Pamela

If your horse got out and was hit by a car

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Would you be liable for all damages? Is it any different than a deer running across the road? Should a driver be able to stop in time? How do you know the drive wasn't speeding? What's your take?

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It depends on the local laws if you want to talk legality of liability.

Sort of like how "fence laws" vary.

In one of my law classes, my prof gave an example of:

Farmer A raises corn.

Farmer B raises cattle.

Farmer B's fence breaks and his cattle get out and destroy Farmer A's crop.

Who is liable?

Well of course, all of us Iowa kids quickly responded, Farmer B! His cattle did the damage, they're liable.

And prof said....you forgot to ask where Farmer A and B lived!

In Iowa, it's true....because crops were "first", the laws reflect that cattle owners must maintain appropriate fencing else they can be held liable for damages.

But in TX, the corn farmer would be at fault for not properly fencing in his CORN!

Whoda thunk it?!?

So, in order to answer, would have to know WHERE we're talking about.....

In my mind, what's fair is that if your horse gets out and causes damage to property, you the horse owner should be liable.

In many places, that is the law as well.

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Briefly IMO and not regarding state laws, if the horse is on your property when it gets hit and you have 5 mph speed zone signs on your property, most likely the driver's fault. In the horse is off your property, you're liable, it's your responsibility to ensure your horse stays in it's appointed area, and no driver should have to expect to find a horse loose in the middle of the road. Whereas deer are not contained and owned.

[ 01-14-2008, 12:26 PM: Message edited by: Tiger_Lily123 ]

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I agree, I think the laws are probably different everywhere.

Where I live, I believe that you are not liable if you can show that you made enough effort to keep your horse fenced in. But, you would be liable if your horse has a history of escaping.

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No matter what the local law says if one of my animals got loose and caused damage of any kind to someone else's property or person I would feel responsible. Even if the driver was speeding, even if the neighbors crops weren't fenced, even if my neighbors dogs were loose in their yard (in a situation where, say, my dogs went into their yard and there was a fight), etc.

If my animal had not been running loose none of that would have mattered, so for me personally my failure to keep my animal properly contained was the number one first step that could and would have prevented the entire situation and therefor the responsibility to make things right rests on my shoulders.

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Yep, in Texas the livestock owner is responsible for any and all damages caused by thier stock being loose. If your horse is out on a highway and a car hits it and it kills the person then the owner can be charged with the death. It is a bad deal no matter how it happens though.

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Here where we live, if your horse gets out and gets hit you are liable, same with goats, sheep, dogs and pigs. But if a cow gets out and gets hit you are not liable we live in a rural area. But we have insurance that covers livestock so if god forbid one of our horses got out and got hit the insurance will cover it.

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quote:

Originally posted by Tiger_Lily123:

Briefly, if the horse is on your property when it gets hit and you have 5 mph speed zone signs on your property, most likely the driver's fault. In the horse is off your property, you're liable, it's your responsibility to ensure your horse stays in it's appointed area, and no driver should have to expect to find a horse loose in the middle of the road. Whereas deer are not contained and owned.

ditto.

It may vary by location as far as criminal negligence goes, but in a civil case the driver (or driver's family) would have a good chance of winning for the above reasons.

Horse-Car accidents are just so terrifying and heartbreaking, for all involved...

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Everyone likes to add something to the mix... something that I should have mentioned in the beginning... opppss.

Okay, so the road is a public road owned by the city. The horse at a public barn being handled outside of his pen. Horse gets loose from the handler and runs out on the road. Car doesn't see it in time and the horse gets hit. The horse dies, the car is extremely damaged, the passengers of the car are injurged as well.

Who's at fault? The horse should have been under control. The ranch owner should have had a gate that clients open and close but didn't. The driver was speeding...

Now who's at fault? Horse owner, ranch owner or speeding car?

hehehe just had to add more to mix... [big Grin]

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The people that live down the road from me don't seem to care if their horses are out in the road. I have put them back in their fence five times this year. Once I called animal control and they sent someone out to pick the horse up. Kids drive up and down this road on crotch rockets going 80mph. If they hit that horse it will be a disaster. Makes me crazy to see these people with horses.

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our cousins in california just had this happen last year, one horse was able to open the gate and 2 horses got out onto the highway and were hit. our relatives being the owners were liable. I believe one horse was killed, the other had to be shot by the trooper. no one in the cars were hurt.

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Horse handler/farm owner--which may not be the horse owner. [Wink]

However, if it went to trial in TX vs here in MI where there is no-fault vehicle ins, it's likely that due to driver speeding, it would be a wash and damages could be awarded to both parties but cancel each other out.

