What to do if I hit a horse in the road with my car

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What to do if I hit a horse in the road with my car

I hit a horse on my way to work about 230 in the
morning. My car is totaled Im in a beech brace and
out of work until I dont know when. No has
contacted me of who owns the horse. What do I do?

Asked on January 20, 2018 under Accident Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

IF you can identify the horse's owner and you believe that you were not at fault (i.e. not driving too fast; not driving distractedly or while in an impaired state) but rather that the fault was the horse's owner's, for letting his horse wander into the road, you could sue him for injuries and car damage. If a court agrees that he, not you, was at fault, you can get a court judgment against him ordering him to pay for your injuries and damage. But you must identify the owner (or at least the person in whose care the horse was--e.g. a stable housing the horse, from which it got away due to carelessness on their part), because only the owner or person caring for the horse might be liable (responsible). And to be responsible, they must have been at fault, such as in not locking up gate, not tying the horse up, etc. If they were not at fault--for example, the horse managed to jump a fence which reasonably should have high enough to contain it--they would not be liable; liability is based on fault.


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