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Involved in A Car Accident with A Cow or Horse?

Guy DiMartino April 28, 2016



A client is driving on 35 in LaPorte County in the dark. The next thing she realizes is she is on top of cow. She has no where to go and crashes into the cow. Her vehicle is destroyed and she is injured.

A couple of days after she leaves the hospital, she speaks to the insurance company for the owner of the farm, and the insurance company denies her claim. The accident victim comes into the office and wants to know if there is anyway she can receive compensation for his vehicle and injuries from the owner of the cow.

Indiana Law

The fact that the cow was on the road and cow shouldn't have been on the road is not enough to make the owner responsible. The owner of the animal has the legal duty to restrain and confine their animal(s).

In order for the woman to receive compensation for her vehicle and injuries she is going to have to show that the owner put the animal in confinement that he or she knew or should have known would be ineffective and that it was foreseeable that the animal(s) would escape.

I explained in normal language that we will have to show that the owner was somehow negligent and that is why the cow escaped. For instance:

  • Was the fence in disrepair?

  • Was the fence left open?

  • Was the fence an improper height?

If we are not able to show negligence. Then the law does not allow recovery even though the woman not a fault for crash. Sometimes the law can be unfair.

Action Steps

If you are injured or wrecked your vehicle because of a crash with a cow, horse or other livestock, you must investigate the area immediately so you can establish that the owner did something wrong or wasn't paying attention and that is why the animal(s) escaped.