In MI, there's no fault insurance, so property damage to car and non-fatal injuries would be covered by the driver's ins, and said ins company would likely sue the property owner's ins company.

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I'm not sure what the laws are here in Illinois but i do know this happened....

I managed a small stable and in exchange i received free boarding for three horses, one was my boys pony.

It was a nice spring evening at sunset. I choose to leave the pony in the arena over night, not an unusal occurance. One of the boarders came late that night and decided to turn out their horse for awhile and brought the pony in. They turned pony back out when they left.

At 4:30am i got a call from the barn owner that the pony had been hit by the local paper carrier. Pony had to be put down. The boarder did not get the gate latched properly in the dark.

I ended up paying $1200 out of pocket for repairs to a junk car and then found out later that the paper carrier had been drunk and speeding. To top it all off he went ahead and claimed the accident on his insurance, he told them he hit a deer. So, he got paid twice.

I was young and just wanted to put the accident behind me. I SHOULD have done some investigation into the accident. Had i done so, i would have realized that the pony would NOT have been injured as bad as it was had the driver NOT been speeding. There was a rumor that he SWERVED to hit the pony.

I felt that it was my pony, so therefor i was responsible!

I have asked my insurance guy and should one of my horses get lose and hit, our homeowners/farm insurance covers it.

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I just have to comment on the "no fault insurance" remark.

I worked in the insurance industry for many years and unless something is VERY different in Michigan, No Fault insurance applies to MEDICAL ONLY. It was put in place to insure that those injured in accidents could be treated promptly without having to have the other party's insurance information or worry that there was insurance.

Property or physical damage of any kind has never been "no fault" to my knowledge.

Just my "two cents" worth.

Paula

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quote:

Originally posted by Mia'sMom:

I just have to comment on the "no fault insurance" remark.

I worked in the insurance industry for many years and unless something is VERY different in Michigan, No Fault insurance applies to MEDICAL ONLY. It was put in place to insure that those injured in accidents could be treated promptly without having to have the other party's insurance information or worry that there was insurance.

Property or physical damage of any kind has never been "no fault" to my knowledge.

Just my "two cents" worth.

Paula

I've always wondered about the No Fault insurance, thanks for clarifying it [smile]

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Here, you have to carry a minimum for liablity for property damage too. So if you get in an auto accident and your car is damaged, even if it's the other guy's fault, YOUR ins pays it...then, your ins can sue THEIR ins. But you can't directly sue someone for damages.

The no-fault doesn't just apply to medical as far as I'm aware....

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My nephew hit a cow in the road. Totalled his car. Went to nearby farmer and farmers says "not my cow". Well the cow still had an auction tag on her butt, so the sheriff called the auction to see who had bought that cow. Sure enough, it was that farmer. Now farmer is paying out the wazoo.

Couple of months ago, I hit a neighbor's horse. Didn't hurt the horse, but dinged the ole dodge up pretty good. Being the good neighbor I am, I didn't press it, and the neighbor gave me a horse (not the one I hit).

~Deb

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As I was reading that I thought for sure the neigbor offered the horse that was hit... hehehe So did you take the horse he offered to you?

quote:

Originally posted by LoudAppy:

Being the good neighbor I am, I didn't press it, and the neighbor gave me a horse (not the one I hit).

~Deb

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If my horse got out, he would have to travel quite a distance to get hit by a car. But if he did, I would be liable, unless I could prove the driver at fault.

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So if the horse were boarded at said facility, would it be the handler (guy that does turn out), the ranch owner (he didn't have any gates to keep a loose horse inside the property), or would it be the person speeding down the road? What about the owner of the animal? Does that person have any responsibility? ...shouldn't there be some liability on that person for not having proper training on the horse? Can a horse owner be liable for NOT getting proper training on a difficult horse? Isn't there some responsibility to those that have wild animals to get them tamed to be safe?

quote:

Originally posted by Pamela:

Everyone likes to add something to the mix... something that I should have mentioned in the beginning... opppss.

Okay, so the road is a public road owned by the city. The horse at a public barn being handled outside of his pen. Horse gets loose from the handler and runs out on the road. Car doesn't see it in time and the horse gets hit. The horse dies, the car is extremely damaged, the passengers of the car are injurged as well.

Who's at fault? The horse should have been under control. The ranch owner should have had a gate that clients open and close but didn't. The driver was speeding...

Now who's at fault? Horse owner, ranch owner or speeding car?

hehehe just had to add more to mix...
[big Grin]

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Depending on tehsituation, But Generally usually Auto No fault insurnace in MI will only cover medical,and damages to the vehicle. Been there...Done it. had and have no fault ins...when i had myauto accident.

the owner is for not maintaining proper facility or control of the animal...Depending on whattype ofIns is,the contract....

