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  1. #1
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    Jul 2007
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    Default Who Is At Fault When Avoiding A Deer

    I was recently involved in a situation where I was driving at normal speed on the highway. As I was driving, I saw a deer running across the highway. I swerved to avoid the deer, however as I was swerving the car directly behind me braked and lost control of his car, and ended up in the ditch. There were no damage to my car, as I avoided the deer and the car behind me. I pulled over to see if the man was alright, and the police came and everything, and let me go after gathering my information. My question is, who is at fault?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Who is at fault when avoiding deer?

    Quote Quoting peter1234
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    I was recently involved in a situation where I was driving at normal speed on the highway. As I was driving, I saw a deer running across the highway. I swerved to avoid the deer, however as I was swerving the car directly behind me braked and lost control of his car, and ended up in the ditch. There were no damage to my car, as I avoided the deer and the car behind me. I pulled over to see if the man was alright, and the police came and everything, and let me go after gathering my information. My question is, who is at fault?

    Thanks!
    God. After all, he made all the animals but he will not accept a summons and the last guy that tried got struck with lightning. God claims it was a coincidence but most people don't believe that.

    Ok, fine, then the deer but I dount you will be able to serve him for court.


    Who was at fault for what? the guy behind you that was not driving an assured clear distance behind you so he could avoid an accident should he need to, like in this situation?

    I would say the guy in the rear that could not stop his car within the space he left between you and him.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2007
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    Default Re: Who is at fault when avoiding deer?

    Thanks, I was just getting a little worried, because his insurance company is calling me. I wanted to get some feedback about this situation before I called back.

  4. #4
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    Ohio
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    Default Re: Who is at fault when avoiding deer?

    Quote Quoting peter1234
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    Thanks, I was just getting a little worried, because his insurance company is calling me. I wanted to get some feedback about this situation before I called back.
    How was the deer? He/she avoided the accident? Hope the deer does not have PTSD resulting from the near death experience!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Who Is At Fault When Avoiding A Deer

    I agree with JK.

    However, if the deer would have been killed, I disagree it couldnt be served.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2007
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    Il.(near StL,Mo.)
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    Default Re: Who Is At Fault When Avoiding A Deer

    I agree also - I don't see how you would be held responsible for the accident the gentleman in the car behind you had. It seems he was not leaving a safe distance between cars.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Who Is At Fault When Avoiding A Deer

    Quote Quoting peter1234
    View Post
    I was recently involved in a situation where I was driving at normal speed on the highway. As I was driving, I saw a deer running across the highway. I swerved to avoid the deer, however as I was swerving the car directly behind me braked and lost control of his car, and ended up in the ditch. There were no damage to my car, as I avoided the deer and the car behind me. I pulled over to see if the man was alright, and the police came and everything, and let me go after gathering my information. My question is, who is at fault?

    Thanks!
    Peter,

    When a deer comes across your path on the highway the number one thing recommended is NOT to swerve. Collision with another car is the fault of the person who suddenly swerves out the lane they were traveling into the path of another car. You are lucky that you and your car weren't damaged but the other guy did nothing except avoid hitting you because you left your lane.

    It is your responsibilty to always be in control of your auto; to drive with caution especially where you might encounter wild animals.

    Even if you did not file a claim, you are at-fault for the accident and damages to the other person's car.

    Nothing was mentioned about the distance between you and the car behind you.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Who Is At Fault When Avoiding A Deer

    Quote Quoting deadlock
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    It is your responsibilty to always be in control of your auto; to drive with caution especially where you might encounter wild animals.

    Even if you did not file a claim, you are at-fault for the accident and damages to the other person's car.

    Nothing was mentioned about the distance between you and the car behind you.
    deadlock;

    the car that was damaged was behind the OP. If the other car was in an adjacent lane or, especially, travelling in the opposite direction, OP would be at fault. Since the driver was behind and it was that driver who actually failed to control their car, then they are at fault for their own damages.

    Following driver is responsible for thier own damages since their actions (failure to follow within an assured clear distance) were the cause of their own damage, not the deer or OP.

    There is no specified distance in any statutes I am aware of. The requirement is simply to follow at a safe distance. That safe distance is determined by the ability to safely stop or avoid an incident in front of you.

    Following car failed to take that action.

  9. #9
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    Ohio
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    Default Re: Who Is At Fault When Avoiding A Deer

    jk,

    He said police came and did not site him. He was not charged for any crime according to law.

    The insurance companies determine "at-fault". He will be considered "at-fault" by the other person's insurance company, because he swerved out of his lane to avoid the deer. The person behind him reacted to his reckless driving and ended up in the ditch.

    Again, distance behind the person who swerved has nothing to do with determining who was at fault.

    Please google "at-fault + swerve + deer".

    Howerver, my information came directly from USAA Insurance Co regarding a similar incident where a driver "swerved" to avoid hitting a moose.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Who Is At Fault When Avoiding A Deer

    The insurance companies determine "at-fault". He will be considered "at-fault" by the other person's insurance company, because he swerved out of his lane to avoid the deer. The person behind him reacted to his reckless driving and ended up in the ditch.
    No, the courts determine fault. The insurance companies attempt to place fault and often are incorrect. It is also far from reckless driving. It is called "defensive driving" and the 2nd driver should have been doing the same, they weren't.

    Again, distance behind the person who swerved has nothing to do with determining who was at fault.
    Yes it absiolutelely does. If you are following too closely to be able to react to a condition in front of you, then you are at fault for the resulting damages. I don;t care if I slam on my brakes in the middle of the road, if the car behind me cannot take action safely to avoid hitting me or loses control of their vehicle, the the car in the rear is at fault. That is a given in every state I know of. (obvious baiting and intentional actions of "braking" are a different situation but even then, the 2nd driver is often considered to be at fault for lack of ability to avoid)

    Please google "at-fault + swerve + deer".
    I did. The only thing I found was that a driver who swerved to avoid a deer was considered "at fault" for their own damage or damage caused by a direct result of those actions. A driver bhind youcannot be affected as a direct result. It would be a subsequential action of the 2nd driver that cause the damage to his own car. I found nothing relating to a vehicle that was behind the accident and where fault would be placed due to this.

    Howerver, my information came directly from USAA Insurance Co regarding a similar incident where a driver "swerved" to avoid hitting a moose.
    Again, the swerving driver becomes "at fault" for the damages caused to his vehicle but is still not responsible for anothers vehicle unless his vehicle acts upon the other vehicle. If it is merely a matter of negligence of the driver following (again, the following to closely) then the fault for additional damages and ALL of the 2nd cars damages is on the 2nd driver.

    Not sure but I believe you may be thnking incorrectly about the actual incident. from a previous post of yours:

    When a deer comes across your path on the highway the number one thing recommended is NOT to swerve. Collision with another car is the fault of the person who suddenly swerves out the lane they were traveling into the path of another car. You are lucky that you and your car weren't damaged but the other guy did nothing except avoid hitting you because you left your lane.
    OP did not swerve into the path of another car. He merely swerved to avoid the deer and the car following him could not control his own car. That lack of control is the only cause for the damages to the 2nd car. i.e. if the 2nd car would have been travelling at a safe distance, he would have been able to stop his car safely. He could not do this so he was following too closely i.e at-fault for his own damages.

    There is no action a driver can take that would cause a driver behind them to have an accident (unless they throw things out of the window or similar intentional acts)

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