Can You Sue the Farmer if You Hit a Cow with a Car

May 28, 2019

In a recent story out of Sinclairville, NY, a car sustained significant damage after it crashed into a cow in the late hours of a Monday night. Firefighters had to come out to the scene of the accident at 5353 Route 60, which is located between Terry and Old Chautauqua roads in Sinclairville. County dispatch alerted the responders that the accident was between a vehicle and a cow.

According to the responders, the car was on fire as a result of the collision. Route 60 had to be closed down and traffic rerouted until the incident could be resolved and the damage cleared. Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported in relation to the crash—all occupants were able to get out of the vehicle in time.

Who is liable in such a case?

In northern California, there are many farms that raise black angus cows. A black angus steer will weigh, on average, anywhere from 1,100 to 2,400 pounds, which is more than the average moose! There are frequent accidents in Canada involving vehicles colliding with moose, resulting in the vehicle being totaled and causing critical injuries and deaths. Now consider the fact that a black angus steer can weigh significantly more than a large moose, and you get a sense of just how serious an accident like this can be in farm territory.

The big issue at stake in any vehicle accident is who is liable for the collision. An injured party is going to want to work with a property negligence law firm to file a personal injury claim against any party found to be negligent in the events leading up to the accident, but this can only happen if you’re actually able to determine who that liable party is.

Cows, of course, cannot be considered liable for their own actions, and cannot be the defendant in a personal injury suit. For legal purposes, the cows are considered the property of the land owner, and it is up to the land owner to have adequate fencing, barriers and monitoring in place to make sure cows stay safely in their pastures and where they are supposed to be. If inadequate fencing results in a cow getting out and into the road, that property owner can therefore be considered liable for any accidents and resulting injuries that occur.

Our team of personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Max G. Arnold has covered more than a few cases of personal injury claims involving collisions with cows over the last few decades we’ve operated in the area, and we want everyone to know that you can still get the settlement you deserve when these terrible accidents happen, even though there’s no other driver involved in the collision. We have offices located in Chico, Redding, and Santa Rosa.

For more information about the best way to proceed with your claim after you’ve been injured in an accident involving livestock, we encourage you to contact a property negligence attorney with a trusted background in helping clients through these exact types of cases. We look forward to working with you and answering any questions you have for our legal team.

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