Property /farm insurance pays for the damage to the vehicle,maybe medical..

However if the driver went off the road ,hit the fence, went in the pen/pasture hit an animal.

the driver is at fault and can be charged with property damaged, not having his car under control..Insurance may cover replacement costs to animal,depends on what is written in the contract.etc.

Other wise owners may have to go to civil court..

[ 01-14-2008, 06:20 PM: Message edited by: Ann Wheeler ]

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There are many parts of Montana and Wyoming that are still open range. Hit livestock there and the DRIVER is at fault.

Two cases in point. My friend pastured his draft horses at a local ranch in the valley for the winter. The ranch owner's help went into the pasture for some reason and didn't shut the gate when he left. Two draft horses got out, and the mare was hit by a guy in a Volvo. Totaled the Volvo, killed the horse (and she had won Grand Champion at the fair 3 yrs running). It was open range, the guy in the Volvo was at fault.

Second case was WY. Ranch horse named Roper, known for his lack of intelligence and grace and his ability to get into nasty predicaments and NEVER get hurt, got out on the highway and was hit. Totaled the car, barely bruised ol' Roper. Driver was at fault as it was open range (Roper, by the way, once fell into an empty galvanized water tank and was found in the morning, on his back, feet flailing, unable to get out. Not a scratch on him). [Roll Eyes]

But most of the time, unless the driver were speeding, drunk, whatever, it would be the owner or handler's fault.

HTTY & GBTUSA

BUMPER

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That's our law. Lucky we have farm insurance and if our horses get out the pay the damge and ig our horse is hurt bad they help up to 1000 in vet bills(only if the horse gets hit by a car or something like that)OR we get 1000 if the horse was killed or had to be put down. Soetimes its not our fault at all, never happen with our horses, but liek we have woods and my neighboor cut a tree down and didn't tells us until a week later. After our fence was down to the ground. Lucky in woods, where the horses can't get our, only a foal or small pony could.

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quote:

Originally posted by illinois racer:

I ended up paying $1200 out of pocket for repairs to a junk car and then found out later that the paper carrier had been drunk and speeding. To top it all off he went ahead and claimed the accident on his insurance, he told them he hit a deer. So, he got paid twice.

This is one scenario I think the driver should be at fault. I have no tolerance for drunk drivers.

It really depends on the scenario. There are to many what ifs. If the fencing was bad the barn owner. If the horse acted up and escaped from the handler the horse owner. The horse should have proper ground manners.

I often wonder what if someone came onto your property and went into your pasture(without peermission). Than left without latching the gate properly. Horse gets out and gets hit. Neghbor saw the tresspasser reproted tthem to police but didn't notice the gate.

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quote:

Originally posted by c.s.a.:

I often wonder what if someone came onto your property and went into your pasture(without peermission). Than left without latching the gate properly. Horse gets out and gets hit. Neghbor saw the tresspasser reproted tthem to police but didn't notice the gate.

I had someone come onto my land, go into my barn, let my colt out with my mare (Before he was gelded! GRRR!!!!) and bust up a wine bottle in my pasture. Thankfully they didn't leave the gate open. So this scenario scares me enough that we put up a security camera that very day and aimed it towards the barn.

In this case I would expect the trespasser to be responsible, but if they weren't caught who would be responsible? It's a tough one, for sure.

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Ok well my husband hit a horse uesterday morning on his way to work.  These horses have got out alot the owner says his kids leave the gate slightly open and the horses push it open..... It totaled our car.  And We still owe like 5 grand on it....  So what do We need to do?  Hire a lawyer or what?  

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Okay, for academic reasons only.

Hypothetically, you would call your the sheriff to report strayed animals that you hit and make an accident report, first.  Then. your insurance company.  Assess total damages and get them to send you money for your car.  Lastly, you can request damages from the horse owner yourself first.  Take them to small claims court, if they refuse.  A lawyer will just take your money.  Don't go there unless you have to. 

One thing confuses me, OP, your car was totaled and you didn't call the police?  Did anyone attend to the horse?  Remove it from the road or call a vet?  Does the owner of the horse know?  I think someone is trolling with a false story.  It really doesn't make sense.  

Edited by little cow

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Yes we called the cops out and got a police report.  He hit the horse maybe 100 yards from the owners house.  The owner came out when they heard the wreck.  He drug the deceased horse out of the road with a loader.  I reported it to my insurance but the tax value is only worth 2 grand so that's all we will get for it from my insurance.  So I was asking should I try to get their homeowners insurance to pay or what?  Cause that's only 2 grand out of the 5 we still owe.  And no this is very much real.  

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