Large deer blocks a moving vehicle's path

Deer don’t know the rules of the road, can’t be held liable for a traffic accident, and don’t carry insurance. Yet, Iowa has one of the highest deer-vehicle collision rates in the country, and each year people are seriously injured or killed in deer-related accidents.

How Deer Accidents Hurt People

Generally, there are three types of deer-related motor vehicle crashes. You may be hurt when:

  • You hit a deer (or a deer hits you)
  • You swerve off the road to avoid hitting a deer
  • You or another driver swerve to avoid hitting a deer and collide with another vehicle, pedestrian, or bicyclist

Any of these accidents may result in serious injuries, such as:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Eye injuries
  • Dental injuries

Each year, some Iowa deer crashes also cause human deaths.

What to Do If Your Vehicle Hits a Deer

Your first steps should be the same as they would be after any type of accident. You should report the accident to the police and accept medical attention even if you don’t think you are injured.

Then, you should report the accident to your insurance company. Collision insurance is unlikely to cover any of your damages when you hit a deer. However, your insurance company may be responsible for paying some of your damages if you purchased optional coverage before your accident. For example:

  • Comprehensive Coverage may pay for your vehicle damage after a deer-related accident
  • MedPay may cover your accident-related medical costs

When you make a comprehensive coverage or MedPay claim, you should expect that your insurance company will try to limit your recovery. While you’ve paid premiums for these types of insurance coverage, the insurance company profits by paying you as little as possible for your claim. Accordingly, you will need to convince the insurance company to pay you fair damage for your property damage and healthcare expenses.

What to Do If a Driver Hits You While Avoiding a Deer

Iowa is an at-fault state. That means that before you can recover damages for your injuries, you must prove that someone else caused the accident.

Drivers have a duty to use reasonable care on the road. A driver who swerved to avoid colliding with a deer and instead collided with you may be legally responsible for paying your accident damages.

You may have a claim against that driver. The first step in recovering fair damages for your claim is to contact an experienced Iowa personal injury lawyer who knows how to make insurance companies settle claims fairly and who isn’t afraid to go to court if a fair settlement isn’t possible.

Iowa insurance companies know that Hupy and Abraham means business. Insurers are often willing to settle our clients’ claims rather than risk the uncertainty of litigation. Our lawyers will fight for your fair and just recovery of past and future:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Out-of-pocket expenses, including property damage and household help
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional suffering

These damages may also be possible if you were a passenger in a vehicle that hit a deer. In that case, you may be able to pursue a negligence claim against the driver that hit the animal.

Now Is the Time to Contact an Iowa Personal Injury Lawyer

Your time to file an Iowa deer-related accident claim is limited by law. Typically, you have just two years to file your lawsuit in court. However, there are advantages to pursuing a claim sooner rather than later.

Our experienced accident lawyers have helped more than 70,000 clients recover more than $1 billion in damages. Now, we are ready to talk to you about your claim. Please contact us today for a free consultation in our Cedar Rapids, Davenport, or Des Moines office. Alternatively, we would be happy to meet with you in your home or hospital room or by phone or video conference.


Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.