Colliding with another vehicle is entirely different than hitting a deer. Pennsylvania is the third-most likely state in the U.S. for deer-vehicle collisions.
If you have ever been in a deer-car accident, you probably know that a deer can cause significant damage to your vehicle and leave you and your passengers severely injured. What many do not realize is that their auto insurance coverage may cover their damages and losses suffered as a result of a deer-vehicle collision.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A PHILADELPHIA DEER-VEHICLE COLLISION
Colliding with a deer while driving can be a traumatic and potentially dangerous experience. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to know what to do in order to protect yourself and your vehicle.
First and foremost, if you are involved in a deer collision, it is important to remain calm and try to assess the situation. If you are able, move your vehicle to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. If your vehicle is not drivable, turn off the engine and get out of the vehicle, taking care to stay clear of any oncoming traffic.
Once you have ensured your safety, it is important to call the police to report the accident. Even if the deer appears to be unharmed and has run off, it is still important to report the accident to the authorities. The police will document the accident and will be able to provide you with a police report, which may be useful for insurance purposes.
If you are injured in the accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if your injuries seem minor, it is always better to err on the side of caution. If you are not injured, it is still a good idea to check on any passengers in your vehicle to ensure that they are okay.
Once you have taken care of any immediate medical needs and have called the police, it is important to gather as much information about the accident as possible. This may include taking photographs of the accident scene and the damage to your vehicle, getting the contact information of any witnesses, and writing down any notes about the accident while it is still fresh in your mind.
After seeking medical care, you need to report the accident to your insurer. Your insurance company likely has specific requirements for reporting this type of accident.
However, it’s important to understand that your insurance company may not be inclined to offer you the full amount of compensation you deserve in these circumstances. Thus, you should protect yourself by minimizing your correspondence with the insurance company before you’ve had a chance to review your case with a lawyer.
At Dan Doyle Law Group, a Philadelphia deer-vehicle collision attorney can handle all correspondence with the insurance company on your behalf. While we focus on pursuing the compensation you’re owed, you can focus on your recovery in the aftermath of what may have been a very frightening experience.
What it really means to be in a deer-vehicle collision
Our attorney at Dan Doyle Law Group explains that accidents involving deer are considered not-at-fault accidents, which means hitting a deer is not typically the fault of the driver. What it also means is that insurance companies are prohibited from adding a surcharge to your insurance premium as a result of colliding with a deer.
Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, seeking compensation for your damages and losses from your own insurance company in the event of a deer-vehicle collision can be challenging. Many motorists who get injured or whose vehicle is damaged in a deer-car crash find it difficult to prove that the injury or vehicle damage was caused by a deer, not something else.
More often than not, seeking help from an experienced deer-vehicle collision attorney in Philadelphia is the single best thing you can do to (a) prove that you hit a deer, and (b) get a fair settlement from your insurance company.
Who’s at fault if another driver hit you when trying to avoid colliding with a deer?
While we have established that your insurance company will cover your damages and losses after a deer-car accident, including medical expenses and the cost of repairs to your vehicle, what happens if another motorist swerves to avoid a deer and, as a result, crashes into your vehicle?
That’s a good question, but we have an answer for you. Unfortunately, the other motorist’s insurance policy will most likely not cover your damages and losses if that motorist hit your vehicle after swerving to avoid a collision with a deer. The only way you can seek compensation through the other motorist’s insurance policy is if you can prove that that driver acted negligently or violated a traffic rule.
Determining fault in car accidents involving a deer
But what happens when another driver hits a deer and then causes a car accident? This is a trickier situation that may require investigation from an experienced car accident attorney, because the driver will not be held liable for the damages and losses unless negligence was involved.
For example, if the other motorist overreacted or did something unreasonable when trying to avoid hitting a deer, he or she may still be held liable if you can prove that his or her actions constituted negligence.
In our experience, there have been numerous cases in which one of the drivers used the “deer” excuse in an attempt to escape liability. If no deer is found at the scene and there are no witnesses to prove that there was a deer involved, proving that you collided with a deer will be difficult. That’s why it is advised to speak to a skilled car crash lawyer in Philadelphia to protect your rights and ensure a fair settlement. Contact Dan Doyle Law Group to schedule a free consultation.