Livestock near the road is a common sighting when driving in rural America. Livestock can pose a great danger to drivers if they escape and wander onto the road, as they can cause accidents. Just like other auto accidents, crashes involving livestock accidents can cause severe injuries to the vehicle occupants and damage to the vehicle.

While auto collisions involving cows, horses, and other livestock might seem like freak accidents, they occur more often than you imagine, especially in rural America. Most drivers involved in livestock collisions have reported the animals seemed to appear from nowhere. This is especially true at night in rural Florida where can be extremely dark and the roadways lack lighting. This is why you should be extra vigilant when driving in rural Florida, even if the road barely has any traffic. If you are involved in a livestock car accident in Jupiter and suffer property damage or injuries, it is vital that you contact a car crash attorney.

Do I Have a Claim if My Car Strikes Livestock on the Roadway?

If you hit a cow, horse, or other livestock with your car on the roadway, you can only make a claim if you suffer property damage or personal injuries resulting from the collision. For instance, if you hit a horse and your vehicle’s hood and windscreen are damaged, you can make a property damage claim. Additionally, if you suffer an injury from the accident, you can make an injury claim.

Contacting a livestock or cow car accident lawyer after the crash means they can take control of your claim case and steer (no pun intended) the claim on your behalf as you recover. This cannot be overstated, especially at the beginning of the case.

A livestock auto collision attorney in Jupiter will need to diligently investigate and discover the owner of the animal as well as investigate how the animal escaped before the evidence is lost (a broken fence that is fixed, an open gate that is closed, etc.). Furthermore, the claim process can be daunting for someone outside the legal and insurance fields. However, an experienced livestock or cow attorney has the expertise to file your claim appropriately with all the necessary legal documentation and proper steps.

Who is Responsible for My Injuries if I am Injured in a Car Crash Involving Livestock?

In most car accidents involving livestock in Jupiter where the animal was on the road and the vehicle occupants were injured, the livestock owner will be held liable for the injuries. Livestock owners are required to keep their livestock off the road unless when they are using designated animal crossing sites. Depending on the state, you might have to prove that the owner negligently allowed the livestock to stray out of their property and onto the road causing the accident.

If you have a top-notch livestock or cow car collision lawyer handling your claim, they will investigate your accident and identify the livestock owner. If you need to demonstrate negligence on the part of the livestock owner to be awarded compensation, the attorney will find evidence to prove negligence. In some claim cases, this might involve the attorney hiring a private investigator to look into any previous car accidents involving livestock around the area, fencing issues, etc.

Laws That Protect Livestock Owners

Motorists do not always have things go their way whenever they hit animals on the road, as there are laws that protect livestock owners. For example, suppose you hit a cow, horse, or other livestock on the road because you were overspeeding or driving under the influence. In these cases, there is comparative negligence in Florida, and you will likely receive less compensation or potentially not receive any compensation from the livestock owner. The same comparative negligence will apply if you hit livestock at a designated animal crossing site.

In fact, the livestock owner can file a claim against you seeking compensation for their livestock injured or dead due to the accident. In such cases, a competent livestock accident attorney can defend you against the allegations and aid you in proving that the livestock owner actually bears greater responsibility for the accident occurring.

What Damages Can I Recover?

Auto accident injuries can be pretty severe and require specialized treatment and an extended hospital stay. During your recovery, you likely not be able to work and earn a living. Some injuries never fully heal, leaving you bedridden or unable to work for the rest of your life. If you are bedridden or unable to work, you will no longer be able to enjoy life as you did before, and your spouse may choose to divorce you.

If your livestock car accident results in any of the above-mentioned situations, you can recover personal injury damages for economic losses, non-economic losses, and potentially punitive damages.

Economic damages are associated with monetary losses and expenses such as lost wages and medical bills.

Non-economic damages are related to non-monetary losses such as loss of quality of life, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.

Punitive damages, as unique as they are, only awarded to punish the liable party if the victim can prove they were grossly negligent or malicious.

An experienced livestock or cow car accident lawyer in Jupiter can help you recover the maximum personal injury compensation possible for your claim case.

Is the Damage to My Car Covered?

In most livestock vehicle accident cases, there are two potential avenues for recovery. You may be able to recover property damage through the livestock owner or through your own insurance company. Most car insurance policies with collision or comprehensive coverage will cover damage to the vehicle resulting from an accident with livestock. People often times elect to pursue property damage recovery through their own insurance when available because it usually allows them to recover the money sooner than the alternative. An attorney will help you file your car insurance claim with your insurer and can explain the best options for recovery available to you.

What Should I Do if My Car Crashes Into Livestock?

Your actions after a collision with livestock in Jupiter will massively impact your success in seeking compensation from the livestock owner and car insurance. Our legal team recommends that you take the following actions after the collision to better your chances of receiving compensation for your personal injuries and property damage:

  • Call the police. If you are seriously injured, ask for ambulance services. The police will inform the livestock owner of the accident.
  • Inspect your car for damage
  • Document the evidence by taking photos and videos of the accident scene, your injuries, vehicle damage, and the animal involved in the accident
  • Seek medical attention even if it appears you do not have visible injuries, as some injuries like concussions manifest later
  • Call a livestock or cow car accident lawyer

Seek Help Form an Attorney After Livestock Car Accidents in Jupiter

We are a reputable law firm with years of experience providing legal assistance to motorists involved in collisions with livestock. You can rely on the legal expertise of our superb livestock and cow car accident lawyers to win the best outcome for your claim case. If you have been in a livestock car accident, contact us today to learn about your legal options.

KMW has a history of handling these types of cases.

We recently handled a case where our client was involved in a car accident caused by a cow in Okeechobee. Our client was traveling at night in a low-lying fog area when the cow ran from the median into the travel lanes on State Route 70.

The speed limit was 60 mph, and our client tried to avoid the crash, but could not. The impact of the collision was significant because of the weight of the cow.

The client retained our firm, and through our investigation were able to determine not only the owner of the cow but that the cow escaped the property because the fence was negligently maintained and left open. We settled this matter for the client for $95,000.

This case illustrates the importance of hiring an attorney immediately after livestock car accidents in Jupiter. To prove this type of case and secure a recovery for the victim we have to show more than just the fact that the cow got out. We have to show that the owner did something specific to allow the cow to get out. This evidentiary standard required us to investigate the same day if possible.

Contact a lawyer at KMW Legal today to consult and evaluate your case.