What to do if you hit a deer in NYS

Posted on 
May 29, 2013
By 
3 Comments
invisible

It’s probably one of the most frightening experiences behind the wheel and it happens more often than we think.  You are driving your vehicle in the middle of the night, following all the rules of the road with not many cars around you when all of a sudden a deer darts in front of your vehicle.  Every year deer collisions take the lives of thousands and cause serious injuries to motorists and can cause significant damage to a car.

In 2012, there were over 80,000 motorists that hit a deer on a New York roadway.  The only other states to have more collisions with deer are Michigan with close to 100,000 and Pennsylvania with more than 115,000.  The numbers could be much more as many car accidents that involve deer go unreported. 

What Steps Should I Take After A Collision With A Deer In New York?

After your collision it is important to make your way to the side of the road with your hazard lights on.  Make sure that you and everyone else in the vehicle are okay and have not sustained any injuries.  If the animal is in front of your vehicle try to put the headlights on and stay in the car.  Sometimes the deer can still get up and kick or get aggressive after an accident.

If it is safe to exit your vehicle try to light road flares or set up triangles to warn oncoming vehicles about the situation on the road.  Call 911 and let them know what happened.  You should wait for a police officer to make a report of the incident.   New York law requires that in order to process an insurance claim due to a collision with an animal an officer needs to make a report of the incident immediately after it has happened.

If you are in a single-car accident involving a deer, the only likely issue to contend with is an insurance claim for damage to your vehicle. However, deer collisions can involve other cars that may have hit your car once you hit the deer.  There may be grounds for you to sue if you have been injured by a rear-end collision that resulted from contact with a deer.  Our firm once represented an individual who was thrown off his motorcycle after colliding with a deer and then his body was run over by drivers of two cars who we sued for damages.

How Can I Avoid A Collision With A Deer?

There are several steps a driver can take to help avoid a collision with a deer.  First always look for signs that are posted which warn drivers of areas that have a higher population of deer.  The best thing to do is drive at a safe speed and always wear your safety belt.  Although deer can jump out at any time while you are on the road, your chances of avoiding a collision are much better when you are driving slow enough to spot the animal ahead of time.  Traveling at a higher speed does not give you enough time to avoid a collision and the impact can be more severe the faster you drive.  In addition drivers that are speeding and spot a deer tend to swerve their vehicle suddenly which can result in a car flipping over, hitting other vehicles or driving off the road.

A good practice that is taught in any defensive driving course is to be able to stop within the distance of your headlights.   If you see a deer in front of your vehicle it is better to apply your brake firmly than to swerve to avoid a collision.  Whenever you are in a heavily forested area it is a good practice to scan the sides of the road.  If there are no other vehicles on immediately in front of you, use your high beams to illuminate more areas so you can see the road more clearly.

If you are involved in a deer-vehicle collision that involves another party, you should contact Rosenblum Law for a free consultation about the accident and to determine whether you may entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Author Bio

Adam H. Rosenblum

Founding Attorney Of Rosenblum Law

Adam H. Rosenblum is an experienced and skilled traffic violations and criminal defense attorney. Mr. Rosenblum provides expert and aggressive representation to those facing points on their drivers’ licenses and the associated fines and surcharges.

Read Full Bio

3 Comments

  1. A good practice that is taught in any defensive driving course is to be able to stop within the distance of your headlights. If you see a deer in front of your vehicle it is better to apply your brake firmly than to swerve to avoid a collision. Whenever you are in a heavily forested area it is a good practice to scan the sides of the road. If there are no other vehicles on immediately in front of you, use your high beams to illuminate more areas so you can see the road more clearly.

  2. If you hit and kill a deer, does a person have the right to take it and use the meat for eating purposes?

    1. Depends on the state. In Montana for example it is legal to eat roadkill. According to this article, "Roadside carcasses are already collected for personal consumption and/or for food charities in states such as Alaska, Wisconsin, New York, Florida, West Virginia, and Illinois."

Leave a Reply to Sue Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Free Consultation

Call us now for a quick, free, and no obligation colustion with one of our attorneys.
888-883-5529

Featured Experts

Kent Ng

NYPD (Ret.)
Read More

Mike Gheller

NYPD Officer
Read More

Travis Hall

NY State Police
Read More

Related Articles

Learn more about traffic tickets and criminal matters in New York and New Jersey.

How To Change Your Court Date For A Traffic Ticket In New York

When a driver decides to fight a traffic ticket, the first step is to plead not guilty and have the...
Read More

How to Use Dash Cam Footage to Fight a New York Speeding Ticket

If you’ve been issued a speeding ticket, you may feel that the ticket was not justified at worst or inaccurate...
Read More
August 22, 2022

When Can the Police Take Away/Impound Your Vehicle?

There are few reasons why local police or any law enforcement would take possession of your vehicle. We use the...
Read More
July 13, 2022

We've Fought Over 50,000 Traffic Ticket Cases

Call us now for a quick, free, and no-obligation consultation.
888-883-5529
chevron-down Call Now ButtonFree Consult Call Now linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram