Motorists, welcome to deer season in Upstate New York. Watch out! The white-tailed deer this year are more populous than in recent years. And they still haven’t learned how to look both ways before crossing the road! They are a moving target you want to miss.
Hey, last time I checked the law books, you can’t sue a deer. So if you run into one, and your car, or you, or both, are damaged, you are out of luck. Sure, you may have collision insurance, and no-fault insurance will pay the medical bills and lost wages (for a while!), but if you are seriously injured in a car-on-deer collision, you really have no good options legally.
Unless you are a passenger. Then you can bring a New York car accident claim against your driver for failure to drive in a careful enough manner so as to avoid the deer collision. Don’t worry; you won’t be dipping into your friend’s pocket. His or her car insurance will compensate you, if you can, with the help of a good New York car accident lawyer, prove the driver was at least partially at fault for failing to drive more slowly, look more carefully, or brake more quickly.
The average cost of repairing damage to a car caused by a deer-on-car collision is $3,000. I suppose if you take the venison home with you, that would amount to a $500 offset, so the net cost would be $2,500. But you still come out losing. And all joking aside, about 140 people die from animal-vehicle accidents every year in the United States. Don’t be one of them! I hear being alive is more fun than being dead (but I heard that from the living, not the dead, so who knows . . .)
Assuming you want to keep on living, at least for a while, how do you protect yourself from those vicious deer? First, wear your seatbelt. You are much less likely to suffer severe injuries in head-on collisions if you are buckled up. Also, remember that deer travel in packs (or is it flocks?). (Do deer say the same about cars?). So if you see one, expect more.
Just do me a favor for crying out loud. This fall, visually scan the side of the road as you drive down wooded roadways. If you have a cruise control, use it, and drive with your foot hovering over the brake pedal. And drive slow!
Don’t die from a deer-on-car collision. I probably won’t be able to help your family recover any New York wrongful death claim money. The deer are broke and they aren’t insured!
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you!
Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com Central NY Personal Injury Lawyer Michaels & Smolak, P.C.