Living in rural North Carolina can have its hazards. One of those dangers is vehicles and farm or personal animals colliding. What are the obligations of the drivers and of the home/farm owners in these situations?
Each year there are thousands of instances where cars and people collide in the old North State. While most of these occur with deer and wild animals and present only insurance issues, those with livestock, and farm and domestic animals often create unique challenges.
Questions like were the animals properly secured, were they allowed to knowingly roam free, and had they caused issues before, all need to be answered. Also, was the driver properly attentive and could the situation have been prevented? In the case of pets, did the driver stop to care for the animal or report the injury or not, and was the animal allowed to roam free despite being a recognized hazard?
Since farm animals can have significant mass, collisions can cause substantial property damage and personal injury to those in the vehicle. Again, car insurance can assist but should it have to? Whose responsibility is it? The answer may be the most difficult one to comprehend, because It depends. Were careful measures put into place to make sure the animal was secure, was it allowed to roam free, had there been prior times of escape, or was this just a farm animal deciding you are not holding me?
Wrecks can also occur by swerving to avoid the animal and hitting another car, or running off the road, or slamming on breaks causing another vehicle to hit you. These accidents, by nature, can be very serious.
NC is a “fenced in” state and as such farm owners are required to keep their animals properly contained. In fact, it is a class 3 misdemeanor if the animal is allowed to run at large. However, the owner must be shown to allow this intentionally or is negligent in containing the animal. If the farmer fails to do this, they can be held accountable for damages and injuries to others, including automobile occupants. The owner must be shown to have been careless in maintaining the enclosing and the driver(s) shown that they did not contribute to the collision. To prove that the owner was at fault, the quality and maintenance of the enclosure is considered. Also considered is whether the animal had displayed the intentions of escaping previously. In addition was the driver distracted or..
As one can readily see this issue can be complicated. If you are involved in an accident with a farm animal or had an animal involved in an accident, contact a King Law attorney immediately. This could aid in recovering expenses, and in avoiding legal issues yourself. At King Law, it is our pledge to achieve the appropriate compensation for your accident. Our attorneys will help you navigate a complex process. You didn’t ask to for the accident, but the favorable resolution is the goal of every King Law attorney. Call us at 888-748-5464(KING).