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Deer-Car Accident Season Comes to Colorado

by  on  Car Accidents & Motor Vehicle Collisions

Drivers across Colorado need to be extra aware of deer and other animals that often try to share the road during this time of year. It can save lives and prevent injuries.

Days are getting shorter, thanks to daylight savings time, meaning that deer can be harder to spot, state officials are warning motorists.

“It’s going to be obviously most dangerous at dusk and dawn,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Wildlife Manager Cody Wigner said in a news release. “This time of year, the days are getting shorter and people are commuting to and from work at those times.”

That just so happens to be the times when big game is often most active, according to Colorado Parks & Wildlife. Deer mating season is in full swing, which means deer are more likely to be crossing roadways.

“They are more mobile, easily distracted and more likely to be crossing roadways,” Colorado Parks & Wildlife said.

Motor vehicle accidents involving wildlife are the third most common type of crash across Colorado, behind speeding and distracted driving collisions. 

Nationwide, deer strikes jump by 16 percent when clocks get turned back every November for the end of daylight savings time. Maintaining daylight saving time year-round would prevent an estimated 33 deaths and more than 2,000 injuries annually while also saving $1.19 billion in collision costs per year.

Although deer-strike accidents typically spike come November, there are some signs that the trend may be changing. Insurance claims for accidents involving deer dropped to levels seen during pandemic lockdowns last November.

Insurers saw about 11.9 deer-accident claims per 1,000 vehicles last November, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That is down from about 14.1 deer-accident claims per 1,000 vehicles, the rate that stayed steady for several years prior to the pandemic.

“There’s also no strong evidence of fewer deer,” according to IIHS. “Hunters killed around 6.2 million deer in 2021, compared with 6.3 million in a record-setting 2020 and around 6 million in 2019, according to the National Deer Association’s annual Deer Report. However, state wildlife departments generally believe their deer populations to be stable or increasing, particularly in urban areas.”

Daylight Savings Time officially ended on Nov. 5, when clocks were pushed back by one hour.

Tips for Avoiding Wildlife Accidents

Colorado Parks & Wildlife is urging motorists to take certain steps to reduce the risk of deer and other wildlife crashes.

  • Slow down: Staying within speed limits gives you more time to react if you spot an animal on the road and reduces the risk of injury in the event of a collision.
  • Stay alert: Keeping your eyes on the road, especially at dusk and dawn, makes it easier to react if deer or other wildlife dart into traffic.
  • Scan Ahead and watch for movement along roadsides: watch for shining eyes in headlights during dark hours. Where there is one animal, there may be more.

Following these simple tips will not completely eliminate the risk of an accident, but it can go a long way in reducing hazards.

Injured in a Colorado Car Accident? Know Your Rights

Anyone who has been hurt in a car accident in Colorado has the right to seek compensation from those responsible for the crash. 

That compensation, which includes money for medical bills and missed wages, is meant to reduce the financial impact of an accident. 

In order to obtain money damages, you generally need to be able to identify those responsible for the accident and use evidence to establish legal liability. You also need to be able to detail the injuries directly caused by the collision and depict the full extent of the financial impact.

Colorado car accident cases are usually based on negligence claims. This legal theory generally holds people and entities liable when they fail to live up to a certain standard of care.

Drivers, for instance, have a legal obligation to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. Motorists are expected to comply with traffic laws, maintain appropriate speeds and remain alert at all times. They are also required to steer clear of dangerous activities like texting and driving or getting behind the wheel while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. A driver who does not live up to this responsibility is likely to be found negligent and liable for any crashes that happen as a result.

Fortunately, you do not need to go it alone. A Denver personal injury lawyer at our firm can help you understand your rights and options and take action to obtain compensation.

Colorado Wrongful Death Claims

In the tragic event that a person dies in an accident, his or her loved ones can also seek compensation for wrongful death.

Colorado state law limits who can pursue a wrongful death case to spouses, children and parents. In the event that a person dies without a spouse, child or parent, the personal representative of his or her estate can sue for wrongful death. 

Obviously, the monetary damages available in wrongful death cases will not allow you to go back in time and stop the accident from happening. It will not bring back your loved one. Compensation can, however, ease some of the financial burden that often comes with these tragic accidents.

At Levine Law, our Denver accident attorneys have had significant success helping people maximize their compensation in wrongful death claims. Our track record of success includes a number of six- and seven-figure settlements and jury verdicts.

Speak with a Denver Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck, car, motorcycle or other collision in Colorado, a Denver accident attorney at Levine Law can help you understand your legal rights and options. 

Our lawyers are pleased to serve clients throughout Colorado, including in Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver accident attorney.