Thank you once again for all of your hard work on this case, and for always keeping us updated. It has been a pleasure having you represent us.
Mrs B, Southampton
Personal Injury Following Horse and Trap Accidents
Fri 19th Aug 2011 Personal injury
It is unusual to see reports of accidents involving a horse and trap, and even more unusual to see personal injury cases involving them.
So when I came back from holiday this week I was surprised
to see both pop up on my computer.
The first was a news report involving a horse which bolted, and the trap struck a road sign which caused the man in the trap to be thrown. Sadly he later died in hospital. It is not known what caused the horse to bolt, but even though the lady got out to calm it, the horse still bolted.
The second item was a law report of a case Sally Bodey v Gillian Hall. In this case, the horse was pulling a trap and the Claimant Sally Bodey was acting as a groom to the driver. The horse bolted, the trap tilted and Sally was thrown from the trap.
The case involved consideration of the Animals Act 1971 which I have discussed before, and which is very badly drafted and you can never be sure how it will be interpreted by the Courts. Despite several proposals for amendment of the Act nothing has yet been done and no doubt the current government will also have much more pressing matters on which to spend their time.
The similarity with the recent accident reported by the BBC is that once again the horse had been spooked by something unknown.
The outcome of Sally Bodey's claim was that the Court held that whilst the Defendant would have been liable under the provisions of the Animals Act 1971 for the injury caused in the accident, Sally was an experienced horsewoman and so aware of the risk of injury. She had therefore consented to that risk and so her claim failed.
It is interesting to note that she was not criticised for failing to wear a riding hat. The Court stated that had the claim been successful then Sally's damages would not have been reduced as a result. This differs from the position when a car driver or passenger fails to wear a seat belt where their damages may be reduced as a result. Cyclists have also been criticised for failing to wear a cycle helmet even though they are not legally required to do so. This is the same as the legal position for riding hats which are not compulsory except for children under 16.
Senior Solicitor - Personal Injury Team.
Would you like us to call you back?
Call us between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, or use the enquiry form outside office hours
Or call us on 0844 620 6600