Would you be surprised to know that November is the month with the most number of wildlife vehicle accidents such as deer, elk, raccoon and opossum?
The Oregon State Patrol posted wildlife car crashes reached 1283 in 2012 which was an increased from 1199 in 2011.
According to ODOT, Wildlife crash stats in Oregon show that in the last ten years 30 of 9428 Oregon car accidents resulted in a death.
Where are there the most wildlife vehicle accidents in Oregon?
The highest ranked counties involving wildlife crashes were Oregon’s rural counties, namely Lane, Clackamas, Deschutes, Douglas and Jackson Counties.
Wildlife vehicle accidents and settlements
The majority of wildlife injury settlements will involve single car accidents and the most prevalent claim will be passengers bringing claims against their drivers, so if you are a single driver hitting a deer the most you get will be to have your insurer pay your medical bills.
As with all single car crashes, passengers can bring claims against the driver even if they are friends or family and even claims against spouses are acceptable unless there is a prohibition in the insurance policy.
Deer are often the victims of wildlife accidents. According to Wikipedia
In 2000, of the 6.1 million lightweight motor vehicle collisions reported in the US, 1 million involved animal-vehicle collisions. Deer–vehicle collisions lead to about 200 human deaths and $1.1 billion in property damage every year. State and federal governments, insurance companies, and drivers spend an additional $3 billion in an effort to reduce and manage the increasing number of deer-vehicle collisions. The term “deer-vehicle collision” is commonly annotated throughout safety agencies as DVC.
Livestock Injury Accidents
Injury lawyers like those in our office see more car accident crashes on country roads involving livestock like horses, cattle, deer, and even loose dogs during the summer and fall. On any car accident crash where a car hits a loose horse, cow, or dog the critical issue is identifying the rancher, farmer or owner of the loose animal.
When a driver hits a loose cow or horse there may be serious injury and the farmer or rancher may be negligent by inference if it can be proven that the cow or horse was loose and that they failed to contain the animal. It makes a much stronger injury case involving a loose cow or horse if there is proof that the rancher knew his gate was faulty or the fencing was inadequate. Hitting a cow or horse on the open range is a different story in itself.
On any car accident injury case whether serious or minor the driver is always independently liable for negligence when they strike a cow or horse so a spouse could bring an insurance claim against her spouse unless this is prohibited by the insurance policy in a circumstance where the identity of the animal is unknown. This would apply equally to anyone who is a passenger and the driver hits a loose animal even like a deer or elk.
In any car accident whether minor or serious where an animal is hit the legal issue get complicated and ore complicated so its best to tell your story to an injury lawyer to ensure your rights are protected.
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