It’s the most wonderful time of the year, except for the occasional deer running onto the highway, causing a personal injury automobile accident that leaves your flattened fruitcake the least of your problems.
Michigan has more than 60,000 deer-car accidents every year. In 2010, nearly 1,500 people were injured and 11 people were killed as a result of cars colliding with deer, according to the Michigan Traffic Crash Facts. State Farm recently reported that Michigan drivers have a one in 90 chance of hitting a deer. Last year, Genesee County alone racked up 1,295 deer related car accidents, while Lapeer County had an even higher 1,321 accidents despite having a lower population.
Many people have no idea what they should do if a deer runs in front of their car. Below is a list of advice, should it happen to you.
Ways to avoid a deer collision:
1. Stay extra alert in the fall and winter. Deer activity is higher during this time of the year, due to hunting season.
2. Don’t rely on flashing your brights or honking your horn. Deer do not have manuals telling them to get out of the road when these things are done.
3. Don’t load yourself with caffeine to stay awake. It’s not going to work nearly as well as rest. To stay aware, you must stay awake.
4. Deer travel in herds. Most likely, where there is one, there will be more. If you see one cross the road ahead of you, slow down and be very careful.
5. Never, ever drink and drive.
6. Never text and drive. It’s illegal and it only takes a split second for a deer to step in front of your vehicle.
7. Deer are especially active at daybreak and nightfall. Stay alert during those times of day.
8. Deer crossing signs are put up for a reason. Slow down and pay attention in those areas.
If you cannot avoid hitting a deer, be sure to call the police immediately. They will tell you what to do until they get there. Plus, insurance companies do not cover deer related accidents without a police report.
If you are injured in a crash involving a deer, your insurance carrier is obligated to pay:
1. All medical bills related to your auto crash injuries which your health insurance does not pay. This includes co-pays, prescription and even mileage going to and from health care providers;
2. 85% of any lost wages;
3. Replacement Services for household duties you performed prior to the auto crash and can no longer do as a result of your auto crash injuries. These include cooking, dishes, cleaning the house, laundry, driving, lawn mowing, snow shoveling, plus much more.
4. Attendant Services. Any nursing service at home. For example, a spouse or child who assists you with bathing, dressing, massage, exercise, medications, changing bandages and other services of a personal nature.
It is important that you document all expenses and services as proof. Keep track of mileage, replacement services and attendant services on the forms we provide you, or the insurance company provides.
If you are injured in a car accident and need a lawyer to represent you, Rex Anderson is the one to call. Rex handles personal injury cases all over Michigan and will fight like a bulldog for you. Call or email Rex at (810) 653-3300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collaborative Writing by Rex C. Anderson, Esquire and Contributing Research/Writing by Kellye S. Smith