Running a Shop Law

California law firm to litigate livestock-vehicle collisions

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Jan. 26, 2012—The Law Offices of Edward A. Smith, a California-based personal injury law firm, recently opened a new office focused on litigating livestock-vehicle collisions.

Edward A. Smith said ranching and livestock breeding is still an active industry in California. But increased urbanization creates an environment where the blending of land uses can result in serious accidents. Collisions with heavy animals, such as cattle and horses, can result in serious injuries or fatalities to vehicle occupants.

Livestock owners have a duty to properly control their animals so they do not wander onto highways, Edward A. Smith said. They also have a duty to properly fence their properties, supervise and restrain animals. Despite that duty, Edward A. Smith said California has no presumption of a rancher's liability simply because a motor vehicle has a collision with livestock.

Edward A. Smith said it is critical for attorneys who handle these cases to have investigators, fencing experts and animal behavior specialists on hand so that evidence of ranchers’ negligence can be established.

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