Livestock Accidents

Motorcycle Accidents Involving Livestock

Where the Accident Occurred Can Make a Big Difference in Your Case

The 1876 Texas Constitution permits the Texas Legislature to pass laws for the regulation of livestock. Using its authority, the Texas Legislature provided that Texas counties could pass a local stock law if the residents of the county approved the law in an election. As a result, the vast majority of the 254 Texas counties have enacted a local stock law.

However, sometimes locating the local stock law is very difficult. If you were operating a motorcycle or automobile on a Texas Farm-to-Market road (FM road or Farmer’s Market road) and you collided with a cow, horse, bull, or other regulated animal, please contact our law firm so that we can verify the existence of a
local stock law for the location of your accident. Once we have verified that a local stock law exists, we will then explain your legal rights to you in more detail.

Did You Have An Accident With A Cow, Horse, Bull, or Other Regulated Animal on A Texas Farm-To-Market Road?

A local stock law restricts owners from allowing their regulated animals to roam at large. Most owners restrict their regulated animals by erecting wood and/or wire fencing. Some owners also electrify the wire fence. However, wood and wire fencing requires constant maintenance and repair, which some owners negligently fail to undertake. Negligent failure to maintain, and other forms of negligence, ultimately permit the regulated animals to escape causing serious injury or death to vehicle operators.

Unfortunately, many of the accidents occur in the dark of night
when the animals are difficult to see. Because a cyclist or driver
may not see the animal until it’s too late, a severe collision is
usually the outcome. Because the wreck is usually major, this
often means the death of the animal and serious injuries or death
to the operator or passengers.

If you were operating a motorized vehicle and had an incident with
livestock on a Texas Farm-To-Market road, and the Texas county in which the
collision occurred has enacted a local stock law, then you may be
entitled to money for your medical expenses, pain and suffering,
property damage, and lost wages. If a family member was killed as
a result of impacting livestock, then you may be entitled to seek
damages in a wrongful death action.

Did You Hit A Regulated Animal on A Texas Highway?

Hitting a regulated animal on a Texas “highway” carries a different
legal hurdle. The Texas Agriculture Code, Sec. 143.102, provides
that “A person who owns or has responsibility for the control of a
horse, mule, donkey, cow, bull, steer, hog, sheep, or goat may not
knowingly permit the animal to traverse or roam at large,
unattended, on the right-of-way of a highway.” A “highway” means
a U.S. highway or a state highway, but does not include a numbered
Farm-to-Market road.

The key to establishing an owner’s responsibility when a regulated
animal is struck on a Texas “highway” comes down this one question:

“Did the owner knowingly permit the animal to traverse or roam at large, unattended, on the right of way of a highway?”

Since proving that an
owner “knowingly” allowed his animal to roam at large can be very
difficult, you should consult a Texas personal injury lawyer who
has experience litigating livestock collision claims in the State
of Texas.

Don’t Delay! Call Us Now Before Time Runs Out!

If you suffered a serious injury or a family member died from
striking a cow, horse, bull, or other regulated animal, it is important for you to consult a Texas personal injury attorney who has the
experience and answers you need to move forward with your legal
claims. This is an urgent matter since you may have limited time to make your claim due to prevailing Texas Statutes of Limitations. Contact Joel A. Gordon Associates today for your free
consultation where we can responsibly guide you through your situation.