Injury claim advice

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Hi all, Just looking for a bit of advice....
Last week, one of my liveries decided to ride her horse through a gate with 2 loose horses (which aren’t familiar with her horse) stood on the other side and during a scuffle between the horses... she got kicked in leg causing a severely broken lower leg.
I should mention that there are many other routes to choose from and I was only in the yard less than 50/60 meters away so could of assisted if I’d known. Although it’s not unusual to “nip” through this gate to the next gate (about 2-3 meters away) while the other horses are away up in the field, myself and the other liveries would NEVER have tried this while any loose horses were stood right there.
She was with her teenage daughter (on foot) who’d opened the gate for her.
As I can make out, 1 of the loose horses kicked out at her horse but caught her leg instead of horse. This all happened right in the gateway.
I see it as an avoidable incident if sense had been used.
The lady with the broken leg has now asked owner (who wasn’t even there) of the loose horses for her insurance details and has indicated she’s going to make a claim.... stating “it’s just like if we had a car crash”.
I’m really furious about this!
Both myself (as the yard owner) and the owner of horse which kicked have sought advice from our insurers who have both said they can’t see how she has any claim on either of us.... she’s entered the gateway/field of her own free will.
Lady with broken leg’s next move is to put it writing to horse owner which she’s not done yet. I was hoping it was just the shock of the incident talking and she would calm down and rethink her actions but she’s now private messaging some of the other liveries, and while they are sympathetic of her injuries ...is somewhat back firing on her.
Broken leg lady hasn’t actually told me directly that she’s planning to make a claim but I’m sure she’ll know the other lady will of told me.
She’s now invited me to visit her for a brew to “talk” and discuss how to “move on going forward “ which I have so far avoided.
Broken leg lady is actually a good friend of mine but because I know her so well, I know she can be troublesome. I think a face to face conversation probably needs to happen but I’m afraid that me being honest and telling her that I think she’s in the wrong will anger her and make her dig her heals in which could make the situation worse.
I was hoping she’d be advised that she’s no claim or at least a very difficult chance at claiming and she would drop it, but it doesn’t seem the case yet.
What do you guy’s think of her actions (both going through the gate and the claiming)
And what would you do if you were in my position? Do any of you have any experience of this either in mine or the owners position or legally? Thanks in advance
 

ownedbyaconnie

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I am sure your insurance company would want you to refuse to talk about it and tell her to refer everything direct to them.

And I'd do that.
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This is how Id deal with it.

I had a friend who went to check on my horse whilst I was at work (I didn’t ask her to, he was a new horse to me so she was just seeing how he was I think whilst tending to her own) and he moved his head suddenly and knocked her head, resulting in a broken tooth. She told me and said how much it was going to cost and I sympathised with the pain and left it there. It was absolutely nothing to do with me.
 

skint1

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Gosh what a situation, I feel for you! I am sorry that she was injured but she chose to ride through a field with 2 loose horses in it which can be risky, by opening the gate I personally feel she chose to accept the risk. If the kicker was in a field used for turnout, how could either the yard or horse owner have anticipated or prevented the incident or be seen as negligent in some way? But I am not legally trained so I don't know for sure. Ultimately you can't stop her making a claim, insurance companies have legal bods and they will review the case and presumably make a call. I would feel as uncomfortable as you do about having a brew and discussing it, I guess you could just be neutral, as ycbm has wisely said, you could always say that as there's going to be a claim you can't really talk about it, whatever you do don't apologise for anything. I did that once with a car prang and ended up being held completely accountable, rather unfairly as the other person actually ran into me.
 

Batgirl

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A word of caution - others have said clearly about dealing through your insurers BUT (and please see all of the below as Devils advocate)

Accepted practice doesn't mean automatic acceptance of risk by the party using the route. This is part of the issue with footpaths and livestock etc. You have essentially said that it is acceptable practice to use a gate with horses on the other side while mounted.

"Although it’s not unusual to “nip” through this gate to the next gate (about 2-3 meters away) while the other horses are away up in the field, myself and the other liveries would NEVER have tried this while any loose horses were stood right there."

This is using common sense as a defense - and Health and Safety/Insurance often doesn't side with common sense, it sides with what normally happens and the situation. She could argue that is common practice to go through that gate. IF you had laid out instructions not to use the gate when there are horses nearby, or forbiden use of this gate and she had ignored it then you can clearly say she went against instruction. However yo have a gate where it is accepted practice to use with horses in the field. I would say that there is potentially more of a claim against the yard for having an unsafe route than the other horse owner thoug.

In a way she is right - it is like a car accident. Treat it as such - she'll put her case forward through her insurance, your other livery will do the same but I wouldn't throw the above around too much and be prepared for your insurance to be involved too.
 

Pinkvboots

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What a cheek I would tell her to go and do one, and what exactly does she expect to get from a claim? And if my horses were loose in there field and someone entered on horseback I would be furious, what if her horse had kicked one of them and broke there leg? I think I would make it a rule that no one is to ride through the field ever and if they did they would be asked to leave, it's just too risky especially when people expect to claim when they get hurt.
 

chocolategirl

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A word of caution - others have said clearly about dealing through your insurers BUT (and please see all of the below as Devils advocate)

Accepted practice doesn't mean automatic acceptance of risk by the party using the route. This is part of the issue with footpaths and livestock etc. You have essentially said that it is acceptable practice to use a gate with horses on the other side while mounted.

