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Old 12-16-2014, 09:57 PM   #1
dragrat388
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Default I Hit a cow in Kansas so is the farmer at fault? HELP?

Kansas: Sorry for long story but i wanted all the facts and reason for my concern and questions about the truth. Not a sob story, but want people to know why I am needing answer, advise and HELP!

This takes place in KANSAS. Last Saturday i was going to work. at approximately 6:40 am a black cow was in the middle of the road. Due to the thick fog i swerved to miss it but it hit the right side of my truck damaging the entire right side. Unsure of what county i was in i had to call the county sheriffs office of the county i lived in. They told me i was in another county but sent a farmer out to see if it was his cow. He told me that was not his and told me whos it was. He said his cows are out all the time so it didn't surprise him.

Now this year has been rough and i have had two surgery's and was off over 6 months, I have had other health issues and with 3 kids i sold every one of my possessions (mans toys or property of mine that were my hobbies) to pay the bills due to my health. My registration was not current since i have missed so much work and due to doctor bills we did not have the money to update my tags. Now this is no excuse and i am a grown man and know this is my responsibility. But my family came first and unfourtunatly my wife did not get my registration updated.

My question is: Is this farmer at fault?
I have dodged several cows on this same road but unsure how many people report when they are out. The sheriffs officer said KS is a free range state implying that The farmer was not at fault. Now my truck had to be towed since my registration was not current. I was very polite and respectful to the officer and he was nice enough to allow me to choose the Tow/Recovery company since he said most people in similar circumstances act ...well A holes as he put it and since i was very polite, respectful and told him i have no excuse. I almost flipped my truck trying to miss this black cow in the dark and since it is a tight night community, if the farmer is at fault the officer would not admit it since the officer and farmer were friends. I dont want to cause conflict but my wife and I are struggling to pay bills because of my health and missing so much work. I have sold all my vehicles except this truck and my wife's SUV and a project car (which has collected dust since my family is my only priority) and now am relying on my alcoholic coworker for a ride. Since he is always drunk we are always late therefore loosing money when i still dont have the money to get my truck out of impound.
Accidents happen but today i seen another cow out of his pens and was in an open field.
IS IT REALLY A COW IS MORE IMPORTANT THEN MY LIFE AND MY WAY OF TRANSPORTATION TO GO TO WORK TO TRY AND SUPPORT MY FAMILY??? Every one i have talked to that travels this road has named numerous times they have almost hit this farmers cows. And many people have told me the farmer is liable for the damages. Like i said i dont want to cause conflict but now not only do i have a truck to fix, 3 children to support (with Christmas a week away) and not a Fine that god knows what this will cost, and unpaid doctor bills with bill collectors calling me every day. My FAMILY IS FIRST! WHAT IS TRUE? AM I, MY FAMILY, OR ANY ONE ELSE TRAVELING THESE ROADS LESS IMPORTANT THEN THIS COW? I COULD have left since my truck is drivable but i refused to leave a cow in the middle of the road for some wife and child to hit, knowing the consequences i was going to face. This has been a very bad year and i have always have worked 70+ hours of manual labor to support my family.

So i am at fault for not having a current tag or registration. NO EXCUSE! That is my fine to pay. But my family is everything and its depressing every day knowing that because of my health my family is suffering and now a COW is now more important then me, my only vehicle that i need 60 miles a day to go back and forth to work, My life or someone else s is less important then a wealthy farmer and an friend of his that was the officer making sure to emphasize that i am...well SOL (short interpretation) IS THERE ANY THING I CAN DO OR AM I JUST SOL ?
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Old 12-17-2014, 12:49 AM   #2
AFFA
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Default Re: I Hit a cow in Kansas so is the farmer at fault? HELP?

I wish to inform you that there may be liability of farmer and well as state agencies. In this regard farmer may be held liable for negligence in letting loose his cow. In the case of Reynolds v. Kansas Department of Transportation it was held that parties who were negligent will be liable for compensation. If there was state fence in road which was defective that cow come on road then even transport department may be held liable for defective fence along with owner of cow for tort of negligence. As matter is civil matter therefore you may first send demand notice and then file lawsuit if compensation is not paid.

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Old 12-17-2014, 01:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: I Hit a cow in Kansas so is the farmer at fault? HELP?

Legally, if the area is open grazing, you have the responsibility to exercise caution and watch for free ranging livestock. It is not a question of a cow being more or less important than you. For your own safety and the safety of others in open grazing areas and when fog is present you need to reduce speed and watch for hazards. That could just as easily have been a pedestrian or slower moving vehicle and then not only would your car be damaged but you might be facing reckless driving charges or worse.

Check to see if the area is posted for open grazing and if it is not posted, then check with county planning to see whether it is open grazing and the highway department liable for not posting the hazards properly, or if it is not open grazing and the officer was mistaken, in which situation you might have a case against the farmer.
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Old 12-17-2014, 02:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: I Hit a cow in Kansas so is the farmer at fault? HELP?

Cattle on the roadway are considered "at large" and this is a violation of KS statute K.S.A. 47-122.

If the cattle was the cause of damages you are entitled to a lien on that animal per KS statute K.S.A. 47-123.

Cattle should not be grazing across the roadway. There are specific laws about what qualifies as a legal fence enclosure as well.
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Old 12-17-2014, 02:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: I Hit a cow in Kansas so is the farmer at fault? HELP?

Sorry goddess, I need to correct you on this one. If it was an open range area, OP is liable for hitting the cow. In fact he owes for the cow so I hope he took it for meat.



The New West collides with open-range laws ? High Country News
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Old 12-17-2014, 02:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: I Hit a cow in Kansas so is the farmer at fault? HELP?

Actually Kansas has been a "fence in" state since 1929. It's called the Herd Law.
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Old 12-17-2014, 03:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: I Hit a cow in Kansas so is the farmer at fault? HELP?

Essentially, Kansas is still an open grazing state for criminal law purposes, and a herd law state for civil cases, is my limited understanding. Many states have gradually closed off open grazing and some counties in open grazing states have limited open grazing.

In the civil case, the farmers lawyer or the farmers insurance company's lawyer may be asking questions about the drivers history (DUIs, registration, driving record). If the farmer was not negligent and an act of god occurred or someone else was negligent (fence falling on tree or hunter leaving gate open, for example), then the farmer may not be found liable.
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Old 09-02-2018, 04:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: I Hit a cow in Kansas so is the farmer at fault? HELP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AFFA View Post
I wish to inform you that there may be liability of farmer and well as state agencies. In this regard farmer may be held liable for negligence in letting loose his cow. In the case of Reynolds v. Kansas Department of Transportation it was held that parties who were negligent will be liable for compensation. If there was state fence in road which was defective that cow come on road then even transport department may be held liable for defective fence along with owner of cow for tort of negligence. As matter is civil matter therefore you may first send demand notice and then file lawsuit if compensation is not paid.

AFF
Did you ever find out who the owner of the cattle were that were always out?
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Old 09-02-2018, 05:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: I Hit a cow in Kansas so is the farmer at fault? HELP?

Jeez, Cow, give us a break. The thread is almost 4 years old.
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:33 AM   #10
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Default Re: I Hit a cow in Kansas so is the farmer at fault? HELP?

If you live in Kansas you have to expect a few cows now and then.
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