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When car, carelessness and cattle collide: cow lost to crash

When we discuss auto accidents, the victims tend to be those of the two-legged kind. A recent Wisconsin crash, however, highlights how even animals can be affected by the negligent driving of others.

Distracted driving is a cause for conversation as well as legislation in Wisconsin and throughout the country. Safety officials equate cell phone use behind the wheel with the dangers of drunk driving. A texting driver allegedly caused a car accident in Wisconsin on Saturday. It was fatal for one victim -- a cow.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that a trucker was pulling a trailer of prize-winning dairy cows home from an event when an accident took place. While allegedly reading a text message, another driver veered outside of her lane and prompted the truck to fall off of the road. Various cows inside the trailer were injured. One was killed.

Some might think that this accident is no big deal because no people were significantly injured in the crash. But those cows are at least one person's property, property that helps that person earn a living. In civil cases where property is lost or damaged, a court can look at the value of that property and require that a defendant pay off the damages.

Will the owner of the killed and/or injured cows try to get back the value that he lost in the accident with a personal injury suit? He could. Would the driver learn through the lawsuit that texting while driving is seriously negligent? One can only hope so.

Source: Wisconsin State Journal, "Police: Texting while driving caused Beltline crash that killed prize-winning Dairy Expo cow," Nick Heynen, Oct. 8, 2012

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