Car accidents involving kangaroos (Vic)
When it comes to car accidents involving animals, kangaroos are the biggest danger according to statistics.
Kangaroos account for more than 80% of animal collisions.
Regional areas, for obvious reasons, are where drivers are most at risk of being in an accident involving kangaroos.
Data also shows that most collisions take place at dawn and dusk when kangaroos are most active.
This page will look at what to do if you’re involved in an accident with a kangaroo.
What to do after the accident with a kangaroo
The first thing to do obviously is to pull off the road and ensure that everyone is okay.
You should check on the animal.
If it is still alive, be careful about approaching it.
You should call the local wildlife rescue organisation or the police who can assist you over the phone to make the right decisions or they can come out and help you.
If you’re not sure who to call in Victoria, then a good starting point is wildlife Victoria on (03) 8400 7300
Take your time before getting in the car and driving off again.
You could be in shock and shaken up and you want to have calmed down before you start driving again.
Also, kangaroos depending upon where they impact your vehicle, can cause quite a lot of damage to a vehicle so do you want to make sure that your vehicle is safe to drive before you commence driving again.
If your vehicle is not safe to drive, then you should call the tow truck to come and get you.
Keep in mind that if you have an insurance policy the cost of this tow truck maybe covered.
It’s not a bad idea to call your insurance company to find out if you have concerns, before calling the tow truck driver.
Does car insurance cover hitting a kangaroo?
If you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, depending upon the insurer and the policy, you may be covered if you hit an animal on the road such as a kangaroo.
It would be advisable to have photographs of the scene in the event that there is any dispute about how the damage to your vehicle occurred.
Keep in mind that making a claim could impact any no claim bonus that you may have on your policy which could result in increasing your insurance premiums down the track.
Do you have to pay insurance excess if you hit a kangaroo?
You may be required to pay an excess which varies depending upon the type of policy you have.
This depends on what your policy says.
If you do have to pay an excess, you need to consider whether it’s worthwhile pursuing the claim.
So if for example your excess is $500 but there’s $700 worth of damage, you need to consider whether it is financially worthwhile pursuing a claim or alternatively whether you’d be better off just paying for the damage yourself.
How do I make a claim with my insurance company?
You could call up your insurance company and discuss the matter with them and they can provide you with direction.
If you don’t wish to make a phone call, then most insurance companies will have an online form that you can fill out which will likely result in someone from the insurance company giving you a call to discuss the matter.
Is hitting a kangaroo an ‘at fault’ accident?
No, it is not considered an at fault accident.
If you were not doing anything wrong, then you cannot be considered at fault for hitting a kangaroo.
What if I was injured – can I lodge a TAC claim after hitting a kangaroo?
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident in Victoria that involved either hitting a kangaroo, or swerving to avoid a kangaroo, then you are likely to be covered by the TAC if you’ve suffered injury.
This is not the case in all states and territories of Australia, but it is the case in Victoria.
If you’ve suffered injury, and once you have an accepted TAC claim, you are entitled to be compensated for any medical expenses, if the injuries stop you from working to the degree that you were working prior to the accident, then you’re entitled to the payment of income replacement benefits.
If the accident resulted in a permanent impairment, you can potentially pursue a lump sum claim called an impairment benefit.
The reason that you’re able to access these entitlements if you’re involved in an accident with a kangaroo is because you’ve paid for TAC insurance as part of your vehicle registration.
Every year when you register your vehicle a component of that registration is for the TAC charge which covers you in the event of suffering an injury and a transport accident.
In Victoria, the TAC will cover people involved in road accidents regardless as to fault.
So obviously if you are involved in a car accident that involves a kangaroo, no one else is at fault for that accident in most cases.
However, you can still pursue the above entitlements and you’ll be entitled to claim the same amounts that anyone else that was involved in an accident would be able to claim if someone else was at fault.
The only real difference is that if someone else was at fault for the accident, you could pursue a claim for common-law damages.
This is where you are suing someone for their negligence.
Obviously in the case of hitting a kangaroo, that is not possible.
So, yes you are entitled to compensation if you are involved in an accident on the road involving a kangaroo.
There are three ways that you can lodge a TAC claim
The first is by telephoning the TAC.
Tell them about the accident and they will assist you to lodge a claim over the phone.
The second way is that you can use their online form to lodge a claim.
The third way a claim can be lodged as if you are hospitalised after the accident, in some instances hospitals will lodge a claim on behalf of patients to ensure that at all relevant expenses are paid by the TAC.
Will the TAC pay for damage to my vehicle after the accident?
No, the TAC will not pay for damage to your vehicle after hitting a kangaroo.
The TAC will cover you only for the costs associated with your injury. They will not compensate you for a property damage to your vehicle or to any of the items that might have been damaged in the accident inside your vehicle.
If I claim via the TAC, will my registration fees increase?
No, by pursuing a TAC claim your registration fees will not increase in the years following the claim.
The amount that you pay in registration and the TAC charge will remain unaffected by the making of a TAC claim.