Texas Open Range Law: Liability When Livestock Causes an Auto Accident

by Terry Bryant

Dangers of Livestock Causing Auto Accidents

Dangers of Livestock Causing Auto Accidents

Texas is known for its livestock and cattle ranches. However, livestock poses a serious issue when an auto accident is caused by a stray animal.

Generally, Texas law protects livestock owners from liability when one of their stray animals causes an auto accident. The “open range” law requires neighboring landowners to “fence out” stray animals, as opposed to requiring livestock owners to “fence in” their animals. As with most rules, exceptions to the “open range” law do exist, but the law is generally favorable to livestock owners.

The state of the law leaves a person injured in an auto accident caused by stray livestock with limited sources of recovery. Because you can rarely look to the owner of the stray livestock as a source of recovery, you can look to your own auto insurance policy or another driver’s auto insurance policy if another driver was involved in the crash. Unfortunately, this may not provide enough coverage if you have sustained serious injuries.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident, contact a board certified personal injury attorney to evaluate your potential claim.