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Deer-Car Collisions in Michigan

Deer-car collisions in Michigan are too frequent during fall months when deer are more active due to mating season and can easily collide with vehicles, causing significant property damage, injuries, or even deaths. Understanding liability and damages associated with such events is vitally important to drivers and insurers when trying to assess what happened after an incident.

Deer-Car Collisions Can Lead to Liabilities for Collisions between Deer and Cars

Here are some rules that are followed during deer-car collisions:

  • Michigan follows no-fault insurance laws when assessing liability in deer-car collisions, so these typically determine who pays.
  • Under Michigan no-fault rules, each driver's respective insurer is responsible for covering medical bills, lost wages, and any necessary expenses, regardless of who was at fault in an incident.
  • No-Fault Rule Applies only To Injuries Induced By Automobile Collisions, Not Property Damage.
  • Liabilities are determined based on negligence principles regarding property damages caused in automobile collisions.

Negligence Claimed for Deer-Car Collisions

Negligence refers to any driver failing to exercise reasonable care while operating their vehicle and establishing this aspect of liability in deer-car collisions. Four key elements must be shown for negligence to exist:

Duty of Care

As drivers, it was incumbent upon them to operate their vehicles safely and responsibly to prevent collisions from happening.

Breach of Duty

To establish a breach, the evidence must demonstrate that the driver violated their obligation by failing to take appropriate precautions to avoid an accident.


There must be an identifiable correlation between a driver's violation of his/her duty and a collision with an animal such as deer.


Next, damages from the collision must be quantifiable - such as property or bodily injuries sustained.

Comparative Negligence

Michigan uses a comparative negligence system, in which liability for accidents is split proportionately among parties responsible based on each one's level of fault. If the driver was partially at fault for an incident, their compensation may be decreased accordingly.

Example: If a driver was speeding and failed to heed deer crossing signs before colliding, the court may find them 30% at fault and reduce their coverage by that amount.

Damages From Deer-Car Collisions

After being involved in a deer-car collision, two primary damages can usually be assessed: property damage and personal injuries.

Property Damage

"Property damage" refers to any harm done to the vehicle due to its collision with deer, including repair costs, replacing any parts that have been compromised, and incurring other expenses needed to restore its pre-collision state.

Michigan drivers typically rely on collision coverage from their insurance policy to cover property damages caused by collisions. Although collision coverage is optional in Michigan, most drivers include it in their approaches to safeguard themselves in such instances.

Personal Injury

In cases where collision injuries result in bodily injuries to drivers, passengers, or other road users, damages for personal injuries may be sought against those responsible. Compensation could cover medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Seeking Compensation

To seek financial compensation for property damage or personal injuries sustained from car collisions, those affected (driver, passenger, or pedestrian) typically file a claim with their insurance provider first - although if another party was responsible, then rubbing with that individual's provider might also provide relief.

Michigan law stipulates a three-year statute of limitation on filing personal injury suits after an incident has occurred, so failing to file claims within this time may mean forfeiture of rights to seek compensation.

Repercussions are Severe

Deer-car collisions can have severe repercussions for drivers and passengers, including property damage and personal injuries. Understanding the liability and damages associated with these incidents is imperative in making informed decisions.

Michigan no-fault insurance laws govern personal injuries, while negligence principles govern property damage claims. Drivers should use extreme caution while operating vehicles near deer crossing areas and possess appropriate collision coverage that provides financial protection in case a deer-car collision does occur.

Staying informed and taking proactive measures are keys to mitigating risks associated with deer-car collisions and managing their aftermath more successfully. By raising awareness and practicing responsible driving, Michiganans can work toward decreasing both the frequency and severity of such accidents on our roads.

Haque Legal is always here to help. While this article is not legal advice and should not be taken as such, your first consultation is free, so schedule your appointment today!



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