Fascinating: Legality of a ‘Hit and Run’ With a Deer in Iowa
Ohh deer. You just hit a, um, deer. It's possible. It's awful (yes, I've experienced it). But it's not the end of the world. Well, it is for Bambi, but not for you. Iowa is one of the top 5 states for deer/vehicle collisions, coming in at number 4 according to Your Mechanic.
But have you ever stopped to wonder, what are Iowa's laws when it comes to a deer/vehicle accident in Iowa? For example, when you have an accident with another motor vehicle, you call 911 and file a police report. Even if there's minimal damage and no injuries.
But what about when you thump a deer?
Can you have a "hit and run" with a deer in Iowa?
The short answer is... yes. Or more specifically, there's no law in Iowa that requires the motorist to phone the police and file a report. That said, should you simply continue on your way, assuming your car is capable? Probably not.
According to an Iowa attorney website, Tom Fowler Law, you should report the accident to law enforcement. While the deer's family isn't going to sue you, you're still advised to call for help because the police can guide you through what to do next. Officers can help you with your insurance claim, too.
Oh, and yeah, your insurance company should be the second entity you call. Well, maybe after family to let them know what happened.
One thing you should never do after colliding with a deer is to check on the animal. If it's dead, it's dead. But if it's injured, it could hurt you. Flailing hooves and legs can make for a real, literal, headache. Leave it be. This is again why a 911 call is important. Officers will know what to do if the animal is still alive.
Deer/vehicle accidents are no fun. I had one many moons ago driving from northern Minnesota to Fargo, North Dakota. I tell people it was a ten-point buck. Was it? Well, he had antlers! Did I heed the advice of my own article? I did not. But I wish I had. My car was declared totaled. I assume the deer was too.
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