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7.03.16

Can I claim for property damage and vet bills following a horse riding accident?

We are often asked the above question by clients that have sustained personal injury. In short, the answer is yes. Where there is an identifiable Defendant who is found to be at fault, a Claimant is entitled to recover compensation for their physical injuries and associated financial losses.

The exception to this is in road traffic accidents where you don’t always need an identifiable Defendant to pursue a claim although in these cases different rules apply surrounding property claims.

When making a claim for property damage the court will make a deduction to the original purchase price in the event that the damaged items were not brand new. The cost of a replacement hat is the exception to this rule in that it will be paid in full. This is because the court accepts that, for safety reasons, hats must be purchased as new and replaced following an accident.

It is an interesting fact that in the eyes of the law your horse is also classed as property. Damage to a horse, whilst traumatic and emotional for the owner, is considered by the court to be no more than property damage. All expenses incurred in relation to the horse as a result of the accident, such as vet bills, after care, additional feed and bedding are recoverable. If the horse cannot be ridden again, or ridden at the level at which it was ridden prior to the accident, then the cost of a replacement horse is recoverable. The pre-accident value of the horse would be established and the post-accident (residual) value of the horse deducted to arrive at the figure that the court would award.

It is worth noting that an amount can also be claimed for loss of use. This means that that the Claimant can recover compensation for the number of days that he/she would have ridden their horse, but was unable to due to the horse being out of use as a result of the accident. This amount ceases to be recoverable at the point that the horse can be brought back into work, or alternatively, on the date that a new horse is purchased.

The claims process is relatively straight forward and the vast majority of cases settle without the need to go to trial.

If you have been involved in a horse riding accident call us now on 01446 794196 for a free claims evaluation.


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