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If A Horse Damages A Car.

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#1 xTheeAppleismyAppyx


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Posted 27 January 2010 - 06:39 PM

Say your riding or jogging your horse or maybe a friends horse and someone has their car parked in the parking lot and you lose control of the horse and horse runs into said car. Damage is caused quite a bit not a little dent or anything but serious damage. Horse and rider are ok.

Who is responsible? Rider or horse owner? Or no one? It was an accident the horse spooked and the rider lost control. But now someone's car is damaged.

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#2 qhridinGA


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Posted 27 January 2010 - 06:43 PM

The rider or whoever is responsible for the horse being in the cars area. Does that make sense?

If the car is in a parking lot then the horse does not really belong there. But lets say someone parks behind a horse that is tied to a hitching rail and the car gets kicked. The car owner is responsible.

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#3 writtenpoetry



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Posted 27 January 2010 - 06:47 PM

If the car was parked, then there's no possibility that someone may have accidentally backed up into the horse.
Whenever anyone climbs on the back of a horse, they should understand they're working a living breathing creature, and they have the higher responsibility for what may happen.
Yes, freak incidents happen, but it's still a rider's choice to ride. The car owner didn't bring the horse into that situation. The car owner has nothing to do with it.

#4 quarters n paints

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 06:52 PM

I'd say horse owner (or rider).

Now if it's at a horse event, and someone parks in the horse area where horses are tied to trailers and such... then I see it more likely to be the car owner's responsibility... but it depends on the details of the situation.
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Posted 27 January 2010 - 07:03 PM

Horse handler is responsible.

But from a true liability standpoint, the farm/barn is going to be the one that gets nailed.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

Stupid should hurt.

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#6 ***ThreeStarsCorc***


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Posted 27 January 2010 - 07:23 PM

Well, if it happened to my truck, I'd expect my insurance to cover it. It's an accident, that's what I have car insurance for. It would be on them if they'd pursue the rider/farm owner/whatever for reimbursement.

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 07:57 PM

Owner/handler. Um... I believe it would be a tort. So a civil case. And the owner/handler would be at fault for negligence I'm assuming, although I don't know if there is a different term used when animal are involved.
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#8 Ann Wheeler

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 08:11 PM

the person riding the horse would be responsible. not anydifferent than driving someone else's car ....
for the damage...
as for the insurance, depends what is in the clause the insurnace, what the insurance will pay for, or dowsn't, the difference still has to be met.. the rider will still have to pay for damages...
the owner of the horse will proably get the bill, so the owner of horse will probably sue the rider....the rider was responsible for the horse....the horse was in her hands at the time.

Edited by Ann Wheeler, 27 January 2010 - 08:16 PM.

#9 ozland


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Posted 27 January 2010 - 08:28 PM

Cars belong in parking lots, horses don't. RIDER took the horse there, rider is at fault.

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#10 mrs


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Posted 27 January 2010 - 09:14 PM

In my experience it varies.

If the car was parked at a public facility with inherent risks (horse facility), the property should have insurance to cover it.

If the car was parked on a property where the risk wasn't known (grocery store or somewhere else non horse sanctioned) then, in my experience, the fault of the accident would fall on the rider/owner. There would be a mutual fault there. I would guess that a large percentage of that falls to the owner simply because I expect they have more money (in theory). I don't know who would win if rider/owner took each other to court.

If the car was parked in a negligient area (designated No parking or horse traffic only path) they should pay their own damages. Again, it could be up to the courts to decide if the Insurance of the property owner or the Insurance of the driver of the car was to pay the bill.

Hope the property owner has insurance if this happened to you unless you think she can prove negligence on your part. If the property owner can the rider might find themselves paying the tab.

#11 Heidi n Q

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 10:05 PM

IMO, I feel whomever had the responsibility of controlling the horse at the time should be the responsible party ... though I agree that responsibility depends on where everyone was at the time: car, horse, handler, horse-facility or non-horse facility. Another mitigating factor would be if the horse's spook reaction was a direct result of a deliberate effort on another party's part.

I parked my Corvette at my friend's barn to go riding and one of their younger horses escaped the gate, ran *directly* to my car and BIT the top of the fender, scratching off a good chunk of paint.
My friend was horrified!
I laughed!
...and parked at the top of the hill / her home, whenever we went riding after that.
She and her husband offered to pay to repair my car, but at the time, my car was *badly* in need of a paint job and reparing that one area really wasn't feasable when the rest of the car looked so awful. I assured them it wasn't a big deal, it was a risk I took when I parked it there in the barnyard, my car is fiberglass and cannot rust and the horse really didn't damage it any more than it already was with the paint as bad as it was.
The next year though, my husband had it painted for me while I had flown out of state visiting family and since then, I've been careful about how/where I park it.

