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Where does the liability end???

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  • #21
    I don't see how anyone could come after the barn owner. The driver will have to deal with their insurance for their truck but I guess not their trailer. If the horses were not insured it seems like end of story right there. If the owners want to sue the driver, I am not sure how that works because the horses were not insured so I don't think they have any legal "value" to sue for.

    Not an expert here though.

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by LookmaNohands View Post
      If the owners want to sue the driver, I am not sure how that works because the horses were not insured so I don't think they have any legal "value" to sue for.

      Not an expert here though.
      Just because the horses are not insured doesn't mean they don't have value. And I'm not talking emotional value, I'm talking cold hard cash value.

      Comment


      • #23
        All y'all have mixed up two questions:

        Who, if anyone, is liable to respond in damages for the loss?

        What, if anything, is the insurer of each person responsible to pay?

        The first question is one of negligence for the driver of the vehicle. That's a fairly easy one. Then there's the question of the barn owner "assigning" horses to trailers. That's more complex. Then there's the Law of Bailment for the state in which this accident occurred. Last, and far from least, are the questions of defenses such as the defense of "assumption of risk" for any person who choose to accept the barn owner's assignment plan. Were there any implied contracts involved? If any releases were signed will they be valid? This will make for an interesting trial.

        The second question is generally answered by reading the insurance policy under which a claim is made. From the driver's point of view we need to know what the policy says about towed vehicles. A separate question is coverage for the property of another; this question could bring into play the homeowner's insurance of the driver. The barn owner's business insurance will also come into question. So will the insurance that a claimant might have had on the horses that get injured.

        There is no "school" answer, here, except the one that says "never take custody of the property of another for any reason." But that's not a very practical answer in Real Life. So risk is going to be assumed. The best way to deal with it is to know what insurance coverage you have or don't have. This is an argument, by the way, for a real agent not an "on line" buy.

        G.
        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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        • #24
          This is why 1) There are very few people in this world other than me or my husband that are behind the wheel when one of my horses is behind the truck and 2) My equine insurance policy covers contents of my trailer (including horses)

          At some point one has to say "shit happens" and even though it'd be nice to blame someone that accidents occur. I'd be sad, and maybe even mad, but unless there were negligence I'd not be going about suing people.

          And in the words of one Captain O'Hagen, I'll believe your situation is entirely hypothetical when my poop turns purple and smells of rainbow sherbet.
          Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
          Sam: A job? Does it pay?
          Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
          Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.

          Comment


          • #25
            1) BO has no liability here. Organizing a group outing doesn't mean he/she is responsible. Owner of horse has the option to load their horse up with a friend/boarder or not.

            2) If the driver had insurance for the trailer that covered the contents of the trailer, I can see trying to recoup the cost of the horse(s) but not sure how that works if they're not your own horse. Still, an accident is an accident and I don't see how that would make the driver liable.

            3) If say...the driver was drunk or something, I can see "liability"...but again, it seems to me that the owner of the horse should've known.

            If my stepkids have an away game and we need parent drivers and I let a couple of the neighbor kids get in the car with us, is the school responsible for asking for parent drivers should I get in an accident? I don't think so.
            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

            Might be a reason, never an excuse...

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
              1) BO has no liability here. Organizing a group outing doesn't mean he/she is responsible. Owner of horse has the option to load their horse up with a friend/boarder or not.

              2) If the driver had insurance for the trailer that covered the contents of the trailer, I can see trying to recoup the cost of the horse(s) but not sure how that works if they're not your own horse. Still, an accident is an accident and I don't see how that would make the driver liable.

              3) If say...the driver was drunk or something, I can see "liability"...but again, it seems to me that the owner of the horse should've known.

              If my stepkids have an away game and we need parent drivers and I let a couple of the neighbor kids get in the car with us, is the school responsible for asking for parent drivers should I get in an accident? I don't think so.
              I'm not sure how you get insurance for a trailer that covers contents of the trailer. Your car insurance doesn't even cover the contents (property) in your car. If your car is stolen and you left your laptop in it, you don't get paid for the laptop.

              Your car insurance generally covers what you tow but not for damage to what you tow--it is for liability. Your trailer pops off the ball and hits a parked car, you are covered up to a point for liability.

              Separate insurance for the trailer covers damage to the trailer. Your trailer gets crushed by a tree while parked on your farm-that's what your separate insurance for the trailer is for (as well as damage during towing obviously). It does not cover the contents. That's what your equine major medical and mortality is for.

              This question of liability for the death/injury to your friend's horse boils down to a civil lawsuit between you and your friend that doesn't implicate your car or trailer insurance at all. Can she convince a fact finder that you negligently caused her horse's death or injury? Can she prove the horse's value? Did she have equine insurance?

              I can't see an angle in that suit for bringing in the BO.
              \"Non-violence never solved anything.\" C. Montgomery Burns

              Comment


              • #27
                I have always assumed the driver is responsible. Which is why I don't trailer other people's horses unless extreme circumstances. And which is why I bought my own rig so I wasn't dependent on others.

                Comment


                • #28
                  In a nutshell

                  A private person who has a truck with only liability insurance has coverage for injuries/deaths to the humans in his/or another vehicle (if at fault).

