Fault is important to establish in an auto collision. However, cases where a wild or farm animal seems to defy the simple fault-finding process for those unfamiliar with the situation. Here is a short, tell-all guide on who would be liable if you hit a farm animal like a cow.
What Happens When You Hit a Big Animal Like a Cow?
Larger livestock, like cattle, may severely damage your car and result in serious injuries for the driver and passengers. Unlike a collision with a deer, however, the cow you hit undoubtedly has an owner. This means that you may be on the hook for covering the loss of a cow that provided diary products for a farm.
But whether or not you are truly on the line will vary due to a variety of factors, including the state’s motor vehicle accident laws and your auto insurance policy. The comprehensive coverage on your policy covers accidents with animals, big and small. This is optional coverage with a deductible that varies, so knowing what sort of insurance you have and how much your car insurance covers before an accident of this sort is critical.
Liable Laws Depends on Where You Live
In Texas, for example, a driver is not responsible for the worth of a cow if it was running free on a highway; however, the situation is different for county and private roads. In Florida, if the cow was on a public road and had the appropriate fence requirements, the owner would be responsible for injuries or property damage. The driver, on the other hand, may not walk away scot-free since he would have to prove the cow’s owner was irresponsible.
Be an Aware Driving to Avoid Collisions With Animals
The best way to avoid hitting livestock in rural farmlands is to take extra care when navigating those roads. Be aware if a cow wanders into your path on a lonely road, forcing you to hit it or have an accident - as with any collision. Call the cops and file a report. If you have a camera or a smartphone, make many photographs of the location. Local police may not check for breaches in the fence itself, and ranchers can be quick to make necessary repairs after an accident to avoid liability.
Contact your automobile insurance provider as soon as possible. Give them the images you took at the scene so they can help decide liability. In the end, if you want a lawyer, your insurer will usually fight for you.
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