Can I Get Compensation if I Hit a Deer with My Car?

January 24, 2022

Unfortunately, getting into an auto accident because of an animal isn’t uncommon. It may be more likely to happen in the fall and early winter when animals are more active while searching for food and mating. It also gets dark earlier, making it harder to spot animals in time to avoid a collision.

If you’ve been involved in an accident with a deer, you know the large amount of damage that can happen. Hitting a deer can wreck your car and even leave you with injuries. Swerving out of the way of an animal can cause accidents as well, either because of your car leaving the road or colliding with another vehicle. Knowing how to get compensation for these collisions can be challenging, but a Louisiana auto accident lawyer can help.

Does Insurance Cover Animal Collisions?

If you purchased comprehensive coverage from your insurance company (it is optional in Louisiana), it will cover accidents with deer and can help you pay for the repair or replacement of your car. Your comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by unpredictable acts. This includes fires, thefts, and collisions with animals like deer. It does not cover injuries.

However, for your comprehensive coverage to take effect, you must make physical contact with the deer. If you swerve to avoid hitting the deer and hit another vehicle or run into a guardrail, your comprehensive coverage does not apply. In these instances, you’ll need to use your collision insurance which covers damages when you hit other objects.

How to Receive Compensation

After your accident, you will have to file a claim with your insurance company. You may have to pay a deductible to access your insurance coverage. Deductibles vary by policy and are the out-of-pocket expenses you’re required to pay.

Comprehensive insurance policies also have limitations on the amount they’ll payout. If your max limit is low, it may not cover all your expenses. If you don’t have comprehensive car insurance coverage, you will be unable to receive compensation after hitting a deer with your car.

MedPay Insurance

Comprehensive insurance doesn’t cover your injuries or any medical expenses that resulted from your animal collision. Drivers in Louisiana have the option to purchase medical payment coverage as part of their car insurance. This coverage, often called MedPay, covers medical expenses after your car accident.

MedPay insurance covers:

  • Fees from the ambulance and hospital
  • Imaging and blood tests needed
  • Prescription medications
  • Medical supplies, including wheelchairs
  • Your doctor’s appointments
  • Any rehabilitative services and costs

Louisiana drivers are not required to purchase MedPay coverage, but you may want to purchase it for extra financial protection in case of accidents. MedPay offers additional coverage over your other car and health insurance policies and can ease the financial burden you face after a car crash. It can be used in any type of collision, even if you’re injured as a passenger in another person’s vehicle.

Who’s At Fault for Collisions Caused by Swerving?

Sometimes drivers react suddenly to avoid hitting a deer and end up hitting another vehicle as they swerve away from the animal. The driver who swerves into another car is responsible for causing the accident and will be considered at fault under Louisiana’s comparative fault laws. The at fault driver could face civil lawsuits from the others involved in the crash.

The law states that all parties involved can be considered at fault if their negligent actions contributed to the accident or injury. This means the swerving driver is responsible for causing the initial accident, but if the car they hit was driving distracted, they would also be partially at fault. This can affects how damages are awarded.

Comparative fault laws result in proportionate compensation of damages. For example, a victim could be 10% responsible for the accident but still receive compensation for their damages in a civil suit. However, the compensation the victim is awarded will be reduced by the percentage of their responsibility. A victim awarded $10,000 in damages but is 20% responsible for the crash would only receive 80% of the award.

How Dudley DeBosier Can Help

You may be facing significant financial costs and injuries after an auto accident. Louisiana’s car insurance and comparative fault laws can make it more difficult for you to receive the compensation you need.

Our experienced attorneys aren’t afraid to stand up to insurance companies. We understand that every case is unique and work hard to fight on your behalf, so you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation of your case if you’ve been injured in an accident through no fault of your own.