We were instructed to act for Miss G following a horse riding accident in which she was involved whilst out hacking on 20th November 2015.
The circumstances of the accident were that she was riding her 24-year-old thoroughbred mare, which she had owned for 12 years and with whom she had a good established relationship. The mare was very good in traffic and had never had bolted with her in the past. Our client was riding out with her sister who was on her horse which she had owned for 5 months. Our client was leading and her sister was about half a metre behind her as we proceeded at a brisk walk. They were about half a metre from the stone wall and hedges on the left hand side of the lane when they saw a grey Land Rover Defender, travelling at approximately 40MPH, coming towards them. There was a T-junction ahead, (about 5 to 10 metres) and the Land Rover had turned right into Lower Street, it came “flying” into the village and as it turned it swung across onto the wrong side of the road just a couple of metres ahead of us. There was a box trailer with a canvas top on the back of the Land Rover.
The mare spooked and jumped to get away from the Land Rover, her hindquarters slipped and she went down to the ground onto our client’s right leg which was pinned under the saddle. When the mare got up our client’s right foot was trapped in the stirrup and she was dragged along between the mare’s back legs for 5 or 10 metres before she broke free from the saddle. The mare carried on running to its yard leaving our client in the road.
The Land Rover disappeared and they were unable to get the registration number of the vehicle.
The mare had a haematoma to her right hindquarter and had strained her back muscles and 'put out' her pelvis. Fortunately she made a full recovery. Our client sustained a soft tissue injury to her lower back and bruising to her right elbow.
The incident was reported to the police but the driver could not be traced.
We submitted a claim to the Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB). In 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. In such cases we do not know who the person responsible is and therefore cannot obtain their insurance details to make a claim against their insurer. The MIB exists to compensate victims of negligent untraced drivers (and uninsured drivers).
We argued that the driver of the untraced vehicle had driven contrary to the Highway Code and that even in the event that it hadn’t been pulling a trailer, it was travelling far too fast to safely pass a horse and rider.
Liability was admitted and the case settled for £2,500.00 on 18 July 2016.