The Central Valley’s fertile soil and wide-open spaces help fill the nation’s cupboards and refrigerators with produce, grains, and meat every year. The hard work that makes growing, raising, harvesting, canning, and delivering those goods possible is something to be proud of.
Living and working in a farming country does mean that motorists need to be a little more careful on local roads and highways. A large piece of farm equipment or a giant transport truck could suddenly block more than one lane in front of your car. And there are other obstacles of the four-legged variety that can prove just as dangerous.
Cow Accidents on Central Valley Roads
One of the most unpredictable threats on Central Valley Roads is the local livestock. Cows can escape fences and wander onto roadways to become a two-thousand-pound hazard for motorists. Drivers may get little time to avoid a cow or a bull and end up in a frightening collision.
If you or a loved one are ever seriously hurt in an accident involving roaming cattle, contact Maison Law serving Central Valley. Any accident involving farm property or livestock can prove to be a complex case, but victims should never have to cover their own recovery after an accident that wasn’t their fault.
Reach out to Maison Law for a free consultation. Tell us what happened so that we can go over your best options to get the support you’ll need to recover physically and financially.
What Happens After You Hit a Cow in Central Valley
California’s Food and Agriculture Codes mandate that farmers do their absolute best to keep livestock enclosed. But you may be surprised to learn that if you hit a farmer’s cow, the farmer or owner of the animal is not automatically responsible for your damages and injuries. In fact, a farmer could file a claim against you to recover the value of any cows that were killed in a crash.
You’d have to collect evidence and show proof the farmer or livestock owner either purposely or negligently let the animals roam out onto the road. That negligence can be hard to prove and it’s important to have experienced legal representation carefully building your case to show that you were not to blame.
Are Farmers Liable for Cattle vs Motor Vehicle Accidents?
A farm is not automatically liable for an injury, however, if you were injured by someone else’s negligence, a seasoned personal injury attorney will seek to hold each and every responsible party accountable.
California’s farmers have insurance for these types of situations, but those insurers may attempt to blame you for your injuries, even if a cow walked right out in front of you after escaping through a neglected fence.
A livestock accident lawyer will work hard to prove negligence on the part of the farmer. This can include investigating factors such as if fencing was properly maintained. Ranching experts can be brought in to testify to the unsafe conditions on a farm. Safety records for the farm can also be pulled. Perhaps this isn’t the first time livestock from this farm has hurt motorists.
What to Do After a Collision with a Cow
After a collision with one or more cows, you may feel pretty awful and just need to stay put until help arrives. If you feel okay getting out of your vehicle, it’s a good time to gather the evidence you might need to prove you weren’t responsible for your accident.
- Call 911 – If you need medical assistance, make sure you detail every pain you have with paramedics. Give the responding law enforcement officer a full account of what happened. They will need to contact the proper crew to clear the accident scene and likely notify the owner of the animal if he or she isn’t already around.
- Take pictures – Use your cellphone to get photos to show the road, the damage, the weather, and the time of day. If a damaged section of fencing is visible nearby, document it. Capture any signage that might indicate the farm or ranch involved.
- Talk to witnesses – Other drivers may not have seen the collision, but they may testify that the animals were indeed out and about. Get their contact info. If they want to make a video telling you what they saw, shoot it with your phone.
- Exchange information – If the landowner is available get their insurance information. Swap driver’s license and insurance info with any other motorists involved.
- Schedule an appointment with your own doctor – Even if you’ve been checked out by paramedics, get examined by a doctor in the days that follow. Monitor your body for any injuries that suddenly appear after the shock of the accident wears off.
Do Farmers in Central Valley Have Insurance?
Like everyone else, farmers are required to carry liability insurance for the many accidents that can occur in and around a farm. Providers like Farmers Insurance, State Farm, and Nationwide provide coverage for farmhand accidents, crop failure, and of course, highway accidents.
You may feel conflicted about filing an injury claim against a local farmer, but you should not feel like you are targeting the landowner. The claim would be leveled against the insurance company and not the farmer. One of the reasons farmers pay insurance dues each month is to make sure accident victims receive adequate financial support and are allowed time to heal.
Contact a Central Valley Cow Accident Lawyer
After you’ve struck an animal from a farm or a ranch and suffered a serious injury, please contact attorney Martin Gasparian, the founder of Maison Law. Mr. Gasparian serves the residents of Fresno, Merced, Madera, King, Kern, Tulare, and Stanislaus Counties as well as many other surrounding cities. No matter where you live, you are entitled to a free, no-obligation appraisal of your case.
You’ll get a quick lesson on the tactics insurance companies will use to shift blame to you and rob you of the compensation you’ll need to recover. But don’t worry, Maison Law will make sure these tricks don’t succeed. Tell us what happened to you so we can start collecting evidence for your case.