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California Livestock Accident Lawyers

Pursuing a personal injury claim can feel overwhelming. The hard part is over once you’ve decided to hire a California livestock accident lawyer at Silva Injury Law, Inc.

When you retain our firm, we will handle all the complex legal aspects of your claim while you concentrate on your recovery. We provide aggressive yet compassionate representation. We don’t take any case that we won’t be prepared to present to a jury.

If you sustained injuries in an accident involving livestock in California, contact us to schedule a consultation.

Statistics On Livestock Auto Accidents

State Farm estimates that drivers across the country hit more than two million animals between July 2020 and June 2021, an increase of 7.2% during the pandemic. While many of the accidents involved deer, livestock collisions also make up a portion of these collisions. State Farm ranks the risk of hitting an animal by state. California ranks as one of the top five states for animal collisions. California registered 104,767 crashes, a massive 65% increase from the prior twelve-month period.

Causes Of Livestock Accidents In California

With California ranking in the top ten states for most farms, it’s not surprising that accidents involving large animals are widespread. State Farm notes that speeding accidents increased significantly during the review period, one of the worst things to come out of the pandemic. Drivers need to be cautious on California roads for crossing animals, especially livestock. California has numerous roads that run adjacent to grazing land.

When animals escape their enclosure or wander away, they may end up on the road or highway. Any number of reasons can lead to an animal ending up in the road, such as getting spooked and breaking down a fence. No matter the reason, these accidents can have catastrophic results, especially if you hit a cow, horse, or another large farm animal.

Who Is At Fault In Livestock Auto Accidents?

Determining fault in accidents involving large animals can be challenging. There is no automatic presumption of guilt on the part of the animal owner. That is one reason why hiring experienced livestock injury lawyers is so important.

There is a specific California Code that provides some protection for motorists. California Food And Agricultural Code section 16902 creates a duty for people who either own or control livestock. They must protect the public by not willfully or negligently allowing their animals to stray onto public roads and highways if both sides of the highway are adjoined by property separated from the highway by a physical structure, such as a fence, wall, hedge, etc.

However, section 16904 also says there is no presumption of negligence if a motor vehicle accident involves one of these animals. Given this presumption, if you’ve been involved in an accident involving livestock, it’s likely you’ll need an experienced attorney to show that person in possession of the animal was negligent.

Common Types Of Injuries In Accidents Involving Large Animals

Unfortunately, many auto accidents involving livestock have catastrophic results. That is partly due to the large size of a cow or horse. If you are traveling at a relatively high rate of speed, it could result in permanent injuries. Some of the more common injuries in these types of collisions include:

  • Crushed bones and fractures;
  • Severed limbs;
  • Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis;
  • Traumatic brain injuries;
  • Organ damage and internal bleeding; and
  • Death.

Physical injuries aren’t the only possible injuries in livestock auto accidents either. Many accident victims suffer emotional trauma from hitting an animal. The emotional scars can last for years in some cases.

Other Types Of Livestock Injuries

While livestock auto accidents are likely the most common type of injury claim, they aren’t the only ones. For example, horses and goats can kick or bite. Elk, bison, and bulls can charge someone, etc. Like other states, California has a dog bite statute. However, proving injury caused by different types of animals is not necessarily as straightforward as it is when a dog is involved.

You can refer to California’s Civil Jury Instructions for some clarity. Jury Instruction 462 deals with domestic animals. Anyone who owns, keeps, or controls an animal with unusually dangerous natures or tendencies can be responsible for the harm their animal causes. The key is you need to prove that the owner knew or should’ve known about the “dangerous nature or tendency.”

California Civil Jury Instruction 461 deals with wild animals, such as bears, lions, wolves, tigers, elephants, and monkeys. Owners who keep these wild animals have strict liability. That means the owner is responsible for any harm these animals cause, no matter how carefully they restrain or guard these animals.

Contact Our California Livestock Accident Attorneys

If you sustained injuries in an accident involving a large animal, you might have a valid personal injury claim. Hiring a skilled livestock accident attorney is crucial because these claims are so specialized and complex.

Our experienced legal team also handles other types of cases, including:

At Silva Injury Law, Inc., we have years of experience assisting injured victims like you. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation to learn more. Let us review your case to help you determine the best course of legal action.

We believe that our duty goes beyond achieving large monetary awards for our clients. We strive first to be decent human beings who seek not to stir up fights, but to solve problems.
– Abraham Lincoln