From July 2020—July 2021, U.S. drivers reported 2.1 million animal collision insurance claims, according to the Insurance Information Institute. During deer season, which lasts from October through December, a significant increase occurs in the movement of the deer population. As they move to a new location, many deer end up on highways and local roads. Consequently, more car accidents involving deer occur during deer season than any other time of year. In addition to deer-vehicle collisions, multi-vehicle collisions can also result from deer crossing the road. When drivers see a deer approaching the road, their natural instinct may be to swerve out of the way. Unfortunately, swerving into another lane can lead to a collision with another vehicle, which may be fatal.
As a recent news article reported, a multi-vehicle accident involving a deer left three people dead and two injured in St. Joseph County, Indiana. As an SUV traveled westbound at nighttime, the driver struck a deer. To avoid the deer, the SUV driver crossed over the center median of the road. The SUV then collided with a pickup truck driving eastbound. Both the driver and passenger of the SUV died at the scene of the crash, along with the front seat passenger of the pickup truck. The pickup truck driver and back seat passenger suffered serious injuries and were transported to the hospital.
How Do I Avoid Collisions with a Deer or Another Vehicle?
If you see a deer ahead of you on the road, avoid the urge to swerve into the opposite lane. Otherwise, you may be at risk of colliding with another vehicle or losing control of your car. If there is a shoulder on the highway, try to pull over instead. This way, you can avoid hitting the deer without placing yourself and other drivers at risk of injury or death. Additionally, if you notice a deer on the road before you approach, you may have more time to stop and pull over. To spot deer on the road as early as possible, make sure to pay attention to the road and avoid distracted driving. If you are driving at night, use your headlights to ensure you can see the road in front of you.
Multi-vehicle collisions involving a deer can pose complex questions of causation and fault. If an adult victim dies as a result of another driver’s carelessness, the deceased victim’s family may be able to sue the driver for wrongful death. On issues of fault, Indiana is a modified comparative negligence state. To bring a successful personal injury claim, plaintiffs must show they are less than 51% responsible for the accident. This means that if a plaintiff and a defendant are equally at fault, the plaintiff is eligible to recover damages if they prove all the required elements of their case.
Have You Been Injured in an Indiana Multi-Vehicle Collision?
Multi-vehicle collisions that result from deer sightings can leave a victim with significant injuries or property damage. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from an Indiana multi-vehicle collision, contact Padove Law today. Our experienced Indiana personal injury firm handles complex lawsuits involving car accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and premises liability. Through our zealous representation, our firm has secured significant compensation for injured clients. To schedule a free initial consultation, call our office at 877-446-5294.