You’re driving down the road at dawn on your way to work. You’re driving safely and paying attention to the road ahead. All of the sudden a deer leaps into your path and you can’t avoid hitting it. What do you do now?
Once you’ve shaken off the stress of just having been in a collision, it’s time to take action. Here are six steps to take if you find yourself in this situation.
1. Move Your Car
If your car is operable, pull it over to the side of the road. Turn on your hazard lights so that other cars will see you. If you get out of your car to check on the animal or look for damage, don’t walk into the roadway. Both you and your car are going to be less visible in times of low light.
2. Call 911
For insurance purposes, it is a good idea to have a police report made so you can share it with your insurance company. If you have comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy, hitting a deer is typically a covered loss. If you swerve to avoid hitting a deer and hit a tree or some other object such as a tree, fence or other vehicle, that claim will typically fall under your collision coverage.
If it is safe to do so, take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, the current road conditions, the area surrounding your car and the animal if it is still present. If there were any witnesses that stopped to assist you, ask if you can have their contact information should you need it in the future.
4. Keep Your Distance
If the animal is still present, keep your distance. You can use the zoom on your camera to get photos. The deer could act unpredictably if it’s injured. No matter how bad you feel about any injuries the animal sustained, you have to remember that it is a wild animal and could harm you.
5. Double-Check Your Vehicle
Your car may not be safe to drive after you hit a large animal like a deer. Look for any leaking fluids, loose parts or broken lights. Make sure your tires are still inflated and that all latches on your car shut tightly. If you don’t believe that your car is safe to drive, call for a tow.
6. Call Your Insurance Agent
Reach out to your insurance agent when you get home. They will want to know what happened and you will want to start the process of having your car repaired if necessary. The sooner you speak with your agent, the faster you can get your vehicle fixed.
While there is no fault when you strike a deer except maybe your own, if you are hit by a driver who swerved to avoid an animal in Charlotte, you may have legal rights to compensation. Call our attorneys to arrange for a free case evaluation and discover more about your legal options. We may be able to secure compensation based on injuries sustained because of a negligent driver.