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Stray horse writes off car

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  • Stray horse writes off car

    Last June I was driving with my wife and 2 year old daughter in the car when a stray horse ran out of a lane and straight in front of our car. I had no time to react and the horse hit the front of the car. The windscreen was pushed in on us but luckily we all walked away with minor injuries. The horse didn't make it though.

    The car was only 2 months old and was a write off. The police attended and didn't seem that interested. When our solicitor asked for a copy of the police report, they hadn't filed one. The guy who owns the horse has no insurance for it. He's about 50 and lives with his father and apparently owns nothing.

    Our solicitor started off great, saying she'd get it resolved ASAP, not to worry etc etc. In the meantime our insurance has paid out for a replacement car. 7 months later and his solicitor is ignoring our solicitor and she seems to think that's that, nothing she can do.

    Surely there is someone she can contact if her solicitor is ignoring her? She is talking about hiring a private investigator to find out who owns the land and the lane the horse ran out from but we'd have to pay the bill. It hardly seems fair to me that we sue someone else just because they own the land the horse was loose on.

    I know it's a strange one but I was wondering if anyone has any experience of this or advice as to what we do next? It doesn't seem fair that he can just walk away from this and we're left with all the hassle and expense or is it a case of suck it up and let our insurance take the hit?
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  • #2
    That is what you pay your insurance premiums for!

    The horse owner or the owner of the land may be liable, but you would need to prove negligence to bring a claim under common law.

    The Animals Act 1971 is supposed to place a strict liability on the keeper of animals, and you could be more successful bringing an action under that act. However it is a poorly worded statute and nothing is certain.

    What is certain is that bringing a case is stressful, expensive if you use a solicitor, and there is no certainty of winning.
    And even if you win, if the defendant has no assets you won't get paid any award.

    You pay insurance to lay off your risk, so let the insurers try and recover if they feel it is worth the effort.

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    • #3
      I think you're right. We may let the insurance take the hit and let them fight it if they think it's worth it.
      I'm fed up with cars but at least we weren't killed.

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