Cop Uninjured Colliding with a Horse

At about 6:30 am on Thursday, July 19th an HPD patrol officer hit and seriously injured a harnessed horse while driving his SUV cruiser in the 2000 block of West Little York Road. The officer was not injured in the collision. Preliminary investigation indicates that the horse escaped and wandered onto the road, but its owner has not yet been identified. The street was closed for a couple of hours so the horse could be moved, but it is unclear if the animal can be treated or will have to be euthanized.

Hitting livestock can wreck the daylights out of your vehicle and cause serious injuries. But, interestingly, based upon Texas’ venerable past as a ranching state, it remains to this day a “free range” state. This means that the owner of an animal can only be held liable for vehicle damage or injuries if the animal gets loose onto a state or federal highway. Moreover, even in such circumstances, the vehicle owner must establish that the animal got loose due to its owner’s negligence and not just because a fence fell down or the like. Therefore, if you hit such an animal on a city street or a county road or even on a highway in non-liability circumstances, you’re pretty much on your own. Nevertheless, if you or a loved one is ever injured in such an incident, don’t horse around or be cowed and please consider calling us. We will do our best to herd up all the relevant facts, lasso the law which helps and corral a solution for you. No bull!