Can I make an owner of a horse that was in the middle of the road and that I hit pay me what he owes for my totaled car?

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Can I make an owner of a horse that was in the middle of the road and that I hit pay me what he owes for my totaled car?

I hit a horse that was in the middle of the road at about 8:30 pm. The owner of the horse was sitting in the road with his bright lights on. I was going about 40 miles but hit my breaks to late to get completely stopped. My car was completely totaled. The owner of the horse told us that he would pay $2000 for the damages to the car. He also said that he would like to take the car since he was paying for. I didn’t agree to this. It has been a month and he has only given us $200 and says that we can sell the car as part of the payment from him.

Asked on January 30, 2012 under Accident Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If someone causes damage to your property though negligence, or unreasonable carelessness--like having their horse in the middle of the road--that person  is potentially liable to you for the lesser of (1) the cost to repair or (2) the then-current value of the property, plus other out-of-pocket costs (e.g.  towing). If the person will not voluntarily pay you, your recourse would be to sue him--including, for smaller amounts, in small claims court--to recover the money. You do not need to accept his offer if you don't feel its fair--you have the right to take him to court.


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