While cattle are seldom seen roaming the streets of Detroit or other major cities, cow/livestock accidents are not restricted to rural areas. These crashes can occur on any Michigan road or interstate highway used to transport animals from one location to another. Because livestock accidents are fairly uncommon, many drivers have questions. Who is responsible when an animal causes an accident? Does No-Fault cover medical care if someone is hurt? Is a seriously injured victim entitled to pain and suffering damages?
Here is an overview of cow/livestock accidents and how an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Because animals cannot be held responsible for causing injuries or property damage, in most cases, Michigan law holds owners responsible for the actions of their cattle, pigs, horses, dogs and other four-legged creatures.
For example, when a dog attacks another person and inflicts serious harm, the owner may be responsible for the individual’s medical bills and other direct expenses as well as intangible damages such as pain and suffering, providing the victim was not trespassing or provoking the dog.
The rules are similar for cows and other animals that wander onto roadways and cause an accident that results in serious injuries or death. When that happens, the victim may file a lawsuit against the owner for
The “Animals Running at Large Act” prohibits cattle, horses, sheep, swine, mules, burros and goats from running loose and holds owners or caretakers responsible when their animals escape and damage someone else’s property.
The act also establishes procedures for receiving “reasonable compensation,” which victims may seek without having to prove negligence on the part of the owner.
In addition, according to the statute, the owner may be charged with a criminal misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances.
NOTE: These laws apply to property only. If an escaped animal causes bodily harm or injury, the victim may file a lawsuit against the owner to recover reimbursement for physical and emotional damages. In this case, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to receive the compensation you deserve.
Typically, yes. However, because Michigan No-Fault law is complicated, coverage may differ according to the circumstances of the crash.
If only one vehicle is involved, the No-Fault policy covering the driver or owner of the car pays for necessary medical care and other accident-related expenses, plus lost wages and replacement services. However, if the policy owner does not have unlimited Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits, medical bills will be covered up to the specified amount.
If these expenses exceed the policy limit, the victim may seek reimbursement from the owner of the animal that caused the accident.
Furthermore, if another motor vehicle was involved in the accident, occupants of both vehicles might be able to sue the person or party responsible for the animal. And, the situation may be further complicated if another driver was partially at fault for the accident.
As discussed above, proving liability and recovering damages can be especially challenging when multiple parties are involved. This is why it is important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer if you are injured in a cow/livestock accident.
According to Michigan’s Animals Running at Large Act, the owner is responsible when their animals run loose and damage another person’s property. Therefore, if a car collided with a horse, cow or other type of livestock that escaped and wandered into the road, the animal’s owner would typically be liable for repairing the vehicle.
Recommended reading: The Most Common Car Accident Injuries and What To Do After a Crash
Michigan No-Fault insurance does not cover motorcycle accidents unless a motor vehicle such as a car or truck is involved.
However, if an animal escaped onto the road because of negligence on the part of the owner, an injured motorcyclist may be able to sue the responsible party for physical and emotional damages resulting from the accident.
Hiring an experienced motorcycle accident attorney will help ensure the best financial outcome.
Recommended reading: Is It Worthwhile To Hire A Detroit Car Accident Attorney?
– Call for an ambulance if you or your passengers are injured
– Call the police if no one requires emergency medical assistance
– Move your car to the shoulder of road if possible
– Stay in your vehicle and wait for the ambulance and/or police to arrive
– Do not approach the animal under any circumstances
– If law enforcement does not need you to remain at the scene, make sure your vehicle is safe to drive before leaving
– Call a tow truck if your air bag inflated or the car sustained other damage that renders it unsafe to drive
Recommended reading: 5 Common Mistakes People Make After A Detroit Traffic Accident
If you or a loved one is injured in a Michigan car accident, we can help. Our experienced lawyers have the skills, knowledge and resources to win the compensation you and your family deserve.
Car accident law is complicated, but finding the right Michigan auto accident attorney is simple.
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