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How much compensation can I claim for an animal-caused road accident?

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Jenny Jones

Panel Senior Litigator

A guide to making a No Win No Fee road accidents caused by animals claim

Livestock loose on UK roads account for around 1,000 road traffic accidents every year. Given the size of larger livestock, including cows and horses, these accidents have the potential to cause serious injury.

What causes livestock to be loose on the road?

Despite vigilance on the part of farmers, animals can escape their enclosures and wander into nearby roads. In cases where the farmer has failed to repair a broken gate or fence, the farmer is likely to be negligent and liable to pay compensation to road users injured as a result.

In some cases, however, loose livestock can be caused by a gate being left open. This could be a failure on the part of a farm worker or an unknown party, such as an anonymous rambler. This can, in some cases, make negligence more difficult to prove.

What kinds of injuries can be sustained as a result of the presence of livestock on a road?

One of the most common injuries sustained by drivers and passengers involved in a collision with livestock is whiplash.

Other common injuries include muscular damage, bruising and sprained or broken limbs caused by the impact of hitting a cow or horse, or by hitting a tree, fence or other vehicle while attempting to avoid the animal.

Who is at fault for road accidents involving livestock?

In many cases, the farmer who is responsible for the livestock will be held accountable for any road accidents that the animals cause.

Most farmers protect themselves from the financial consequences of paying injury compensation by taking out public liability insurance.This insurance is designed to cover the costs of any accidents caused by the animals owned by the farmer, or by any work undertaken by the farmer in the course of his normal duties.

What should you do if you have been injured?

Medical attention should be sought as soon as possible, even for minor injury, to prevent deterioration.

It may be that you will need a physical examination by a doctor to ascertain the extent of your injuries, or you may require x-rays or other follow-up examinations.

Whiplash can develop into chronic pain if not treated appropriately, but compensation cannot be sought for this kind of subsequent injury if it results from a failure to seek treatment.

Evidence of the cause of livestock on the road

Broken fences and gates may be subsequently repaired, so it is recommended to act quickly after an accident to gather evidence, including photos.

A solicitor will able to advise further on this point, even if you are undecided about actually starting a claim.

Can you claim compensation for accidents caused by livestock?

If you have been injured because of the presence of animals in the road, you will likely have a case for personal injury compensation.

Contact Quittance on 0800 612 7456 to find out more.