The amount of deer-related accidents in Maryland is on the rise, and accounts for more than $10 million in damage annually. The spread of humans into deer-territory, especially in more rural areas, leads to situations where there are deer trying to cross I-95 on a regular basis. If you live in Maryland, there are one in 114 odds that you will be in an accident with a deer at some point.
What Should You Do if a Deer Collides with Your Car?
Getting into a collision with a deer is very frightening, so first and foremost take a deep breath if you do hit a deer, and try to remain focused, no matter how shook up you are. There are several steps you should take if you do hit a deer on a Maryland roadway.
1. If Possible, Get Your Car to a Safe Place
Being in an accident with a deer is scary, and we understand that your adrenaline will be pumping and decision making will be hard if this happens. However, if you are in a collision with a deer, it is more likely to occur at dusk or early in the morning, as that is when visibility is most limited. Because of this, it is important that you get your car to safety if possible; over to the shoulder or side of the road. If your car is stuck, then move yourself to safety before doing anything else; do not stay in your car in the middle of a dark road where oncoming traffic may have trouble spotting you.
2. Call The Police
It is important to call the police if you are in an accident with a deer. Even if your car does not seem to have been damaged, you should call, and you must always call if there is a deer lying in the roadway obstructing traffic. You want to file a police report, so that when you call your insurance company to make a claim, there is a police report on file with all the details of the accident. If you can, take photographs at the scene and get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses.
3. If You Are Injured, Seek Medical Care
In some cases, a collision with a deer can be catastrophic, especially if you were travelling at a high rate of speed when the accident occurred. If you have been injured in any way, you should go to the emergency room and get checked out. Waiting for minor aches to intensify is never a good idea; the sooner you seek medical care the better.
4. Report the Claim to Your Insurance Company
Finally, you need to report the accident to your insurer. Before calling, you should review your insurance policy and understand what coverages you have and what you don’t have. Remember that the goal of the claims analyst will be to minimize any payments they have to make to you under the policies they issue, so the more knowledgeable you are about the contents of your insurance policy, the more likely you will have a positive conversation.
If you have been in an accident with a deer in the Baltimore area, you may want to seek the advice of experienced Baltimore accident attorneys right away, so you are prepared to deal with your insurance company.