Car Accidents In New York And Pennsylvania: Who’s At Fault When An Animal Is Involved?


New York and Pennsylvania are home to lots of dogs, cats, wildlife, and livestock like cows, horses, and goats. Being involved in an accident with any of these animals can be dangerous and cause extensive injury and damage to your vehicle. Joe Knows how frustrating it can be to determine who’s responsible when a car accident in NY or PA involves an animal. The Team at Stanley Law can investigate the circumstances of the crash and determine who is at fault.

Factors Involved In Car Accidents Caused By Animals


There are several different factors involved when determining liability and negligence in a car accident involving an animal. It’s not uncommon for motorists to be involved in accidents with deer, bears, and other large animals. Small animals can cause accidents too. For example, a motorist may swerve to avoid a squirrel or rabbit in the road, hit a utility pole and suffer injury or even death. In most cases involving wildlife, another person or entity will not be responsible for injuries and damages caused by a car accident in NY or PA.

Domestic Animals

When a motor vehicle accident in NY or PA involves a pet like a dog or a cat, the owner of the animal may be at fault. Pet owners are required to keep their animals under control at all times. Whether you’re in an accident in a rural area, suburb, or city, if a dog or cat that runs out into the road causes a crash, the owner of that animal is liable for any damages or injuries that result from the accident. When a domestic animal doesn’t have an ID tag or microchip it can be difficult to track down its owner. It’s always a good idea to call the police and seek medical attention after any car accident. The police may go door-to-door to try and find out who owned the animal. Personal injury lawyers often employ investigators who may be able to find an owner as well.


Farmers and ranchers are also responsible for containing their animals. Unfortunately, livestock such as cows and horses get loose when a gate is left open or a fence requires repair. Cows and horses are often very large and can weigh close to a thousand pounds. Hitting this type of animal can cause significant damage to your vehicle and lead to serious injury or death, not to mention the emotional trauma of being involved in an accident with a living being. Some accidents involving animals may include more than one motorist –if a motorist swerves into an oncoming lane to avoid a cow on a rural road, a serious head-on collision could occur and result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities. A driver may also lose control and run into a utility pole, tree, fence or another stationary object.

When The Driver Is At Fault

In some instances, motorists are responsible for property damage and the injury or death of domestic animals and livestock. If a speeding driver loses control and plows through a fence, killing cows or a pet, they would likely be responsible for any damages caused.

Contact A New York Car Accident Attorney To Learn More

Accidents involving animals are often complex. Each case is unique – injured victims may suffer serious injury and extensive property damage. Our personal injury lawyers at Stanley Law Offices are there for you every step of the way.

Your initial consultation is always free. We can assess your case, determine who was at fault, and advise you on the next steps to take. Our lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means there are no up-front costs and you won’t owe attorney fees unless we make a recovery for you. Call800-608-3333 or 800-372-3760 or Contact us online if you need assistance with injuries sustained or damages in a car accident in NY or PA. Our offices are conveniently located in Syracuse, Watertown, Binghamton, or Rochester, New York, and Montrose, Pennsylvania. Se habla español.