What Happens If You Hit a Deer and Don't Call the Police?

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Hitting a deer as you're driving down the road happens more often than you might think, especially in some states. Many people are unsure of whether they should call the police and follow a report when this occurs.

Another concern for individuals is the amount of damage this could cause to their car and how to file an insurance claim. Keep in mind most insurance companies require a police report for any type of collision.

Are you wondering what happens if you hit a deer and don't call the police? Keep reading below so that you'll be prepared when this happens to you.

What Happens If You Hit a Deer and Don't Call the Police?

Hitting a deer while you're driving down the road can be devastating to both you and your vehicle for many reasons. While you may avoid most injuries, your car, however, may get the brunt of the damage.

Many people wonder what may happen if you hit a deer and you don't call the police. The truth about this question is that it can vary from state to state since some states tend to have more deer than others.

In some states, it is required that you call the police for any kind of automobile Collision that you're a part of. This requirement also includes animal-vehicle collisions that cause damage to your car or someone else's.

Many states require that if there is damage of potentially more than $500 worth, the accident must go on file as a police report. Not doing so can cause you more trouble than it's worth in the long run.

While it is not technically illegal to not call the police after hitting a deer, it is the right thing to do overall. This means that you will likely not get a ticket or be fined for hitting the deer, however, if you were following unsafe driving conditions then you could be liable for that.

Are You Required to File a Police Report if You Hit a Deer?

Depending on the state you live in, you may be required to file a police report if you hit a deer while driving down the highway. Most people know that deer season happens in the late fall and early winter times between October and December.

If you live in a state that tends to have a greater deer population, you should be aware of this time frame so that you can take better precautions while driving. Although taking these precautions may not prepare you if a deer darts out in front of you, following some of them can help keep you safe.

It is important to keep in mind that in Most states it is not a requirement to file a police report if you hit a deer however other circumstances may make you want to. This is especially true if you have more than $500 worth of damage to your vehicle or have a separate personal injury.

Reasons You Should Report Hitting a Deer

Since hitting a deer does not require you to make a police report in most States, there are many reasons why you should report hitting one. These reasons can not only help protect yourself but other drivers on the road.

It is likely that if you have hit a deer you have not only caused damage to your vehicle and possibly yourself, but the deer may also be suffering. Letting someone know what has happened can prevent further complications down the road.

If you were wondering about some of the best reasons why you should report hitting a deer, keep reading.

Insurance May Require it

While the individual state may or may not require you to report hitting a deer if you suffer any damage to your vehicle and want to file a claim your insurance company may require it. In most cases, to file an insurance claim, there has to be a crash report or police report on file.

If you choose not to make a report after hitting a deer on the road, you could be liable for paying for the damage to your car yourself. At the very least, making the report can help the insurance company assess what happened and determine whether or not it is covered by your policy.

You Could Be Fined

Even though it is not as common, some states may issue a fine to you if you fail to report hitting a deer. This is especially true if there is more than $500 worth of damage to your vehicle or another vehicle or damage to property on the road.

Although this is not true for all states, it is always better to report hitting a deer so that the proper authorities are aware of the situation. To learn whether or not your state May issue a fine for hitting a deer and not reporting it, you could always go to your city's local website for more information.

The Injured Deer Could Be Dangerous

Another reason you may want to report hitting a deer whether or not it is required in your state, is that the deer could be injured which can pose a danger. In most cases an injured animal could become dangerous should other people or other animals approach it.

Additionally, it can be risky if you hit a deer and leave it lying in the middle of the road. This is because if other drivers on the highway come upon it they may not see it in time and it could cause further collisions.

Humane Obligation

One of the best reasons for reporting hitting a deer when you're driving on the road is the Humane obligation. If you think about it this way, if you were hit you probably would not want someone to leave you lying on the road.

It is best if you at the very least report the collision with animal control so that somebody can come out that is trained to deal with animals to assess the situation. Doing so can help the deer get treated for whatever injuries it may have or other treatment options.

What Steps Should You Take if You Hit a Deer?

Whether or not you choose to report hitting a deer when you're driving down the road, there are certain steps that you should always take if this happens. These steps are designed to keep you and other motorists safe on the road.

Like other car collisions, the steps you take directly after an accident can help you to prevent further injury and further damage to your vehicle. Taking certain precautions can also prevent other people from becoming part of the accident as well.

