Ask an Agent
Have a question? We're here to help.
Ask an agent for free
Question

Am I at fault if I swerve to avoid my neighbor's cat but hit his car?

My neighbor's cat ran in front of my car when I was driving down my street. When I swerved to miss it, I wound up hitting his car which was parked in the roadway. I did miss his cat but the side of our cars struck each other. Would I be at fault if I swerved to avoid striking a domestic animal? The law states that the owner must be in control of his animal at all times. Plus, his car was parked in the roadway and not his driveway. I was going less than the speed limit and being cautious. I am insured and a good driver. However, my insurance company says I ran into a parked car deliberately. Would he be partially to blame for leaving his car on the street and not having control of his cat?

May 16, 2019 Palm Springs, CA

Answer
Author profile picture

Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

Credentials
  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

Ross h…

In this instance, you will likely be held liable for the accident. Although you want to use your best judgment when it comes to avoiding an animal, in most cases, if an accident/collision occurs by you trying to avoid hitting an animal, you are responsible for the damages. The way that most insurance companies see it, hitting an animal (be it a deer, raccoon, or a cat) has the potential to be less damaging than swerving to miss it.

 

That said, the insurance adjuster will be the one that determines fault. Good luck and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

 

Ask an Agent
Have a question? We're here to help.
Ask an agent for free

Insurance is complicated, but it doesn't have to be.

The Zebra searches all of the top insurance companies, in one place, so you can compare the cost and coverage you need to protect your car, home and other property.

Step 1: Tell us a little about yourself

Choose an insurance product and enter your zip code to get started.

Step 2: Sip your coffee while we find the best quotes

Enter the necessary information and then sit back while we find quotes from 100 top insurance carriers.

Icon Fill Form

Step 3: Compare your quotes

Compare quotes side-by-side to find the right match for you, whether it's home, auto, or more.

Icon Agent

Step 4: Let our agents do the hard work for you

Once you pick your policy, our agents are here to get you over the finish line. Then just relax and enjoy your savings.

Compare insurance rates today!

Location pin icon
No junk mail. No spam calls. Free quotes.

Related Questions

Other people are also asking...

Will my State Farm car insurance cover the damages to a person's balcony if we hit it while driving a Uhaul?

Yes, your State Farm policy should cover the damages that you caused to the balcony; that is exactly what liability coverage is for. If for some reason it does not, you can always use the insurance you purchased through U-Haul as a backup which should cover the damages. Keep in mind, the accident w…
Sep 28, 2018 Long Beach, CA

I was in an at-fault accident and don't have collision insurance

Unfortunately, you don't have a lot of options here unless you had specifically asked for collision and comprehensive coverage and your insurance representative never applied it or charged you for it. Collision and comprehensive is the coverage that offers physical protection for your vehicle …
Feb 14, 2018 Bakersfield, CA

Can I use my roadside assistance if I'm in my friends car?

Unfortunately, when you have roadside assistance through your auto insurance company, including Mercury, that service is only available for the vehicle that the coverage lists. However, there are other roadside companies (like AAA) that will allow you to use the program no matter whose vehicle you …
Feb 20, 2019 Stockton, CA

Can I sue someone for the damage their driveway caused?

Although their driveway was what caused the damage, it is the driver's responsibility to navigate slowly over bumps to avoid damage. So, in this case, the owner of the driveway wouldn't be considered at fault or responsible for the damages. What I do recommend, however, is getting an esti…
Jan 9, 2018 Charleston, SC