Although motorcyclists' greatest danger on the road is usually other vehicles, motorcycle-deer crashes claim a number of lives each year. These crashes can happen to anyone, even experienced motorcycle riders, and the impact of a combined ton of steel and animal muscle colliding can result in serious injuries. But unlike collisions with other vehicles, which can give rise to a personal injury lawsuit, a collision with a deer may leave you high and dry. Read on to learn more about your legal options when a deer jumps in front of your motorcycle to cause a crash.
Settlement From Your Insurance Company
If you carry comprehensive insurance coverage on your motorcycle, you may receive a check from your insurance company to compensate you for any medical bills, property damage, and even lost wages. The amount of compensation available will depend on your coverage limits and can be up to six figures for certain types of policies.
But even though you're dealing with your insurance company, not another driver's, the company may not have your best interests in mind when settling your case. Sometimes, hiring a motorcycle accident attorney to advocate for your best interests and to ensure you receive all the compensation you deserve is your best option.
Lawsuit Against State or County Highway Officials
Although most motorcycle-deer accidents weren't necessarily preventable, there are certain situations in which some liability may attach to state or local highway officials. Certain deer-heavy intersections are often marked with "deer crossing" signs, warning motorists to slow down and take extra precautions. If you can show that the stretch of road where your accident occurred has had a high number of deer-related accidents (or even fatalities) over the last few years, you may be able to argue that highway officials knew of this risk and negligently failed to inform motorists.
In just about every state, lawsuits against public officials must go through a different process than lawsuits against private individuals, so an attorney can help you determine whether you have a viable claim and let you know how to proceed.
Lawsuit Against Private Homeowner
Another relatively rare situation that may give rise to a personal injury lawsuit can occur when a homeowner breaks the law by feeding or otherwise luring deer to their property for hunting purposes. In many states, feeding deer during hunting season is against the law, so if you can show that a homeowner was violating this law and this violation led a deer to run in front of your motorcycle, you may be able to establish legal liability.
I'll be up front: I have a criminal record. As someone who's spent lots--and lots--of time looking for a job in my life, I've gotten used to being up front with this fact. It's difficult to get hired with this on my record, and frankly, it never gets less scary to have to tell an interviewer about it. But that doesn't mean I'm unemployable. I'm a hard worker who can bring a lot to any company. And I also know what an employer needs to do for me. I know my rights. There's no federal law protecting me from discrimination due to my record, but there are plenty of state laws that make it a little easier for me. If you're looking for a job and you have a criminal record, read through this information. Protect yourself during a job search. Know your rights.