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Don’t Cite an Imaginary Deer as the Cause of a Car Crash

A car crash case was settled in Virginia last month for $250,000. The crash occurred on a two-lane highway. At about 1 pm the defendant driver drove off the road to the right, over-corrected, and crossed the highway into oncoming traffic and struck the plaintiff driver in the driver’s door and then pushed

car crash -- Altizer Law

Image by Peter Burns, from flickr

him into a tree. He was taken to the local hospital, but died that day.

The defendant driver claimed than an animal ran into the roadway in front of her, causing her to swerve to avoid it. When questioned, she claimed that a deer ran into the road. Because she was treated at the hospital, her medical records were subpoenaed to determine what she said about the crash to medical professionals.

The State Trooper who was called to the accident site by the county sheriff’s office said there were no witnesses at the site. The 911 tape from the sheriff’s office was subpoenaed, which provided the name of the caller who reported the crash. The caller later said he saw the accident, but did not see a deer or any other animal at the scene of the crash. This statement was paired with the statement of a deer expert at Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries that it was not likely that there would be deer activity at the time of the crash because deer are nocturnal.

The case settled out of court for $250,000 (the policy limit). No other reason for the defendant driver leaving the road and losing control of her vehicle was given.

There are many reasons that drivers can drift off the road onto a shoulder. If this happens, it is important to remain calm and focus on controlling your vehicle. Overcorrecting frequently causes a serious crash. Last year, 491 people died on Virginia roadways in crashes involving a roadway departure.

If you have been injured in a car, motorcycle or small truck crash, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  If the crash occurred through no fault of your own, call our experienced attorneys, Bettina and Terri to evaluate your case.