If you hit a deer while driving down the road, you should use the following steps to help you deal with the situation at hand.

Move Your Car to Safety

One of the first things that you should do if you hit a deer is to move your car to the side of the road for safety reasons. Doing so gets your car out of the road so that it is not hit by another vehicle that may be coming up behind you.

In most cases, it is also common courtesy to turn on your hazard lights to notify anyone behind you that something has happened. When others come up behind you and see hazard lights they're more likely to slow down and not cause further damage.

Call the Local Police Department

One of the next things that are recommended that you do after hitting a deer is to call the local police department. The number you should call will depend on the severity of the collision and how much damage or injuries have occurred.

Keep in mind if there is severe damage to your vehicle or if anyone in your car has suffered any injuries, calling 911 is your best option. However, if there is no major damage to your car and no one is Injured you can call the non-emergency number for the police department.

Check Your Vehicle For Damage

Once you have pulled over on the side of the road and the conditions are safe, you will need to check out the damage to your vehicle. Doing so will help you determine whether or not you will be able to drive your car once everything is cleared up.

As you were checking your vehicle for damage you'll want to make sure that not only is there physical damage but take note of any leaks or anything else that could cause your car to be dangerous. The last thing that you want to do is to drive your vehicle away from the collision when it is not safe to do so.

Take Photos and Document the Details of the Accident

As you are assessing the damage to your vehicle, you should take the time to also take photos and document the details of the accident. When you file your insurance claim, they will likely want to see Photos of any damage.

Documenting the details of the accident immediately after it has occurred will help you when reporting the incident to the police. In your notes, you'll want to make sure you document the time of the day, any damage to the vehicle, injuries to yourself or others, and the potential condition of the deer.

Keep Your Distance From the Deer

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should never approach the deer that you hit on the road. This is because if the deer is not dead, it could be injured and scared which could cause it to act out towards you.

If the deer is flailing around you could suffer injuries from the antlers or the hooves of the deer that is injured. It is best to keep your distance and call the police and possibly animal control so that they can deal with it safely.

Contact Your Insurance Agency

The next step you'll want to take after hitting a deer is to contact your insurance agency to start a claim. Most insurance agencies require that you report an accident as soon as possible so that no details are left behind.

Once you have contacted your insurance agency they will tell you the next steps to follow in filing a claim. The steps typically include submitting a copy of the police report you filed, any photos that you took, and a detailed explanation as to what happened.

Drive or Have Your Car Towed to a Repair Shop of Your Choice

If your car has suffered damage from the Collision, then you'll want to get your car to your chosen repair shop as soon as possible. This will depend on the severity of the damage to your car.

If your car suffered only minor damages, you will likely be able to Drive your car to the repair shop of your choice. However, if your car has suffered more extensive damage, you will likely want to call a tow company to have it taken there.

Is it Legal to Take the Deer Carcass Home With You?

Many people wonder if after hitting a deer if they are allowed to take the deer carcass home with them. Since deer is a common animal that can be hunted, many people want to take it home to use for meat.

You should be aware of the laws and stipulations in your state concerning taking a deer carcass home with you. While many states allow you to do so, you may have to get a specific permit that allows you to do so.

Does Insurance Typically Cover Deer-Vehicle Collisions?

Another common question is whether or not most insurance companies cover deer-vehicle collisions. It's important to keep in mind that most insurance will cover these types of collisions since it is deemed as an unavoidable accident.

It is important to note that most insurance agencies require you to have a comprehensive Collision policy before they will cover the damage. Additionally, many insurance agencies require that the damage be directly from the hitting of the deer and not because you swerved off of the road and hit something else.

Reference Legal Explanations

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  • "What Happens If You Hit a Deer and Don't Call the Police?". Legal Explanations. Accessed on July 19, 2024. https://legal-explanations.com/blog/what-happens-if-you-hit-a-deer-and-dont-call-the-police/.

  • "What Happens If You Hit a Deer and Don't Call the Police?". Legal Explanations, https://legal-explanations.com/blog/what-happens-if-you-hit-a-deer-and-dont-call-the-police/. Accessed 19 July, 2024

  • What Happens If You Hit a Deer and Don't Call the Police?. Legal Explanations. Retrieved from https://legal-explanations.com/blog/what-happens-if-you-hit-a-deer-and-dont-call-the-police/.