No one wants to be in an accident when there are no other parties to pursue damages due to negligence. That is exactly what happens in most accidents when a motorist strikes a deer on the road. The only time there can even be a remote possibility of a negligence claim is if the deer is a pet, and even then the case can be difficult. While it is true enough that a pet should not be out in the roadway, proving the deer was not an animal from the wilderness can be close to impossible. The problem for many vehicle owners is that they may not carry comprehensive insurance protection on their personal auto insurance policy. And even when they do carry comprehensive coverage, the amount of damages that can be claimed may be less than is expected after the insurance company performs an investigation into the accident. Vehicle owners will still need to go through the claim process before any payment is approved.
Obtaining an accident report
It is a good decision for all vehicle owners in North Carolina to contact the police in the specific jurisdiction when hitting a deer and do so immediately. Waiting until later may not be a good decision because an official accident report from the location can help establish the validity of the claim. Anyone can claim to have hit an obstacle on the highway without some form of timely documentation. The officer can serve as a witness that the incident actually occurred after conducting a thorough investigation, including taking photos of the highway and the surrounding area. As a matter of fact, vehicle owners should do the same and keep the photos for additional evidence in case the insurance provider is being difficult about paying the claim.
Filing the claim
One of the best initial steps to take is to have a body repair professional estimate the damage to the vehicle before submitting a claim to the insurance company. This information can also be withheld until the claims adjuster responds to being informed of the accident if they have not been notified beforehand by local law enforcement. Insurance companies are often contacted following an accident when there are injuries to humans, including a reporting driver, and details of how the accident happened will be important if personal injury coverage is also included in the insurance policy. However, your insurance provider may also have a specific repair service that they want to evaluate the vehicle as well, and many times even the adjuster will inspect the vehicle personally. Having your own documentation can make a major difference in some situations when the insurer does not approve the claim and a car accident law firm is necessary.
Type of insurance matters
Technicalities are important in all car accident claims in North Carolina, including the type of insurance protection a vehicle owner carries. Hitting a deer is a prime example. Those who have comprehensive insurance protection are usually covered when anything occurs to the vehicle such as broken glass, fire, or vandalism. Comprehensive insurance also includes striking an animal in a highway while in transit. Additionally, personal injuries could be covered along with the property damage, but the limitations on coverage can differ. On the other hand, collision coverage in an auto insurance policy does not cover animals on the road. It covers collisions with other vehicles or fixed objects only, and complications can still arise even when hitting a fixed object to avoid hitting a deer.
Contact a North Carolina Car Accident Law Firm
Just as with any other accident claim in North Carolina, insurance companies are often meticulous when evaluating any claim for damages. And when they are being difficult, it is often imperative to retain an experienced and aggressive car accident law firm to represent the case. Anyone in North Carolina who is having problems collecting damages due to an accident involving a deer should contact our car accident law firm and let us evaluate the case for maximum financial recovery.