"Although it’s not unusual to “nip” through this gate to the next gate (about 2-3 meters away) while the other horses are away up in the field, myself and the other liveries would NEVER have tried this while any loose horses were stood right there."

This is using common sense as a defense - and Health and Safety/Insurance often doesn't side with common sense, it sides with what normally happens and the situation. She could argue that is common practice to go through that gate. IF you had laid out instructions not to use the gate when there are horses nearby, or forbiden use of this gate and she had ignored it then you can clearly say she went against instruction. However yo have a gate where it is accepted practice to use with horses in the field. I would say that there is potentially more of a claim against the yard for having an unsafe route than the other horse owner thoug.

In a way she is right - it is like a car accident. Treat it as such - she'll put her case forward through her insurance, your other livery will do the same but I wouldn't throw the above around too much and be prepared for your insurance to be involved too.
And folk wonder why so many yards are closing down🤦‍♀️ It’s because of s**t like this that after 25 years, I’ve made the decision to wind my DIY yard down. One of many reasons I might add. OP, I really feel for you, but having been in a similar situation many years ago, don’t bank on the law being on your side, it’s an ass! I’m fuming on your behalf btw😤 I know that doesn’t help, but as others have suggested, I’d leave it to the insurers to sort out, and try not to get involved unless they ask you to. Our loss adjuster when he came out, said he didn’t think the client had a case, but he was wrong, she won and I was left with a very bad taste in my mouth because the accident, by her own admission, was entirely her own fault. It’s made me extremely wary over the years, and I’m now of an age where I just don’t need the stress. I run a very good yard, I’m very safety conscious, but sadly, there’ll always be that risk involved which can’t always be foreseen. I hope you get the right outcome, good luck 🤞
 

GTRJazz

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I would not even feel I had to have a opinion on the matter, if she wants the insurance details let her have them then thats the end of it.

But to speculate I would not expect the claim to win, and if the other party does not have insurance I would not expect a private claim to get anywhere either
 

Amun

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I will go against the crowd but personally, I would expect that YO should clearly say what is allowed and what is not. So if it was a common practice to use the gate, she didn't do anything wrong even if it was "stupid" and most people wouldn't do it. So I would see it as negligence of YO if he allowed people to use this gate even if "everyone knew it was against a common sense." Though I totally don't understand why is she going after the owner of those horses when she was not even there. I would probably avoid the conversation about the topic and would leave it to the insurance company.
 

Elf On A Shelf

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Some people will go to any lengths to get money they feel entitled to because of their own stupidity.

I had this done to me. I was leading my shetland stallion through the middle of a collecting ring at a show. I went through the middle to avoid going near any kids and their ponies as they are the least predictable ones. I walked through a big open space, my notoriously well behaved pony at my side. Next thing I know the collecting ring steward is flailing about on the ground screaming that my pony kicked him in the knee. My pony never broke stride from me, I had deliberately walked so I was clear of anyone and anything so he must have stepped forward towards the pony, I can not for one second see how he kicked him. My instant reaction was - Oh sh*t I'm so sorry if he has done this, he has never lifted a leg before. The show didn't have any insurance so they went down the route of a no win no fee lawyer trying to claim 3 months wages for a broken knee fir a lorry driver on a 0 hours contract. I had their company ring me up, take a statement and was told they would email me a copy of it for me to read over, confirm what they wrote and sign it. I never received this. I read nor signed nothing. Next thing I know the house insurance has gone up. To this day I still do not know if they ever actually successfully got any money out of the insurance or not. If my statement was signed it was done fraudulently but every time I rang the company the person I dealt with that day was conveniently not there.

So expect her to go down every and any route she can to get money.

Where there could potentially be blame there will always be a claim in this day and age.
 

Wishfilly

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I agree, you should probably get this thread deleted. There is probably enough information here to connect it to the incident, and you've said the gate is commonly used whilst horses are in the field. "Close" to the gate is subjective.

Personally, I would probably stop liveries using this gate going forwards, but I don't know if that could be seen as an admission of liability.
 

Pearlsasinger

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Nobody with any (horse) sense at all would ride through a gate into a field with horses in it. I suggest that anyone who is asked for their insurance details passes them onto the rider and leaves her to it. I very much doubt that any insurance company will take her claim seriously and I expect that when OP says liveries do use that gate, s/he means when leading horses, not riding.
 

Apizz2019

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I would recommend you don't talk to the lady about this incident and let your insurance company deal with it.

Unfortunately, very little has to be said for there to be an argument that you have accepted liability.

In the eyes of the law, common sense, or lack of, doesn't guarantee a win win outcome for defendants, sadly.

Good luck!
 

ycbm

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Doesn’t broken leg lady have her own insurance? If I’m injured whilst riding my policy covers me.
It's not common to have personal accident insurance for stuff like a broken leg because it's so expensive. From the last time I checked, horse policies which have it included usually only cover life changing injuries and the compensation is pitiful. Does your horse policy pay out if you break a leg?
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