                  A private person who has insurance on a horse trailer, has insurance covering damage to the trailer, but not the horses inside.

                  A person who has a commercial farm policy that lists the truck and trailer and the horses in their "care, custody and control" will have insurance on a horse in the trailer in their "care" (this is not to be confused with someone hauling a horse for actual cash) but there are specific limits (usually around $2000/horse) on that policy.

                  Almost no one who does not have their own stable has any kind of commercial insurance policy that will cover a horse, even their own, in a trailer. Almost. No. One.

                  Most people wrongly believe that if you have a truck that's insured, that coverage will automatically include whatever you haul with it. I can assure you that it does not. Whatever you haul needs to be insured seperately.

                  If I was the barn owner, I'd probably just say 'here's where I'm going, y'all come and let everyone make their own arrangements.

                  My bet is the BO never asked anyone if they had the appropriate insurance, and people these days are litigious. Somebody will find a lawyer to sue her to.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    and if you really think that your insurance covers what you tow..

                    Get your agent on speed dial. Just because it comes with a hitch, doesn't mean your insurance covers it. It almost never does unless you get a specific clause for that.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by 2ndyrgal View Post
                      Get your agent on speed dial. Just because it comes with a hitch, doesn't mean your insurance covers it. It almost never does unless you get a specific clause for that.
                      The question of whether the insurance covers it, or indeed would be cancelled or the driver placed into a high-risk pool, I believe is heavily dependent on whether or not any money was changing hands for hauling non-owned horses.

                      If the answer was yes, the driver had better good 'n well have commercial hauling insurance, in which case all should be covered.
                      If he did NOT have commerical insurance but WAS hauling commercially, I imagine no payout and his policy null and void.

                      It would be a good idea to find out what you're covered for BEFORE doing these sorts of favors for friends.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #31
                        Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                        All y'all have mixed up two questions:

                        Who, if anyone, is liable to respond in damages for the loss?

                        What, if anything, is the insurer of each person responsible to pay?

                        The first question is one of negligence for the driver of the vehicle. That's a fairly easy one. Then there's the question of the barn owner "assigning" horses to trailers. That's more complex. Then there's the Law of Bailment for the state in which this accident occurred. Last, and far from least, are the questions of defenses such as the defense of "assumption of risk" for any person who choose to accept the barn owner's assignment plan. Were there any implied contracts involved? If any releases were signed will they be valid? This will make for an interesting trial.

                        The second question is generally answered by reading the insurance policy under which a claim is made. From the driver's point of view we need to know what the policy says about towed vehicles. A separate question is coverage for the property of another; this question could bring into play the homeowner's insurance of the driver. The barn owner's business insurance will also come into question. So will the insurance that a claimant might have had on the horses that get injured.

                        There is no "school" answer, here, except the one that says "never take custody of the property of another for any reason." But that's not a very practical answer in Real Life. So risk is going to be assumed. The best way to deal with it is to know what insurance coverage you have or don't have. This is an argument, by the way, for a real agent not an "on line" buy.

                        G.
                        Originally posted by 2ndyrgal View Post
                        A private person who has a truck with only liability insurance has coverage for injuries/deaths to the humans in his/or another vehicle (if at fault).

                        A private person who has insurance on a horse trailer, has insurance covering damage to the trailer, but not the horses inside.

                        A person who has a commercial farm policy that lists the truck and trailer and the horses in their "care, custody and control" will have insurance on a horse in the trailer in their "care" (this is not to be confused with someone hauling a horse for actual cash) but there are specific limits (usually around $2000/horse) on that policy.

                        Almost no one who does not have their own stable has any kind of commercial insurance policy that will cover a horse, even their own, in a trailer. Almost. No. One.

                        Most people wrongly believe that if you have a truck that's insured, that coverage will automatically include whatever you haul with it. I can assure you that it does not. Whatever you haul needs to be insured seperately.

                        If I was the barn owner, I'd probably just say 'here's where I'm going, y'all come and let everyone make their own arrangements.

                        My bet is the BO never asked anyone if they had the appropriate insurance, and people these days are litigious. Somebody will find a lawyer to sue her to.
                        These two responses seem to be covering it all. The fact is wheteher we load up our kids in another parents car to go to some outing or we load up horses to go to an event it is obvious no one is thinking about what if something should happen. As for the idea it was just an accident and I wouldn't sue, have it happen to you and experience the loss then come back to answer that.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by QH99 View Post
                          These two responses seem to be covering it all. The fact is wheteher we load up our kids in another parents car to go to some outing or we load up horses to go to an event it is obvious no one is thinking about what if something should happen. As for the idea it was just an accident and I wouldn't sue, have it happen to you and experience the loss then come back to answer that.
                          I have had it happen to me, coming back from US Nationals one year. My show horse was never the same and had to be retired to broodmare/occasional walk trot duty. We chose not to sue because it was an accident.
                          Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
                          Sam: A job? Does it pay?
                          Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
                          Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            I also wouldn't sue because it was an accident. It wouldn't even be in the top ten things going through my mind. I'm not the type of person to seek monetary award over something that could not be helped. If the driver was drunk or high on something that would be a different story.
                            My blog: Crackerdog Farm

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