In 2020, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation reported 18,414 accidents where cars killed deer. These crashes also resulted in 523 injuries and 13 deaths to humans. As of the beginning of October 2021, more than 300 people were hurt and seven people were killed in Wisconsin deer collisions during 2021. The final injury and death numbers for 2021 are likely to be significantly higher, however. While deer crashes can happen at any time, they occur most frequently during mating season, which occurs in October and November

Where Wisconsin Deer Crashes Happen

Every Wisconsin county reported multiple deer crashes in 2019, the most recent year for which data is currently available.

The five counties with the most deer crashes included:

  • Dane County – 859 accidents
  • Waukesha County – 823 accidents
  • Washington County – 758 accidents
  • Shawano County – 728 accidents
  • Sheboygan County – 727 accidents

The six counties with the most deer accident-related injuries were:

  • Marathon County – 25 injuries
  • Waukesha County – 16 injuries
  • St. Croix County – 16 injuries
  • Dane County – 14 injuries
  • Marinette County – 13 injuries
  • Shawano County – 13 injuries

Ten other counties each reported at least 10 deer-related accident injuries. These counties included Columbia, Dodge, Dun, La Crosse, Manitowoc, Monroe, Oconto, Polk, Sauk, and Washington counties.

In 2019, nine people died in Wisconsin deer crashes. Two of those deaths occurred in Marinette County. The following seven counties each reported one death:

  • Barron County
  • Clark County
  • Douglas County
  • Jefferson County
  • Polk County
  • Price County
  • Waupaca County

Regardless of where in Wisconsin the crash occurred, it’s essential to know what to do to protect yourself from further injury and to protect any potential insurance recovery after a deer accident.

What to Do If You Hit a Deer

You may have done everything right. You may have driven slowly, stayed focused, and scanned the side of the road to watch for deer. Unfortunately, deer don’t know the rules of the road, and a deer may have walked into your vehicle’s path and created a collision you couldn’t avoid.

If you hit a deer, you can protect yourself by:

  • Pulling your vehicle over to the side of the road to prevent a secondary accident
  • Not trying to move the animal
  • Calling local law enforcement to report the accident
  • Getting medical attention even if you don’t feel injured
  • Reporting the accident to your insurance company

You can’t sue a deer for negligence, but if you have comprehensive insurance, you may be able to make a recovery from your own insurance company after a deer crash. Unlike other forms of insurance, comprehensive insurance is optional in Wisconsin, and you must have purchased comprehensive insurance before you hit a deer to have the deer crash covered by your insurance company. Typically, comprehensive insurance coverage is limited to property damage.

What to Do If a Deer Causes Another Collision

Deer may cause crashes even when they aren’t hit directly. Drivers must react quickly when they see deer on the road. Instinctively, drivers want to avoid hitting the large animal and they often swerve to avoid the collision without having time to consider the consequences carefully. These drivers may collide with pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, other cars, or trucks and cause serious accidents.

In these types of deer accidents, the driver who swerved may be responsible for any accident injuries or deaths.

Our experienced Wisconsin personal injury lawyers are here to answer any of your questions after a deer-related crash. We welcome you to schedule a free consultation in our Milwaukee, Appleton, Green Bay, Madison, or Wausau office. Alternatively, we’d be happy to meet with you in your home or hospital room or by phone or video conference.

Insurance companies know that our Wisconsin accident lawyers mean business and they are often willing to settle our clients’ claims. If they won’t settle fairly, we will not hesitate to go to court to get you the recovery that you deserve.

Contact us today to find out more about your rights, your possible recovery and our Win or It’s Free Guarantee.

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham