are more likely to be on the move.
  5. Do not approach injured animals: If you hit an animal, stay inside your vehicle and call 911 for assistance. Approaching an injured animal can lead to a dangerous situation.

Legal Implications of Crossing Animal Collisions

Under Louisiana law, the owner of an animal that escapes and causes an accident on a roadway, highway, or interstate is presumed to be at fault. To deflect liability, the owner must prove that they took all reasonable precautions to prevent the animal from escaping.

It’s also important to note that Louisiana has farm animal immunity statutes that you must consider if you’ve been injured in an accident caused by an animal. Consulting with an experienced Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney like those at the Cueria Law Firm can help you navigate these complexities and secure maximum recovery for your damages.

The Role of Wildlife Crossings in Preventing Accidents

Wildlife crossings, which are vegetation-covered bridges and tunnels that allow wildlife to cross highways safely, have proven successful in other states. They have been shown to be roughly 90% effective at preventing wildlife-vehicle collisions when combined with fencing.

As of 2014, Louisiana had no such wildlife crossings, but the state could benefit greatly from adopting a similar approach. Other states, like Florida, have successfully installed wildlife crossings and seen a reduction in animal-vehicle collisions and a boost to local wildlife populations.

Financing Wildlife Crossings: A Cost-Effective Solution

While wildlife crossings can be expensive to develop and install, spreading the costs between multiple departments can make this initiative feasible. Considering that wildlife-vehicle collisions cost Americans more than $8 billion per year in damages and cleanup costs, investing in wildlife crossings could prove cost-effective in the long run.

Alternatives to Wildlife Crossings

If wildlife crossings prove too expensive, other less costly alternatives could be considered. These include increased lighting on roadways, more reflectors to alert wildlife to oncoming vehicles, olfactory repellants sprayed on roadsides, and wider shoulders to further separate vegetation from roadways.

The Importance of Legal Representation

If you’ve been involved in a crossing animal accident, it’s crucial to consult with a knowledgeable Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney. At Cueria Law Firm, we have extensive experience with these types of accidents. We can help you understand your options, identify the right parties, and obtain maximum recovery for your damages. Contact us today for a consultation.


Crossing animal accidents in Louisiana are a serious concern that requires both driver awareness and effective preventative measures. As we continue to expand our cities and build new roads, we need to consider the safety of both drivers and wildlife. By investing in wildlife crossings and other preventative measures, we can make our roads safer for everyone.


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