Deer are on the move due to migration and mating season. Typically, deer are most active in the mornings and early evenings, which unfortunately just happens to coincide with the rush-hours. And, October through December are the most dangerous months for deer-related collisions.
Deer can be very dangerous to motorists. The Institute for Highway Safety estimates 1.5 million deer-related collisions occur each year with 150 deaths and tens of thousands of injuries. In 2012, there were 5,911 deer-related crashes, three of which resulted in deaths and 307 resulted in injuries.
While conventional wisdom is to slow and hold your line when suddenly confronted with a deer in your path, some drivers will swerve in an attempt to miss the animal. Even if there is no contact between your vehicle and the deer, a sudden swerve can result in a loss of control causing an accident with another vehicle, a tree or other object. Of course, holding your line is not without risk as a deer can crash through the windshield seriously injuring or killing occupants.
If you have been involved in an accident caused by a deer, you may be able to recover compensatory damages for your injuries. Obviously, there is no claim against the deer, but you may have a claim against a driver who swerved into your lane while trying to avoid a deer. Or, you may have a uninsured motorist claim against your own insurance company if the careless driver did not have liability insurance or had insufficient insurance. Whether you have a claim depends on the facts of your accident.
At this time of year, slow down and be particularly vigilant for deer near wooded areas and during morning and evening hours. If you see a deer cross the road, assume others are nearby and may dart into your path. If you or a loved one has been injured in a deer-car accident, one of the experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of John Day can help you determine if you have a claim for your losses. Call us at 615-742-4880 or toll-free at 866-812-8787. Or, you can simply fill out this form and we will be happy to call you.