Cows, horses and pigs are large, docile animals that you’ll find on many Georgia farms. These animals have no place, however, in the middle of the road, where they can cause catastrophic and fatal car accidents.
Imagine you were driving through the country on a Sunday afternoon, and suddenly a cow walks in the middle of your vehicle’s path. If you strike the cow, not only could it kill the animal, but could also kill or seriously injure you and the other occupants of your vehicle. Who is liable for financial damages relating to a domesticated animal crash like this?
Liability in car accidents involving domestic animals
In most car accidents caused by large farm animals, the owners of the animals will be at fault and financially liable for the crash. Indeed, the owners of domesticated animals are responsible to keep their animals detained so they don’t wander into the road, cause a car accident or hurt people unintentionally.
There could be, however, situations in which a driver was at fault for striking an animal. For example, if a driver loses control of his or her car, drives into a pasture and strikes a horse, the driver will likely need to pay damages to the horse owner. The driver will also be obligated to assist the injured animal while waiting for appropriate animal medical personnel to arrive, so long as the assistance does not endanger the driver. These damages will probably stop at the animal’s value and/or the costs associated with the animal’s medical care.
Learn about liability in domesticated animal accidents
Automobile drivers involved car accidents with domesticated animals will want to gather the facts, evidence, medical documentation, eyewitness accounts, police reports and other information pertaining to the incident. A thorough analysis of this information will assist injured drivers in determining whether they have a viable claim to pursue financial damages against the animal owner. If successfully navigated, such a claim could bring injured drivers money to pay for their medical care, property replacement and repair costs, and other financial damages.