We were instructed to claim damages, on a no-win no-fee basis, in connection with a horse riding accident that occurred in December 2013.
The circumstances of the accident were that our client was riding her horse down the road, positioned to the left centre of the lane. The horse was wearing a bright red and yellow Newmarket Witney exercise sheet to make her more visible.
A line of cars had successfully overtaken without incident prior to the horse becoming tense. Our client, an experienced and accomplished rider, rode her straight and the mare went past the gardener that was upsetting her. Having past the gardener she did however become agitated and began to jump from hoof to hoof as if she were cantering on the spot. It would have been easy for all to see that she was agitated and that she presented an obvious hazard. She had also moved to the right, though not in to the oncoming lane.
Despite there being insufficient room to pass safely, a car attempted to overtake. The car came too close and was travelling too quickly and a collision occurred.
Whilst our client did not fall off she sustained injury to her leg and psychological damage. The mare also sustained minor injuries.
On being instructed we alleged fault on the basis that on noting that the horse was in an agitated state, the reasonable driver would have stopped and waited until there was room to safely pass. The Highway Code says that horses can be unpredictable despite the efforts of their rider and that you should allow plenty of room when overtaking, go very slowly, and be ready to stop. He did none of these things.
Liability was initially denied and the driver alleged that our client’s horse had in fact reversed into him. Witness evidence and the damage to the car was used to successfully argue that the driver’s version of events was not credible.
The matter settled in the sum of £11,419.05.