The late fall and early winter can be a dangerous time on the roads. One of the often overlooked dangers that can lead to a costly car accident is the increased likelihood of hitting a deer in western Missouri and the St. Joseph area.
Luckily, there are a handful of driving habits that you can use to minimize the odds that you’re in a car accident with a deer. However, if you do hit one, you might find yourself in need of a personal injury attorney to deal with your insurance company if they're acting in bad faith.
The Problem of Deer in the Roadway
Because deer-car accidents are often a single-vehicle crash, it’s difficult to tell just how often they happen. However, it’s estimated that 1 out of every 164 drivers in the United States hit a deer, elk, or moose every year. The severity of a car accident with a deer is surprisingly high, costing about $4,000 in damage every time a deer is hit.
These crashes are more likely to happen between October and December. This is because deer both mate and migrate just before the fall turns to winter, making them more active and more likely to cross a road. In fact, local auto body shops in and around St. Joseph note a sharp increase in the number of cars that have damage from a collision with a deer.
How to Avoid Hitting a Deer
Needless to say, keeping attentive on roads in the dusk and at night is the best way to make sure you don’t hit a deer. However, there are four other tricks that can help, as well:
- Be especially attentive after seeing a deer crossing sign, or if the road you’re on goes through the woods,
- Use your highbeams: They not only help you see, but also reflect better in the eyes of a deer, letting you see where they are,
- Deer are herd animals and often travel in packs: If you see one crossing the road, there are probably others just off the shoulder,
- Do not swerve. Deer typically weigh about 200 pounds, so there will be far more damage to you or your car if you swerve off the road and hit something else.
The Role of a Personal Injury Attorney After Hitting a Deer
Personal injury attorneys make a living representing you in court against whoever caused the car accident that hurt you. Obviously, though, you can’t sue a deer.
Instead, you can count on personal injury attorneys, like those at the Smith Law Office, to help you if your insurance company is trying to take advantage of the situation. Hitting a deer is typically a no-fault accident. Therefore, you should not see your insurance premiums rise afterwards. However, some insurance companies will try to see if they can get away with it, anyway.
Car Accident Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
This is where the car accident attorneys at the Smith Law Office in St. Joseph can help. By sticking up for you against your insurance company, we can ensure that you get the help you need. Contact Smith Law online or at (816) 875-9373.