Unfortunate reality on Colorado roads: crashes involving livestock

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2016 | livestock automobile accidents |

Colorado is notably distinct from a number of other states for its variegated topography, which supports many different types of environments.

That is, state residents live and work in areas ranging from dense and expansive cities to suburbs, towns, mountain locales and rural ranching enclaves.

That sheer diversity results in highly varied driving conditions across the state, which, of course, has implications in the realm of motor vehicle accidents and personal injuries.

Although it is a commonplace to hear about car, truck and bus accidents on urban roads and the fast-moving interstates that crisscross the state, it is also a reality that many other types of vehicle-related mishaps occur on other types of roadways as well.

Many readers likely don’t see many stories focused upon motor vehicle accidents involving livestock, but they certainly do occur across Colorado.

And, unsurprisingly, they can yield catastrophic and even flatly tragic results.

A recent article in the Denver Post reports, for example, an accident that occurred late last year on Colorado 145 in Montrose County. A driver could not avoid hitting a dead cow in the road. The vehicle flipped over, with a passenger having her arm severed in the crash.

Liability concerns can loom large in such a matter, and they are certainly playing out presently in personal injury litigation filed recently by the victim in a Colorado federal court.

Third-party negligence in an injury case is often broadly authored, and it is directly alleged in the woman’s lawsuit. Her complaint names the ranchers who owned the cow as defendants, as well as the Colorado Department of Transportation. Her filing states that the ranchers did not have legal permission to graze their herd in the accident area and that the state government was negligent for its failure to properly maintain fences along the roadway.

The lawsuit also names another rancher who did have state permission to graze cattle in the area as a third defendant, alleging that the rancher improperly sublet his permit to the other ranchers.

The victim seeks both compensatory and punitive damages.