You are driving home from dinner, it’s a beautiful evening, and you are listening to your favorite song on the radio. All of the sudden, a deer appears out of nowhere. You have no time to react. You start to break and swerve, but it’s too late: you hit the deer. Even worse, you crash your car as a result, and everyone, including yourself, sustained serious injuries. It goes without saying that you cannot sue the deer. So, what happens next? Well, since you were in a car at the time of the accident with the deer, you can get your medical benefits through applicable car insurance. Once that is exhausted, you can use private health insurance. But what about the damages to your car? While there is no requirement that a police report be made, it is always best to obtain a police report, because you will still have to prove that the incident was caused by a deer. If you do not, the comprehensive coverage on your vehicle will not cover the loss, and the it will instead be paid through your collision coverage. If you were involved in an accident with a deer and did not file a report with the police, do not clean the deer remains from your car, in order that an adjuster can see them when they come to look at your property damage.
The occurrences of car vs deer accidents have increased dramatically in recent years, so much so that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a study on these dangerous crashes. They determined that there are approximately 1.5 million deer-related car accidents annually in the United States, and that these result in 10,000 injuries and as many as 200 fatalities. The property damage alone from these accidents amounts to over 1 billion dollars each year. A rise in urbanization has led many deer-related accidents where urban sprawl continues to expand onto the deer’s habitat. An overwhelming amount of car vs. deer cases is clear-cut in terms of property damage. Most companies will pay for damage under the driver’s comprehensive coverage, although injuries related to these accidents are another story.
It is always important to document any loss, but with a deer, you need to show some proof that it was not your fault, but rather the deer’s. Pennsylvania has one of the top 3 highest rates of deer/driver accidents in the United States. If you or a loved one were involved in an accident with a deer, call The Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. Our Attorneys and staff can assist you with any questions you may have regarding what to do next. There is no charge for this service; our consultations are always free.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.