An increasing deer population has led to a rise in deer car accidents, especially in cities and suburbs across the Lower Peninsula. In fact, Michigan ranked fourth on a list of states where drivers are most likely to collide with a deer, according to the latest annual report from a major insurance company. While deer appear harmless in their natural habitat, they can be quite deadly when they dart across a road or highway. In addition to harming the animal, hitting a deer can cause serious injuries to the driver and passengers as well as major vehicle damage.
Here is an overview of what to do after a deer collision and how hiring an experienced car accident attorney is the best way to win the compensation you deserve.
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If you are injured, your medical expenses will be paid in accordance with the level of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) medical coverage you have chosen. If you have unlimited medical benefits, your policy will cover the cost of all reasonable and necessary medical services related to the accident. This coverage includes rehabilitative therapy, attendant care and transportation to and from medical appointments.
In addition, PIP benefits include a portion of lost wages and replacement services for up to three years. These benefits are currently available regardless of your level of PIP medical coverage, but could change in the future.
If your passengers are injured, their medical bills will be covered according to the provisions of their own No-Fault policies or other health care insurance. Uninsured passengers may seek reimbursement from the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (MACP).
If no other vehicle is involved in the accident, car repairs will be covered only if your insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage. This optional protection pays for damages caused by things other than car crashes, such as animals, fire, theft, vandalism, glass/windshield damage, falling trees, lightning, hail and flooding.
However, comprehensive coverage pays for repairs only if the vehicle made actual contact with the animal. If, for example, a car swerved to avoid a deer and smashed into a tree or guardrail, the repairs would be covered under the collision portion of the policy.
In addition, if the deer accident did not involve another car, the vehicle owner is responsible for paying the deductible specified in the policy.
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Sometimes a deer accident involves another motor vehicle, such as when a driver hits the brakes or swerves to avoid the deer and is hit by another car.
If anyone is injured, the No-Fault coverage is the same as it is in any auto accident. Medical bills and other accident-related expected are paid under the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) medical benefits, up to the limits of the policy covering the injured person. No-Fault also covers a portion of lost wages in addition to household replacement services up to $20 per day.
However, if another driver is at fault for the accident, the victim(s) may be able to file a lawsuit to recover intangible damages such as pain and suffering as well as medical expenses that exceed the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) medical benefits selected by the policy owner.
If you are injured in a deer crash involving another vehicle, it is wise to contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.
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A motorcycle is not considered a “motor vehicle” under Michigan No-Fault law. Therefore, motorcycles are not eligible for the same insurance covering passenger vehicles such as cars and trucks. The main difference is that standard motorcycle insurance policies do not include Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits, which typically cover accident-related expenses such as medical bills (up to the limits of the policy), in addition to lost wages and replacement services.
Therefore, if a motorcyclist hits a deer and no truck or automobile is involved, No-Fault benefits do not apply unless the biker has another vehicle covered by a No-Fault policy. This is why many motorcyclists purchase optional PIP coverage from their insurance carriers.
However, when the deer accident involves another motor vehicle, the motorcyclist’s medical bills are usually covered by the at-fault driver’s (or vehicle owner’s) No-Fault, up to the limits of the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) medical benefits specified in the policy.
Additionally, the motorcyclist may be able to file a claim against the at-fault party for intangible damages such as pain and suffering, as well as medical expenses that exceed the No-Fault medical coverage limits.
While it is normal to be shaken up after any car accident, taking these simple steps can help ensure safety and avoid future problems:
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If you or a loved one is injured in a Michigan car accident, we can help. Our experienced lawyers have the skills, knowledge and resources to win the compensation you and your family deserve.
Car accident law is complicated, but finding the right Michigan car accident attorney is simple.
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