Not always happy hacking… what to do if you have an accident


It’s been a while since I have written a blog for B&W Eventing. The rather tired excuse of ‘I’ve been busy’ really is the only one I have to give, but is very true. But with the New Year a memory it’s time to kick on and think eventing. Over the winter Wanda has been ticking over and we welcomed out new member to the team, Weenie. Weens is a former 2 star event horse on loan to me by Nicole Mills. I will be blogging more about her later.

photo courtesey baileys horse feeds

As the weather hasn’t treated us kindly our paddocks and farm tracks are a compete mess. Regretfully this has made me return to the roads in order to get Wanda fit.

As many of you know I had a nasty accident in November 2013 on Wanda when we were hacking. We were hit by an overtaking car and I was hurt quite badly. Wanda is also not that keen on road work and the whole incident has made her quite nervous. Together we try our best to look after each other but it’s so disappointing as I used to ride everywhere on her, even when I was very heavily pregnant.

The whole accident has made me very aware of road safety and I have been really well supported by Hanna Campbell, a Director and Solicitor at the legal firm HorseSolicitor. I’ve asked Hanna to share her expertise and write a brief guide of what you should do in the event of an accident. It is really worth taking the time to read and digest as from my experience it is hard to remember what to do when in shock and having to handle an upset or injured horse (let alone if you are hurt too).

For more information about Horse Solicitor visit www.horsesolicitor.co.uk

Stay safe, remember to wear your high viz and enjoy your roadwork!

X

Nikki

Horse Solicitors Guide to what to do in the event of an equine road accident

At HorseSolicitor, as specialist equine lawyers, we deal in a variety of horse related accident injury claims. The majority of the hacking related injury claims arise as a result of road traffic accidents (including hit and run untraced claims), dogs that fail to respond to recall, or scrambler bikes off-roading.

In all of the above mentioned hacking cases, the below steps should be taken immediately following the accident, to provide the rider with the best prospects of pursuing a successful claim for injury and any associated financial losses.

It goes without saying but in case of serious injury then someone needs to call 999

Even if it’s not a 999 scenario you should report the accident to the police using the 101number

Take details of any other parties involved in the accident. The more information you can get the better but you need at least their name, address and vehicle registration number (if relevant)

See it there are any witnesses who will give you their details. Here you want name, address and phone numbers.

Take photographs of the accident scene and any vehicles and animals involved. In the case of vehicles you should try to get pictures of the number plate, any damage, and its position on the road

Call HorseSolicitor (01446 794196) sooner rather than later. People are usually far more willing to admit liability for something they’ve done in the immediate aftermath than when you try to bring a claim 2 years down the line.

It is important to note that in untraced cases, where the person responsible for an accident drives off or cannot be traced, it is still possible to claim compensation if the accident results in personal injury. The vehicle does not have to hit the horse, merely frightening it through negligent driving and causing injury to rider as a result is enough. In untraced cases we do not know who the person responsible is and therefore cannot obtain their insurance details to make a claim against their insurer.

However, an organization called the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) exists to compensate victims of negligent untraced drivers (and uninsured drivers). MIB claims are subject to different rules and timescales to standard personal injury road traffic accident claims and expert advice is essential to avoid falling foul of the pitfalls.

HorseSolicitor specialises in MIB untraced driver and hit and run claims.

Types of claims that can be made to the MIB under the untraced drivers’ agreement include:

– Hit and run accidents

– Driver spooking a horse resulting in injury but failing to stop

– Objects negligently deposited on the road arising out of the use of a motor vehicle which results in injury

In all of the aforementioned cases, traced and untraced, a Claimant should keep a record of all losses incurred as a result of the accident because their claim will consist of 2 elements, general damages and special damages. General Damages relates to the compensation that a Claimant receives for their pain, suffering and loss of amenity. Special damages relates to the compensation that they will receive for their financial losses, which includes compensation for the gratuitous care that family and friends provide during the course of their rehabilitation.

By following the steps outlined you will ensure that you do not prejudice your case and that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to. Whilst it is not always possible, particularly in cases that tragically involve the euthanasia of our client’s horse, it is our job to put the Claimant back into the position that he/she would have been, had the accident not occurred. As riders ourselves we are passionate about insuring justice for injured riders.

On contacting us we will be able to offer representation on a no-win no-fee basis if we feel that there are good prospects of making a successful claim. If a Claimant is unsure as to whether or not he/she has a case they should call us on 01446 794196 and one of the team will be able to advise.

Any questions in relation to the above should be sent to hanna@horsesolicitor.co.uk

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