Who's Responsible If You Run Into Another Car That Swerved to Avoid a Deer?

(And whose insurance has to pay for the incident?)

Car Accident

Drivers have plenty of obstacles they have to be aware of at all times, whether it be deer or other drivers on the road. For the more obscure causes of car accidents, it can be tricky to know who’s at fault. So what happens when a car swerves into your lane to avoid a deer and you end up hitting them and getting into a wreck? Who’s responsible for this mess, anyway?

Fortunately independent insurance agents can help you not only answer this question, but also get protected against the damage. They’ve had loads of experience with handling every kind of claim under the sun, so they know exactly what kind of coverage you’d need in this scenario. Better yet, they’ll help you get all the protection you need, long before you could ever need it. Here’s how they’d get you covered against someone swerving into your lane.

Who’s Responsible If You Hit a Car That Swerved to Avoid a Deer?

If a car in another lane swerves into yours to avoid hitting a deer, it’s their fault. No matter what jumps out into the road, a driver is always responsible for staying within their own lane. There are ways to avoid an incident without swerving, and certainly without entering another lane. So if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, don’t worry about being held liable. The driver who swerved into your lane will always be held responsible, not you.

If It’s All on You, How Does Property Insurance Help?

Well, the accident would never be pinned entirely on you, since it was not your fault. However, if the accident caused you to destroy someone else’s property, such as a mailbox, telephone pole, or other structure near the road, your car insurance would still protect you. The property damage liability section of your car insurance covers not only damage you cause to another person’s vehicle, but also damage to personal property and buildings, as well.

Are Driving Laws Different between States?

While states do have their own variations of certain driving laws, you won’t be held responsible for this accident anywhere across the country. However, each state may have different requirements to prove that the other driver was negligent and at fault for this incident. This may affect the types of questions your independent insurance agent asks you when you file your claim. However, you shouldn’t have to worry about being at fault, no matter where you are.

What If the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Any or Enough Insurance?

If the other driver doesn’t have adequate auto insurance, you can still file a claim through your own. You can file a collision claim or an uninsured motorist claim if there was an injury, but this is where laws differ widely by state. Some laws cover your own injuries and vehicle damage under uninsured motorist coverage, while others don’t cover the damage to your vehicle. Your independent insurance agent can help you find out what your policy covers.

Does My State Have Minimum Insurance Laws?

Yes, all states have them. Every state requires property damage liability insurance, and every state except Florida requires bodily injury liability coverage. Apart from this, your independent insurance agent can easily tell you what your specific state’s minimum auto insurance requirements are. For example, depending on where you live, you may be required to have uninsured motorist coverage or you may not.

How Do You File a Car Insurance Claim?

Hopefully you’ll never find yourself in an accident due to someone swerving from another lane to avoid a deer, but if you do end up needing to file a car insurance claim for any reason, fortunately it’s a pretty simple process.

To file a car insurance claim, follow these simple steps:

  • Contact your independent insurance agent ASAP: You’ll want to take that ASAP literally. You can even call them from the scene of the accident. The fresher the details of the incident are in your mind, the better. Your agent will have several questions about what happened, and you’ll need to get as much information about the other driver as possible.
  • File the claim through the insurance company: You may be able to do this through the carrier’s website or a mobile app, or you may have to call or fax them. You’ll want to provide photos of any vehicle damage and schedule an appraisal. You can also request reimbursement for towing or rental car services if necessary.
  • Provide the necessary documents: Typically this involves filling out a proof of claim form and providing a copy of the police report. Your insurance company may ask you for more, depending on their claims process.
  • Stay in touch with your agent: Your independent insurance agent can keep you updated on the status of your claim, and inform you of the time frame for when specific parts of the process should be handled. They’ll also be able to predict when the claim will be fully resolved, meaning when you’ll get your reimbursement.

Many modern insurance companies also allow policyholders to monitor their claim’s status through their website or mobile app. Once you’ve filed a claim, you’ll want to keep up with the claims process carefully to make sure you don’t miss supplying any important information or any deadlines.

How Would This Incident Affect My Premiums?

Unfortunately, even if an accident isn’t your fault, your car insurance premium might still get hiked. In certain areas, some insurance companies will raise insurance premiums by up to 10% or even more following an accident, regardless of who’s responsible. However, a few states don’t allow insurance companies to raise premium rates if you weren’t at fault. Your independent insurance agent can help you find the exact answer based on your policy and location.

Other Common Auto Risks Worth Considering Coverage For

While a driver swerving into another lane to avoid a dear is certainly a valid risk and happens more often than you might think, there are many other common concerns that all drivers should consider having coverage for. Here are a few of the most common auto insurance claims:

  • Damaged windshields: Windshields can be chipped or cracked by all kinds of things, including driving behind a truck on the freeway and getting hit by a rock. Having comprehensive auto insurance would protect you in this case.
  • Hail damage: Hail can absolutely destroy vehicles in a severe storm. If you live in an area prone to hailstorms, you’ll want to have comprehensive auto insurance to protect you.
  • Vandalism: Cars can be vandalized in many ways, including being keyed, tagged, having the tires slashed, or getting broken into. Once again, the damage would be covered under comprehensive auto insurance.
  • Theft: Whether you’ve left your car unattended at a fancy movie theater or just in your driveway, your car can be stolen at pretty much any time. Comprehensive auto insurance will reimburse the vehicle’s owner for the replacement value of the car.
  • Rear-end collisions: The most common car insurance claims, by far, are rear-end collisions. Since you’re not at fault if you get rear-ended, the collision insurance section of your auto policy will reimburse you for your vehicle’s damage.

Talk with your independent insurance agent about these common risks that all drivers face, as well as any other concerns you may have about protecting your vehicle. They’ll make sure you get set up with all the auto insurance coverage you could ever need.

Here’s How an Independent Insurance Agent Would Help

When it comes to protecting drivers against someone swerving into their lane to avoid a deer and all other strange incidents, no one’s better equipped to help than an independent insurance agent. Independent insurance agents search through multiple carriers to find providers who specialize in auto insurance, deliver quotes from a number of different sources, and help you walk through them all to find the best blend of coverage and cost.

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TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin

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