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Man obtains over $500,000 following vehicle accident with a cow

Case Overview

Our client was driving home at night along a country road when suddenly and without warning he struck a cow in the middle of the road. Our client sustained serious injuries to his back and shoulders as well as a psychological injury.

This accident changed the trajectory of our client’s life. As a result of his physical injuries, our client was unable to continue in his manual labouring job. He suffered from ongoing severe pain from his physical injuries and developed severe depression. 

Our team at Gerard Malouf & Partners was motivated to help this deserving young man.

"If it had been a kangaroo for example our client would not have been able to bring a compensation claim, however as this animal was a cow, with owners who held insurance, a claim was possible."

David Cossalter
Our Approach

In these types of claims certain aspects must be proven:

  1. There is an owner of the animal;
  2. There is a deficiency in the control of the animal.


In this case, the lawyers at Gerard Malouf & Partners had to prove a deficiency with the fencing in the paddock where the cow had been kept. Through expert liability evidence the team was able to argue that the fencing containing the cow had been inadequate and successfully sued the owners.

The Result

Our client obtained over $500,000 in compensation from the owners of the cow via their insurance company.

David Cossalter Lawyer

David Cossalter

Managing Partner
David is a strong negotiator who will put every effort in the endeavour to settle your claim prior to court proceedings, but he also thrives in a court room ready to ensure client’s rights are pursued when negotiations do not succeed
Frequently Asked Questions

More Information

Animal collisions are normally classified as ‘blameless’ accidents in the ACT. This means the driver isn’t at fault, but they are also unable to demonstrate another road user was responsible.

No compensation is provided for blameless accidents under the existing compulsory third-party (CTP) insurance scheme, with only a $5,000 early medical payment benefit available.

There are several steps you should take following a motor accident before worrying about liability. First and foremost is ensuring that you, the other driver and any passengers you both have are safe. Immediately call 000 for emergency services if necessary, and apply first aid care if you know how. Move the vehicles off the shoulder if the accident is blocking the roadway and it’s possible to do so.

All drivers have a duty to other road users to take reasonable care. If it can be determined that anyone involved in the accident was not taking reasonable care, they can be found negligent and at fault. The top identifiers of negligence consist of:

  • Speeding
  • Failing to obey traffic lights or signage
  • Driving while intoxicated or otherwise under the influence
  • Failing to “keep a proper lookout”

If you are hit by another driver and they are found at fault, you can make a claim against them for damages. This can include any losses resulting from the accident, including damage to your vehicle.

However, if your actions also played a part in the accident, both drivers may be found at fault. This is called ‘contributory negligence’, and may be apportioned between you and the other driver in any percentage split. In such a case, you may be responsible for bearing part of the cost of the damages.

The immediate aftermath of a car accident is a troubling time for all concerned, and it’s crucial that you don’t inadvertently act against your own best long-term interests. Let’s start with what not to do:

  • Don’t try to be your own doctor: It’s not always clear what the long-term health implications of an accident might be – whiplash injuries are a classic case in point here. Regardless of how minor you consider your injuries, make sure you are fully checked out and research your claim entitlements via an Accident Notification Form fully.
  • Don’t leave things too late: Motor vehicle accidents need to be reported to the police within 28 days in NSW or you risk complications further down the line when making a claim.
  • Don’t try and do it all yourself: The claims process is increasingly streamlined, but that doesn’t mean you should try and navigate its potential complexities yourself – particularly at a time where you may still be grappling with the after-effects of the accident itself. Professional advice from a compensation solicitor gives your claim the best possible chance of success.

With those caveats out of the way, let’s move on to what you should do.

If you’re injured in a motor vehicle accident, there are a number of practical details you need to take care of quickly once you are out of immediate danger:

  • Do report the accident: As mentioned above, look to do this within 28 days if at all possible.
  • Do get the Green Slips: Identify the Green Slip (CTP) policies of all vehicles involved. These can be obtained from the Motor Accidents Authority if you know the relevant number plates.
  • Do submit a personal injury claim form: These can be downloaded from the Motor Accidents Authority website and should be submitted to the relevant Green Slip insurer.

More Case Summaries

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Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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