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Farm animals and personal injury liability

Farming operations tend to have a variety of animals on the property. Sometimes these animals include large livestock and sometimes they include pets such as different breeds of dogs.

Since nearly all animals have a level of unpredictability, they all have the potential to cause injury to humans.

Owner liability for injury

Information from the Extension from the University of Missouri states that several situations make the owner of a farm legally liable for personal injury caused by an animal. An animal, whether livestock or a family pet, that escapes its property increases the owner’s risk of liability. If the animal wanders onto the highway and causes a vehicle accident resulting in personal injury, a lawsuit could ensue. If the animal attacks someone while loose, the same holds true.

In general, an animal that has a propensity to harm, such as a dog with a history of biting people, adds responsibility to the owner. The owner’s knowledge of the dog’s nature combined with a failure to restrain the animal could lead to a negative personal liability judgment. In cases where the owner acts negligently, the same holds true.

Situations that could lead to liability

Owners and managers of farm operations in North Dakota should keep animals under control and on the premises whenever possible. Exposure to liability for personal injuries increases any time either of these situations develops. A loose animal could cause a vehicle accident, knock into an elderly person or even bite a person. When a person visits a farm, he or she expects that the owner will have all animals under reasonable control.