Four circus elephants on their way to Louisiana have recently become famous. Their fame does not arise from an appearance in the center ring, but instead from a motor vehicle accident in which they were involved. Often, car accidents have mundane facts and seem like they are unavoidable daily occurrences. Car accidents can be dangerous, however, and cause serious injury and damage to individuals, their personal property and even their animals. When unusual circumstances arise, substantial expenses may result and an injured party can look for compensation under the law.
This was the case for the Coleman Brothers Circus of the Stars. As four of the circus' elephants were making their way to Louisiana by truck-trailer for a performance, tragedy struck. A car ran the truck that was pulling the elephants in a trailer off the road. The truck was completely destroyed. Fortunately, the elephants did not suffer any serious injuries, besides being a little scared.
Now, though, the driver of other car may be liable for expenses related to both the totaled truck as well as the elephants. Although he may not have anticipated elephants to be in the trailer, he may nonetheless be responsible for all of the relevant damages. This is because the law does not carve out exceptions for liability for unusual situations. Instead, a person is evaluated by a set standard - what would a reasonable driver do in the situation. If it just so happens that elephants were also injured in the accident, then the circus that incurs such injuries has a right to sue. A liable driver cannot escape such damages. The law allows victims to bring civil lawsuits.
The elephant car accident should remind Louisiana roadway users to always be alert. Although driving, biking or even elephant-hauling may become a routine, mundane part of life, potential liability and responsibility should never be overlooked. Accidents can be tragic and result in high expenses. And a negligent driver may be liable for unusual expenses, like those that result from an elephant's injuries.
Source: WAFB.com, "Circus elephants headed to LA involved in I-10 accident," Oct. 15, 2012