Utah is a glorious place for the outdoors. Utah’s wildlife abounds daily in Utah’s landscapes, towns and sometimes on our public roads. Car v. Deer Utah car accidents.

What happens when you hit a deer with your car, are hurt and your car is damaged?
(1).  This blog describes:
(2).  Who pays for the car damage.
(3).  Who can pay for the bodily injuries passengers suffer during the deer collision.

The Driver’s Bodily Injuries. If you are the driver and you hit a deer on I-70 or I-15 down south and are hurt you likely have no recourse. You as the driver are expected to drive at a prudent speed and you accept all liabilities that a deer may shoot out. This is especially true when you are going too fast for the conditions and hit the deer.

PIP Benefits. You will likely be able to recover your Personal Injury Protection Benefits attached to your own car policy of insurance. See this article and video for a deeper detailed look at PIP benefits. PIP benefits are (1). At-least $3,000 in medical bill payments. (2). Loss of household services up to $20 per day, (3). Lost wages at $250 per week or 80%, whichever is less and a few other lesser used PIP benefits.

As the injured driver who hit the deer you will not be able to recover general or out-of-pocket (economic) damages from your underinsured, uninsured or liability policies attached to your own car insurance policy.

Passenger’s Bodily Injuries. Sometimes. Sometimes if the driver was driving negligently and hits a deer causing the passenger injuries, the passenger(s) can recover from the driver’s liability car insurance policy. Just like the driver, the passenger can also access any PIP benefits under the driver’s PIP policy. The bare minimum Utah PIP policy is $3,000 in medical pay, lost wages and household services.

Negligent Driving. For the passengers to make a claim against the driver, the driver must have been driving negligently, otherwise known as driving careless or recklessly. Negligent driving examples could be that the driver was on drugs or drunk. Alcohol or drugs being found in the car; there is testimony that the driver was speeding; or otherwise driving too fast for existing conditions are all examples of negligence.

Car Damage. Comprehensive car insurance coverage protects your car from unexpected damage, such as a tree branch falling after a storm or hitting a deer/cow. Collision car insurance coverage protects against collisions with another motor vehicle or object. When a person rents, leases or finances a car, it likely is required that you have both comprehensive and collision coverage.

Unless you had comprehensive or collision coverage, you are stuck with the car damage caused by hitting the deer.

What to Do After Hitting a Deer in Utah?

(1). Report the Claim. You generally have a duty to report all accidents to your insurance company and you should report the matter immediately. Not reporting accidents or not cooperating with your own insurance company can sometimes cause them to revoke coverage. Meaning, you are on your own for covering the damage.

See this article on when and why to give an insurance adjuster interview.

(2). Call the Police. Each state is different with reporting requirements for car collisions, whether with an animal, or where property and personal injuries are involved. The safe bet when anyone is hurt is to report the matter to dispatch and ask their instructions.
Reporting the matter to the police also gives you a record of the events which can be good in the future for many reasons.

(3). Injuries. If you are injured, whether the passenger or driver, you should seek appropriate medical care for your injuries. The passenger must document their injuries with appropriate doctors in a reasonable time after the collision just in case there is an insurance claim. This way the injuries are documented in the event a claim does arise. Hitting a deer with your car in Utah.

(4). Call a Utah Car Accident Lawyer. Calling an experienced real working Utah car accident lawyer can really get you in the right direction. Normally car accident lawyer Jake Gunter can tell you over the phone in 5 minutes if you have an injury case and how to get your car fixed.