I hit a cow. Who is responsible?

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I hit a cow. Who is responsible?

Auto accident occurred in the city of Texas city.
Who is responsible for the vehicle damage.
The cow owner cause it was at large or the
auto owner for hitting it?

Asked on March 28, 2018 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Liability depends on fault--who was at fault? Was the cow reasonably or properly secured (e.g. in a fenced pasture) and got out for some reason not the owner's fault, or did the owner not secure it (and so was at fault)? Was the driver driving carefully and the car wandered out from behind a bush or tree with not chance or time to avoid it (not at fault), or was the driver driving too fast or not paying attention and that's why the collision happened (driver at fault)? 
If one was at fault but no the other, the at-fault person is responsible. If both were at fault (e.g. cow not well-secured, but driver driving carelessly, too), then you (to oversimplify) compare their relative degrees of fault to see who pays what. (For example, cow owner 75% at fault, driver 25%--the driver could recover 75% of the cost/value of his car damage.) 
And, of course, it's not just about the car damage--it's also about "cow damage". If the cow is injured or killed and the driver was entirely or mostly at fault, the driver may have to pay for the cow.


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