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‘It’s ruined my life’: rider wins private harm case 4 years after automobile hit her horse

  • A rider whose “life was ruined” after she and her horse were struck by a car has won her personal injury case in court.

    In January 2018 Meg Hart and her Irish sport horse Dave were almost back at her yard in Lincolnshire when she heard a car approaching from behind.

    Meg, 26, told H&H the driver ignored her requests for him to slow down and when Dave spooked ino the path of the car, he was struck and Meg was thrown over the top and landed on the road.

    “Dave ran home and stopped outside his field gate. I didn’t want to go in the ambulance at the time because I was too concerned about how he was,” she said.

    “The driver wasn’t very nice and said ‘Look what your horse has done to my car’.”

    Dave broke his shoulder, and his jaw in three places. Meg sustained soft tissue damage to her back, neck and knee, and has suffered permanent damage to her right hip – which may have to be replaced in future.

    “When I landed on the road I landed directly on my hip and the doctors think the bone went through the membrane in the socket. I was supposed to be joining the army, but I can’t get in now because my hip is shot to bits,” said Meg.

    “The first few weeks were touch and go for Dave. Because of his jaw he couldn’t eat very well and he struggled with colic and choke a couple of times. He had a lot of X-rays and call-outs and when he was eventually allowed to go back out again, I took his shoes off and gave him time in the field to just be a horse. I didn’t bring him back into work until two years later.”

    Meg reported the incident to the police and was given an incident number, but she said no one took a statement or followed up on the case, despite her contacting them again.

    She was advised by a solicitor she might have a personal injury case, and court proceedings were launched in 2018. The case concluded last month, having been delayed by the pandemic. Meg won her case after the driver admitted negligence of a number of points raised in the proceedings. She has been awarded compensation of around £15,000.

    “I have mixed feelings about everything,” said Meg. “I’m glad it’s all over but at the same time I really wish the police had been involved and at least given the driver points or a fine to deter him from doing it again.

    “He’s no worse off really, but it’s ruined my life.”

    Meg said Dave has made a full recovery physically, but is “not the same horse he used to be”.

    “Just recently he spooked at something and decked me,“ she said.

    “I don’t ride on the roads any more – I categorically won’t do it. It’s ruined my confidence, I used to ride for some owners and I’ve been riding in California, but I won’t ride any horse other than Dave now.”

    A Lincolnshire Police spokesman told H&H any report of a road traffic collision is “treated seriously” and the circumstances reported are fully considered before the force makes a decision on whether to investigate.

    “With collisions, there is a requirement by law for all parties involved to stop, exchange details, and report the incident. When there are no reported injuries, and no allegations of criminal behaviour, such as careless or dangerous driving, we would not attend as this then becomes a civil matter,” said the spokesman.

    “We received two reports relating to this incident, and it was determined there would be no police enquiry as there were no reported injuries to the horse rider or driver, or criminal allegations, recorded on the log. The incident was therefore closed with no further action. If an individual is ever dissatisfied with a policing response, we welcome feedback through our complaints system so that we can continually review our practices and ensure we are providing the best service to our community.”

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