Edited by Heidi n Q, 27 January 2010 - 10:06 PM.

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#12 Ellie2WJumper89


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Posted 27 January 2010 - 11:20 PM

When we were at a horse show one time we went back to the car, which was in the parking lot of the show grounds, and found my mom's car had a big dent in the frame around the windshield as well as some scratches. There was a note under the windshield wiper that said that someone had been walking their horse by the car and the horse laid down to roll (???) and caused the damage. There was a phone number-their insurance ended up paying to fix the car, which I thought was right. Even if we are accepting a certain amount of risk by having the vehicle AT a horse show, if everyone is doing what they're supposed to and the horses are under control of their handlers that sort of thing shouldn't happen.
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Posted 28 January 2010 - 07:33 AM

It depends...

If I am riding my horse or walking my dog and we go past a parked car and the horse falls on the car or the dog jumps up on it and scratches the paint: totally on me. If a dog runs into my paddock and my horse kicks it's brains out.... that is on the dog's owner. If someone parks their car so close to my horse's paddock that it can reach over and chew on the hood even though there is a clear parking area available away from the fence.... I'd put that on them as well (personal experience). But if my horse got out and did the same thing when the car was parked where it should be.... that is on me.

Horses spook. Horse handlers should know that. It's their job to keep those around them safe from that sort of thing and if they fail, even if it is an accident, the responsibility is theirs.

If I am riding down the road following all laws and some yayhoo flying down the road smacks me and dents their car that is on them. If my horse jumps out in front of them that is on me.

I have no clue as far as the law goes, but for me, morally, that is how I feel it should be.
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#14 equinitis


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Posted 28 January 2010 - 08:33 AM

The rider is responsible. I think Ann Wheeler got it right if it went to court. The car owner sues the horse owner, who sues the rider (if the owner and rider are different people). Horses are subject to vehicle laws when in vehicle places. I would feel responsible as the rider and would pay without having to go to court. It is the same as if my horse got out (for any reason) and was hit by a car on the road. Unless the road in an area that is designated as "open range" then I am liable for any damage my horse causes while it is off of my property.

I don't know if laws vary from state to state, but in my state that is how it is. We are in public with our animals a lot and I have studied the laws to understand my legal responsibility.

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#15 mrs


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Posted 28 January 2010 - 10:20 AM

In my experience if you are driving someone's car, their car owner insurance covers the car in most cases. I would guess that depends on your policy though.

#16 equi-librium


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Posted 28 January 2010 - 11:17 AM

i say its the riders fault.. if the horse is not able to be under controll, then it should not be ridden by the cars..

if your not undercontrol, then you are liable for the damage. if you hit a parked car with a horse, its not like the car jumped in the way.. its either bad horsemanship on the riders part, or bad training on the horses part for not following directions. neither of which is excusable by the fact that your trotting along IN A PARKING LOT...

there are zero excuses for something like this if there wasnt some sort of extreme crazyness that spooked the horse. im still confused as to why it would be anyone elses fault.
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#17 equi-librium


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Posted 28 January 2010 - 11:22 AM

freak things happen, but if you cant keep the horse in control, even if it does spook, YOU SHOULDNT BE ON IT where other peoples stuff are in jeopardy... from every parking lot ive ever been in.. even at a trot, there is PLENTY of room to take the horses head away from it and head away from a parked vehicle.

why was the horse in the parking lot to begin with?
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#18 mrs


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Posted 28 January 2010 - 11:32 AM

I agree it's the riders fault. I was raised to ALWAYS pay attention to where things are in your vacinity that can get damaged or damage the horse. Any time I got too close to a car... even if the horse was having a royal fit... my mom screamed at me until I moved the horse. (yes, even if the horse had to win that little fit to get it done) You drop EVERYTHING and move away from things that can cause harm.

I think the "who's responsible for damages" area is gray though. In most cases the owner is responsible for their animal. They give permission (or even pay) to someone to ride thier horse. They do not relinquish responiblity of the animal as soon as some other person steps foot on them.

I can see how this could be an ugly case. I've been in two situations where cars have been damaged and it was the riders fault. One was me... and I was trying to help a heavier friend up on a big horse when we were kids. I don't know what happened but we must have hurt the horse because she reared up and kind of backed into a truck crushing the door. My parents paid for that.

Another time was at a team roping and mom was riding a goofy horse. The horse froze up and then just fell over on her (he was prone to bulling up and then going into bucks). When he fell he crushed her between himself and the truck fender. The roping club's insurance covered the truck and might even have covered her hospital stay but she had her own health insurance and didn't ask them too. (Cars were allowed to park right up by the arena so there was no way to avoid being around cars)

Edited by mrs, 28 January 2010 - 11:38 AM.