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Title: Sheep made me crash

Date: 14 December 2011

Sheep Crash

Question

Hello I was recently involved in a crash on the A57 snake pass near Bamford where I rounded a blind left hander to be confronted by a sheep in the middle of the road on my side. The result was a low side crash which has wrote the bike off. The incident was attended by the police who said he was always getting called out to this sort of incident because the fencing down this road is 'crap' ( his word ), I also have three names and addresses from people who witnessed this to say the accident was not my fault, I now have to claim on my insurance for something which was not my fault. The police officer has provided me with names of two farmers with sheep who were near the area of my crash, where do I stand with regard to claiming back any costs I might incur.

David Dyson

Answer

You would need to ascertain which farmer's sheep it was (you can sometimes tell by the inking on them if they were marked). Then you would sue the farmer for negligence in allowing his fence to fall into a state of disrepair, arguing that it was reasonably foreseeable that a sheep would escape and cause injury and property damage to road users, particularly motorcyclists. Photographic evidence of the poor state of repair of the fence would be helpful and investigations made as to which farmer is the culprit.

Local residents could be potential witnesses to previous escapes and
they may also know which farmer is to blame so enquiries down that route would be helpful.
If you cannot identify which farmer was to blame then I am afraid I cannot see you getting anywhere with this. If you can then a claim would enjoy reasonable prospects of success. You don't mention whether or not you were injured. If you were then of course you can claim for injuries and financial losses including the cost of the bike and damaged kit.

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