Animal Involved Car Accident

Animals are known as man's best friend, but animal-related car accidents happen all too often. The Charlotte, North Carolina, metropolitan area is filled with natural wildlife as well as free-roaming domestic cats, and domestic dogs. Additionally, the North Carolina woods are full of deer, coyote, opossum, feral dogs, racoons and much more. When a deer or any other large animal is hit by a motor vehicle at high speed, the consequences can be disastrous. A deer can cause significant property damage to a motor vehicle and cause the driver and passengers serious injuries.

If you have suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident involving an animal, you may be entitled to compensation. In many instances, car insurance policies cover collisions involving animals. Unfortunately, car insurance companies operate on a for-profit basis. Car insurance adjusters will attempt to deny claims for any possible reason. If you need to seek compensation through a car insurance settlement, Arnold & Smith, PLLC can help. Our attorneys have extensive experience negotiating with car insurance adjusters. We know how to fight for our client’s best interests. Contact our Charlotte, North Carolina, car accident attorneys today to schedule your free initial consultation.

Deer-Related Motor Vehicle Accidents in North Carolina

North Carolina is home to a large population of deer. Most deer-related motor vehicle crashes happen in October, November, and December. Almost 25% of deer-related car accidents happened during November in 2016. Mating season occurs during the fall, causing more deer to venture out of the forest and roam onto highways and roads. The UNC Highway Safety Research Center reported that 15,864 deer-related car crashes happened in 2016. Three of the deer-related crashes resulted in fatalities, and 702 accidents resulted in personal injuries.

Most deer-related motor vehicle accidents occur during the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. in 2016, over 10,000 car crashes related to deer occurred when the streets were dark with no streetlights or light conditions. The North Carolina Highway Patrol advises drivers to take the following precautions to avoid animal-related car accidents:

  • Maintain control of your vehicle when you see a wild animal, including a deer. It is natural to overreact when seeing a wild animal on the road. Many drivers end up overcorrecting with their steering and causing more damage. Losing control often causes a more severe motor vehicle accident. It can be safer to collide with a deer by maintaining control of the vehicle than colliding with another motor vehicle.
  • Remember that deer travel in herds. If you see one deer, assume that more deer are nearby. If you see one deer, it is best to think that more deer are following behind that deer. Take extra precautions anytime you see a deer, even if it is not close to your motor vehicle.
  • Slow down when you see a deer. When you are driving in farmland areas or heavily wooded areas, it is wise to reduce your speed somewhat. Pay extra attention to your surroundings.
  • Watch for deer eyes reflecting from your headlights. While driving on the highway, look as far down the road as possible and scan for any deer eyes staring at you. The sooner you spot the glowing eyes of a deer, the more time you will have to avoid a potential accident. Many drivers use their high beam headlights at night to make it easier to spot possible deer. Be sure not to use high beam headlights if you see oncoming traffic.
What to do After Colliding With an Animal in a Car Accident

If you do collide with a deer or any other large animal on a North Carolina highway, it is essential to remain calm. Call emergency services and report the collision. The North Carolina Highway Patrol does not advise drivers to try to move the animal carcass. Attempting to move the carcass could cause further injury to the driver and passengers.

Further, it is not wise to touch the deer after you strike one. Many people want to help an injured deer, but doing so is extremely dangerous. An injured animal, including an injured deer, might react in a hazardous manner. The Highway Patrol advises drivers in deer-car accidents to pull over to a safe location, if possible, and dial 911 or *HP for help.

If You Have Suffered an Injury in an Animal-Related Accident, We Can Help

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC our attorneys have helped many clients recover insurance settlements for animal-related car collisions. Contact our Charlotte personal injury law firm today to discuss how our attorneys can help you seek compensation.

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