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£30,000 compensation for horse rider that sustained spinal fractures in a road traffic accident

We were instructed to claim damages in connection with a road traffic accident that occurred on 7 February 2014.

The story was in a number of newspapers at the time –…/horse-rider-hurt-in-dudley…/

The circumstances of the accident were that our client, who was wearing hi visibility clothing, was riding a horse and the owner of the horse was walking alongside her on foot. Our client and the horse’s owner both heard and saw a truck approaching from behind at what appeared to be in excess of 30 MPH. Due to the speed and proximity of the truck, the owner of the horse took hold of the reins out of concern for her horse and indicated for the lorry driver to slow down. The road narrowed at the point that the truck attempted to pass our client.

As the truck passed it clipped the horse, inflicting a cut on its head and rear, which caused it to spook and rear.

Our client was thrown from the horse and a passer-by and her husband stopped to assist, called the emergency services and waited until help arrived. The truck driver left the scene of the accident before the police arrived and failed to leave his insurance details as is required by law.

The accident was reported to the police and the truck driver was subsequently fined £255 and given five penalty points after pleading guilty to failing to report an accident.

As a result of the accident our client sustained spinal fractures to her L1, L2 and L3 vertebra. She was admitted to hospital for 4 weeks and discharged home on 7 March 2014. Our client had to wear a back brace at all times and required home care.

A letter of claim was sent in May 2014 alleging fault on the basis that the truck driver had driven contrary to the Highway Code, failed to drive slowly past horse and rider, was too close whilst over taking and consequently struck the horse. The Highway Code is clear in relation to how one should pass a horse and rider. It states that they should be given plenty of room and that the driver should be ready to stop. It goes on to say that one should look out for animals being ridden on the road and take extra care especially when overtaking. It is advised that one should always pass wide and slowly and to look out for horse riders and take great care and treat all horses as a potential hazard. Our client was an experienced horse rider who sustained injury through no fault of her own.

Liability was not initially admitted and tachograph logs were requested. Liability was admitted in October 2014.

An offer of £25,000 was put forward by the Defendant’s insurer which we advised our client to not accept. A further offer was made on 15 July 2015 in the sum of £30,000 which was accepted.

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