Making a claim after being attacked by cows
3 Min Read
I am currently acting for three clients, all of whom were attacked by cows whilst they were walking through fields using public footpaths and suffered nasty injuries. For two of those clients liability for their claims has now been admitted in full, and I am expecting the third admission shortly.
In 2020 I settled a claim for a lady who had sustained serious injuries while walking her dog along a public footpath that went through an area that contained cows, but no warnings that they were there.
You may have read about the tragic case of David Tinniswood, an elderly gentleman who died following a similar incident. The farmer who owned the cows involved in that incident was prosecuted by the HSE and given a suspended sentence. The prosecuting HSE inspector Julian Franklin said in that case “Farmers should ensure they take all reasonably practicable precautions to protect walkers on public rights of way, especially when they are grazing cows and calves together, or bulls are present.” The HSE gives detailed guidance as to what steps they expect farmers to take. The same inspector is investigating one of the cases that I am dealing with, although we don’t yet know whether they will be prosecuting that farmer.
Most farmers are insured with the National Farmers Union (NFU) and it was refreshing that the NFU was prepared to immediately engage in providing funding for rehabilitation for all three of my clients, even before they had decided whether to accept liability for the claims. The best time for any rehab to take place is as soon as possible after the person has been injured. This is something which is very limited on the NHS and so funding for private treatment can be crucial in getting the injured person the best possible outcome . One of my clients is currently having physiotherapy, and the other is due to have surgery shortly. If an injured person recovers well from their injuries then the damages they receive are likely to be lower, they are more likely to be able to return to work earlier, and need less long term care and assistance. It is therefore in the interests of the insurance company to help the injured person get the rehab they need, enabling them to get back to work and a normal life as quickly as possible.
For these claims, the next steps will be to arrange for them to be seen by medical experts to report on their injuries, advise on any further treatment needs they may have and provide a prognosis for their future recovery, so that in due course I can value and settle their claims.