If my girlfriend of many years lives with me keeps her horses here and 1 broke loose and caused damage, could I be held liable for the damages?

For example, went into the road and caused an accident. I own the house.

Asked on February 1, 2016 under Insurance Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You could be liable if you are at fault for the horse getting loose in some way: e.g. the fence on or around your property was broken, rotten, weak, etc.  and that's how it got loose, or the lock on a gate was broken, or you personally had failed to lock a gate or tie up the horse, etc. If you negligently (carelessly, which includes by not taking reasonable precautions) cause or contribute to the accident, you could be liable. This includes if your property is not suitable for a horse (fence too low, for example) and you let her keep the horses there, since it is negligent to keep animals in insecure or inappropriate areas.


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