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Your Car Been Damaged By A Stray Cow On The Motorway?

cow-on-motorwayThere are certain things you need to look at when trying to find out whether there is actually anyone to claim against for the damage to your car and the injuries caused by stray animals.

  • Does the animal belong to someone?
  • Have they acted careless in some way causing your accident to happen?

Basically, if the animal is wild, no one will be responsible for that animal and as you can’t sue the animal, you will not be able to make a claim for your damage/injuries caused.

If you do establish that the animal is owned by someone, you then need to assess whether they have taken reasonable steps to secure the anima as if they have then you may have difficulty winning your claim.

Previously, Courts would rely on certain cases when deciding your case. In the case of Donaldson V Wilson, a farmer was found liable when his cows strayed onto the main road. It has been held that owners of such animal hold a very high duty of care to the public. In this specific case even though the farmer had evidence to show his son checked the cows regularly he was still found liable when they escaped and injured a motorcyclist

Important changes in law:
Section 4 and 8 of the animals Act 1971 has made certain provisions which goes against driver victims of straying animals.

It now states that only the owner of land to which the animal strays can claim against the owner of the animals for damaged caused. As motorist are not owners of the roads, strictly speaking it is not possible to make a claim against the owner of the straying animals.

Conclusion:
The law on this area is quite grey and if it is not very clear that the owner of the animal has acted negligent as to allow the animals escape, you may find it very difficult to bring a claim against the owner of the animals.

If you are unsure as to whether you can make a claim or not, the best thing to do is contact specialist Lawyers for further advice.

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