x
Ask an attorney

Why am I at fault for attempting to avoid a deer jumping out of the woods in front of my vehicle?

Asked by user in Massachusetts.

I turned to avoid the deer and struck a utility pole. The only damage is to my vehicle.

Answered by Enjuris Editors:

If there’s no damage to the utility pole, you can’t be held liable by the power company for hitting the pole. If there is damage to the pole, your insurance company should cover the damage (in Massachusetts, you’re required to carry insurance that covers damage to someone else’s property).

Let’s take a look at how the accident might impact your insurance rates:

  • If you hit a deer while driving, your insurance company will typically consider it a “not-at-fault accident” because, in most cases, there’s little you could have done to avoid the crash. As a result, your insurance company generally won’t raise your rates.
  • On the other hand, if you swerve to avoid a deer and hit something else (like a utility pole), your insurance company will typically consider it an “at-fault accident” because you had at least some control over the situation. As a result, your insurance company might raise your rates.

Keep in mind that the damage to your vehicle is probably covered by your collision coverage (assuming you have collision coverage, which is not required in Massachusetts). If you don’t have collision coverage, you’ll have to pay for the repairs yourself. This is because there’s no one else you can hold liable for the accident (you can’t, for example, sue the deer).

Free downloads

Accident Report Form
Sample post-accident report form to keep in your glove box - fill out at the scene or as soon as you can after a car accident
Download in PDF format

Enjuris Partner Attorney Spotlight
Representatives answer calls for attorney services. Dial 800-734-4134

Legal Rights Defenders

Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Lawyers

FREE CONSULT 24/7

(800) 734-4134

HABLAMOS ESPANOL

CALL NOW

How to Find the Right Car Accident Attorney for You

So you've been involved in a car accident and think you may have a case. How do you find the right attorney to help you?

Read our complete guide to finding the right injury attorney for your case. Read insights from Enjuris attorneys and lawyers across the USA on when and why you need to hire a car accident attorney. Learn more

Do you have a question?
Ask a Lawyer

It’s free, anonymous and confidential.
Car Accident, DUI, DWI Previously Answered Questions