Reports of cars crashing into deer on lonely stretches of highway are common. The impact of the collision could result in serious injuries. This is why state and local governments have to take necessary steps to reduce the risks deer pose to drivers. Failure to cut down on deer crossing risks could leave these government entities open to civil damages.
Post Signs in an Effective Manner
Probably the most basic and necessary step for a local municipality to take is to post a "Deer Crossing" sign on the highway. Merely posting a single sign, however, is not going to be sufficient to free the locality from liability. The display of any signs has to be adequate enough to reduce the potential for car and deer collisions.
An auto accident attorney could ask a jury "If a single sign was posted on a particular stretch of highway and then no sign was posted for another five miles, is this truly adequate?" What if accidents between cars and deer had occurred several times at areas in between the placement of the first and second sign? The municipality could have placed additional signs in case the first sign was missed or had a driver assumed the absence of signs for three or four miles inferred no more deer-related driving hazards existed.
Other responsibilities associated with proper sign placement include:
Again, posting a sign does not free a municipality of liability. Taking definitive steps to reduce accidents does.
Curtail the Deer Population
Car accident lawyers are likely to ask serious questions focusing on whether or not the state or local government allowed the deer population to grow to dangerous levels. Upon noticing an increase in deer/vehicle accidents, were steps taken to relocate a segment of the deer population? Were predators of the deer, such as coyotes, excessively hunted? Did this allow the deer population to grow dangerously high? While hunting was barred from a segment of the highway do to fears of errant bullets hitting cars, was any serious study performed whether or not archery hunting was possible? Was anything done to remove food attractants from the close proximity of the highways?
Car accident lawyers are going to ask these questions because poor answers could indicate negligence. Any time a third party contributes to an accident due to negligence, filing a civil suit is worth considering. For more information, contact a professional like Carl L. Britt, Jr.
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