Throughout the Hunter and across New South Wales cattle on the road is a common occurrence, but who is responsible if you collide with one? In New South Wales responsibility falls to the owners of cattle to show due care in their management and farming of cattle. This includes the appropriate use of restraints, fencing and reducing risk when cattle are out to pasture on nearby roads.
Whilst farmers must show due care with their livestock it is not enough to simply say that their cattle should not be on or near a road. In more rural areas it is common for cattle to pasture on the side of roads and for farmers to move livestock from paddock to paddock. In these circumstances, it must be demonstrated that the owner’s actions were negligent in the management of their operations.
If negligence can be proven to have occurred on behalf of the owner a driver may have rise to a claim of compensation in New South Wales.
It is important to note that this is not the case across Australia. North of the border in Queensland, they continue to abide by an old English law. The law essentially states that any damage caused to the injured in the course of a motor vehicle accident from contact with cattle cannot pass liability/guilt onto the cattle owner. Preventing compensation against the owner. Interestingly the law is one-of-a-kind and has been removed from all other Australian states and across England.
Car accidents can happen at any time. A lapse in concentration, another unaware driver, bad weather or sometimes that pesky animal that decided to step out at the wrong time. If you have had an accident, perhaps hit an animal whilst driving, it can difficult to determine if negligence has occurred and you may have a right to compensation.
Contact our team for assistance to help determine if you may be eligible.