When animals run at large
In Indiana, areas that were once considered rural are experiencing population growth as urban boundaries expand. This can lead to a clash between rural and urban lifestyles. For example, as traffic increases on rural roads, there is increased potential for motor vehicle accidents involving livestock.
The owner may be found liable if they knew the animal was no longer confined in the enclosure
Indiana has enacted Indiana Code 15-17-18-8, which prohibits livestock and poultry owners from allowing their animals to run at large. While this statute could be helpful to a subrogation plaintiff bringing a claim against the owner of the livestock or poultry, the statute is not as broad as it first appears. Case law has interpreted the statute to mean that the owner must have actual or constructive knowledge that the animal is no longer confined within an enclosure. This means the owner must know or have reason to know his or her animal is no longer confined in order for the owner to be found liable. This can be difficult to prove if you are bringing a claim against the owner of livestock or poultry for liability in a motor vehicle accident.
Many Indiana counties have county ordinances that further define the obligations of an owner of livestock or poultry. Consult with one of our subrogation attorneys early in your claim to maximize your chances of recovery.