Last fall I received a phone call that makes a parent’s heart sink – your child has been involved in an accident. Thankfully, she was ok and had just minor injuries. Relief set in, but it was quickly overcome by disappointment when I found out what had happened.
My daughter was taught certain “rules of the road”. I advised her that in addition to obeying traffic laws: (1) she needs to focus on driving; not multi-tasking (i.e meaning anything that distracts attention from the road); and (2) if she sees a woodchuck she should not swerve. Unfortunately, my animal loving daughter swerved, slammed into a ditch, and ended up in the ER with, thankfully, only minor injuries. The woodchuck was fine.
It may come as a surprise, but deer, raccoons, coyote, and other road-crossing woodland creatures, are not very safety conscious. According to the Insurance Journal, in 2012, there were more than 1.23 million deer-vehicle collisions alone. This resulted in more than $4 billion in property damage, and more significantly, tens of thousands of injuries and more than 200 deaths.
So what if you are out for a drive and Bambi runs out in front of you? What if you are a passenger in that vehicle accident?
If you strike a deer and cause damage to your vehicle, whether or not that damage is paid for will depend on the type of insurance coverage you have. Liability-only coverage will not cover the cost of the vehicle damage, whereas comprehensive coverage typically will.
Injuries resulting from an accident involving a deer or other animal can be tricky when it comes to getting the medical bills paid for. If your insurance policy includes “MedPay” or medical payments coverage, then the insurance company will pay the amount listed in your policy toward the cost of the medical bills. For example, if your policy includes $5,000 in MedPay, you will receive $5,000 to put toward your bills.
If the driver’s negligence caused the deer accident, then there is a chance that the injured passengers in that vehicle could make a claim under the driver’s policy, or under their own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Our office is currently helping a client prove that her injuries sustained while riding as a passenger on a motorcycle that struck a deer were caused by the negligence of the driver. If you are also trying to deal with the same situation, please contact us and we would be happy to provide you with a free case evaluation. Call or click today.