If you are driving through North Dakota, it isn’t a surprise to see a field of cows or other loose livestock roaming on the side of the road. Those of us living in North Dakota are used to seeing livestock, but it is still important to remember to not be complacent while driving through farmland. Livestock accidents are more common than you may realize. Livestock animals that are allowed to roam free, or even animals that have escaped their enclosures, can cause devastating motor vehicle accidents.
When you are injured in an accident caused by livestock, you will likely have questions as to who can be held responsible for your resulting injuries. With extensive experience pursuing accident claims, the dedicated team at Pringle & Herigstad knows how to navigate the unique complexities and legal questions presented when livestock interferes with roadway safety. Reach out to our farm accident attorney to get dedicated legal representation. We will work tirelessly to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Crashes Caused By Livestock
A common type of accident caused by livestock is an accident where a driver collides with an animal. Because livestock animals, like cows or horses, are large, a driver and passengers can sustain severe injuries in a collision. The force of impact can leave vehicle occupants with broken bones, neck and back injuries, and even traumatic brain injuries.
In addition to direct collisions with livestock, other common accidents involve:
- Spinning out: When drivers swerve to avoid colliding with livestock, they may lose control of their vehicle and spin off the road. Spinning out puts the vehicle at risk of colliding with other vehicles and barriers on or surrounding the road.
- Collision with roadside objects: When a driver swerves out of a collision course with livestock, the swerve may drive the vehicle in the direct path of something like a telephone pole, traffic sign, fence, or another roadside obstacle. When traveling at a high speed, this type of collision can be a devastating accident.
- Collision with another vehicle: Swerving to avoid a collision with livestock can also place a vehicle in direct contact or the path of direct contact with an oncoming vehicle. Sudden breaking or steering can lead to multi-vehicle pileups. Head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, and side impact collisions may also occur.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Livestock Accident?
Often, ranchers or farmers can be held responsible for a livestock accident. Ranchers and farmers have to exercise due diligence to ensure animals do not roam free and, thus, pose a threat to drivers. Due diligence will likely involve:
- Secure fencing to keep the livestock enclosed
- Routine maintenance and repairs to ensure the integrity of the fencing is not damaged and remains effective
- Properly securing gates after going in and out of a livestock containment area
- Keeping track of livestock location to verify that they remain in their designated areas
Failure to take these reasonable measures to secure livestock can expose a rancher or farmer to liability for any accident the livestock causes.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You
Being injured in a livestock accident can feel like life has been brought to a screeching halt. In addition to your injuries, there will be insurance companies to deal with, medical bills to address, and other things placed on your already saturated to-do list. By retaining dedicated personal injury legal counsel, much of that weight can be lifted off your shoulders.
As your trusted personal injury team, our attorneys will:
- Gather the evidence needed to support your claim. This involves gathering copies of the accident report, talking to witnesses, and obtaining property damage estimates. It also includes getting copies of your medical records and reviewing the details of relevant insurance policies.
- Calculate your damages. The harm you suffered from an accident is compensable by bringing a personal injury claim. Bringing a claim for the proper amount is critical as you only get one shot at obtaining proper compensation. Knowing what to include in a damages claim, however, can be tricky. An experienced personal injury attorney will know what to include in calculating your damages to help ensure you are properly compensated for your losses.
- Negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Knowing how to negotiate with an insurance company is crucial to obtaining proper compensation. With a trusted personal injury attorney on your side, they will know what evidence to present and arguments to highlight in negotiating a strong settlement for your case. Should settlement negotiations with the insurance company prove fruitless, your attorney can file a lawsuit to put the pressure on them to do the right thing and pay you what you are due.
Contact Our North Dakota Livestock Accident Lawyer Today
Not sure what to do after a livestock accident? Contact our office for a free consultation and get trusted legal counsel on your side. We will begin working immediately to get the compensation you deserve for your accident losses.