Last week, my wife and daughter were driving home from school when they noticed a goat in the road. Fearful the goat was going to get run over or cause an accident on the narrow little road, my wife decided to try and find its owner. Two farms were nearby so my wife pulled into first farm and went to the front door to alert the owner about the escaped goat. The homeowner advised my wife the goat in question belonged to the farm on the other side of the street. The woman also reported she herself had put the goat up on several occasions. Armed with this information, my wife drove to the farm across the street to alert them their goat was loose.
When my wife and daughter exited the car, the goat was still at the road. They knocked on the door and waited a few moments but no one was home. As they turned to walk back to the truck, they noticed the goat was approaching. Before they could get back to their vehicle, the goat became aggressive, and this goat had horns.
The goat began trying to butt my wife and daughter. The goat was large and outweighed our 7-year old daughter so my wife told her to run to the truck while she tried to distract the goat. The goat continued to try and head butt my wife, so she grabbed it by both horns and used them like handle bars to steer the goat to a pen. After closing the gate, she started walking back to her truck. When she turned to check on the goat, she noticed it had come out the other side, so she ran back to the truck and drove home.
Fortunately, no injuries occurred save a small scratch on my wife’s leg. But here is the thing, injuries could have occurred. The loose goat could have caused a car accident. Runners and walkers frequently use that street and the goat could have injured one of them. The goat could have injured my wife or daughter as they were trying to do the neighborly thing and alert the owners that the goat was loose.
Animal owners have a duty to control their livestock with appropriate fencing. If an animal is continually escaping its fencing, as this particular goat apparently does, then clearly the fencing is not adequate. Goats and other livestock can create liability for their owners. At the Law Offices of John Day, we successfully represented a man who sustained a brain injury from a car accident with a large cow. Our client came over the hill and the cow was in the middle of the roadway and a serious accident and injury resulted.
So if you are the owner of a dog, a goat, a cow, a donkey or any other critter that could do some harm, be responsible. Ensure the animal is properly secured to protect it and others. Be sure your homeowner’s policy covers any liability stemming from your ownership of the animal. If it does not, then purchase a rider or a separate policy to protect yourself and anyone who is injured by the animal.
If you or a loved one has been injured by an animal and you would like to discuss it with one of our top-rated attorneys, please give us a call at 615-742-4880 (Nashville) or 615-867-9900 (Murfreesboro) or 866-812-8787 (toll-free). Or, if you prefer, contact us online. We will be happy to review your case, answer your questions and advise you of your rights for free. We handle all accident cases on a contingency basis so we do not get paid unless we recover money for you.