The general rule is that if you swerved to miss an animal and cause an injury or damage, then its your fault. If you hit the animal and the animal is killed, then it’s the fault of the owner for not keeping the animal under control.
Some years ago I swerved to avoid another motorist and hit a tree. The motorist carried on regardless and I ended up paying for my own damage.
If you are concerned about your own safety rather than that of a 3rd party I would suggest that you wrote to the owner of these putting him on notice that if you swerved to avoid one of his animals, and your vehicle is damaged, you will hold him personally liable (debatable whether the court would agree) and that notwithstanding any spontaneous reaction, you will not be swerving and if the animal is killed or injured, then you will not be liable.
It doesn’t matter what the animal is, apart from the damage involved, you are normally better hitting it than avoiding it. As a nation of animal lovers, I appreciate that may go against the grain a little.
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