Horse Damage

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Horse Damage

Postby Morgan Sweet » Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:38 pm

One of my sons had legally parked his vehicle on a country road whilst he was cutting logs in an adjacent field. The local Fox Hunt was hunting in the vicinity and one of their mounted follower's horse backed into his car causing over £3000 worth of damage. The rider admitted it was his horse that caused the damage and a claim was submitted for the repair. My son today received an email from the Hunt's Countryside Alliance's Insurers, saying that in effect, their view was there was no negligence by the rider and there was no history that the horse was difficult and hence they are not liable. It seems that unless my son can prove negligence by the rider he has to foot the bill himself. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Re: Horse Damage

Postby thin and crispy » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:28 am

Hello Morgan,

I'm no expert, but I wouldn't have thought that liability can be equated to negligence here. The horse rider was (or should have been) in control of his animal regardless of whether he had any cause to believe it might damage your son's car.

Did your son claim through his own insurer or directly to the hunt? If the latter, I wonder whether the hunt's insurers are trying it on in the hope that your son won't pursue it further.
Prejudice, not being founded on reason, cannot be removed by argument. Samuel Johnson.
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Re: Horse Damage

Postby jonahinoz » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:28 pm

Hi,

My understanding is that if a horse causes damage, the owner is liable. It is no defence for him to claim he was not negligent ... or even that a field gate was deliberately left open so that the horse could escape. If you have a horse, you are liable, in that you did not ensure the horse could not cause damage. I'll see what I can find.

In the meantime, if the rider was not negligent, as his insurers claim, then he must have done it deliberately, or he was incompetent. Are there any other options? Of course, you don't know what the rider told his insurers, but at least his insurers have agreed that a specific horse, with a specific rider, was involved in a specific accident.

Imagine if the hand brake had failed on your car, and it had rolled into the horse. You were not negligent, you had applied the hand brake. The hand-brake had never failed before. You can show that the car is regularly serviced. How do you think tis rider would react, if you offered the same defence as he has to you.

My first thought was to make a Small Claim (£25?). My second thought was that a hunt follower may have "friends in high places" ... if such a thing was possible. I don't know how you get around that. ???

Do you have Legal Assistance on your car insurance? For about £20 a year, it beats paying for your barrister, while the other party gets theirs paid for by their insurers. You could ask your insurers to pay for your repairs ... and then chase the rider's insurer's to recoup their losses.

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Re: Horse Damage

Postby jonahinoz » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:43 pm

Hi,

For starters, check out https://www.hcrlaw.com/blog/liable-damage-caused-horse/

I'm not sure of the legal definition of INHERENT ... but horses are known to kick.

The rider is required to keep his horse under control. Should he/she consider that a horse is liable to kick out at it's own reflection in a cars bodywork? (OT ... I have watched my bantam cockerel fighting with his reflection in a car's bumper. It made one hell of a clatter).

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Re: Horse Damage

Postby jonahinoz » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:50 pm

Hi,

Another, some good, some not so good ...

https://www.warners-solicitors.co.uk/article/2015/an-accident-waiting-happen.html

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Re: Horse Damage

Postby jonahinoz » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:01 pm

Hi,

And another ... which mentions a "behavioural specialist".

http://www.freethsoxford.co.uk/horses_a ... o_property

I believe that should the insurers refuse your claim, you claim reverts to being against the rider. It might be worth taking a punt on making a small claim ... you would have more to NOT lose (£3,000) than lose (£25) If you took that action, I'd guess the insures would involve themselves again ... but you would not be liable for their costs. Have I got that right? Give the rider time to inspect your damage ... like a couple of weeks.

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Re: Horse Damage

Postby mr sheen » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:44 pm

Presumably the parked car was stationary, therefore just like another vehicle colliding with a parked car, a rider on a horse has failed to negotiate safely past a parked car and has collided with the parked car ie he was negligent by failing to pass the stationary object with a wide enough space to ensure that he did not collide with it/ his horse skills were insufficient to manoeuvre a horse safely around a parked car/ he failed to control his horse etc . The car did not move nor damage itself.
A horse colliding with a car is not 'an act of god'. The person who was supposed to be controlling it failed to do so adequately.

In such a case where damages are incurred, someone has to cover the damages.

The choice of who is at fault....is the car owner who did nothing and was not even in the car...or the person who failed to negotiate his charge ie the horse, past the parked car....worth pursuing a case against the rider who was clearly not in full control of his horse since he collided with a stationary object and caused damage.

I would pass the case onto my car insurance with a view to using the legal cover on my car insurance, which is what we pay the additional cover for.
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Re: Horse Damage

Postby Morgan Sweet » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:01 pm

Thank you all for your responses. Using my son's insurance legal cover is what he has now proposed to do.
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