A pickup pulling a horse trailer collided with another vehicle injuring two people and three horses. A Fulton County Sheriff’s Deputy at the scene says that an SUV failed to stop at the intersection and struck the pickup truck pulling the horse trailer. The impact caused the trailer to unhook from its hitch and then dangle over an embankment.
The accident happened Saturday night, October 5, 2019, at the intersection of Kentucky Highway 94 and U.S. Highway 51. The driver of the SUV was airlifted to a Memphis hospital, and a passenger in the SUV was transported to a local hospital by ambulance.
Horse Trailer Accidents
Kentucky is known for its horses. The Kentucky Derby is held every year in Louisville, and there are around 50 other horse races at Churchill Hill Downs where the derby is held. There are over 450 thorough horse farms in the region, and it’s hard to go anywhere in the state without seeing people riding horses or pulling them in trailers on the highway.
Each year, hundreds of horses in the region are injured with dozens of fatalities in horse trailer accidents. These accidents happen for many reasons, but a study by The Horse magazine found some trends and common factors in horse trailer accidents.
- Tire Blowout: A tire blowout can cause the trailer to veer quickly and cause a jackknife or the vehicle to go off the roadway
- Poorly Maintained Equipment: Wrong or non-existent maintenance such as bad or under-inflated tires, metal fatigue, hitch in disrepair can all be contributors to a horse trailer accident.
- Under-Rated Tow Vehicle: lack of power or too low of weight for tow vehicle can increase risk of accident especially when the horse “scrambles” which is when a horse panics and moves suddenly causing a weigh shift.
- Driver Error/Inexperience: Driver error can come in all forms, falling asleep, over-steering, inexperience when horse scrambles, driving too fast for road/weather conditions are all factors in accidents.
- Single-Vehicle Accident: Often the driver is solely responsible for the wreck and jackknifing and going off-road are the two most common single-vehicle trailer accidents.
- Rear-Ending/Getting Rear-Ended: When a horse-trailer driver follows too close, it’s stopping distance can be greater with a horse trailer. Also, many skilled drivers reduce speed in high winds or bad conditions and are repaid by drivers following them too close.
Liability in Horse Trailer Accidents
If a horse in injured in an accident, the at-fault driver has to pay the owner of the horse for all damages including medical bills, rehabilitation and if the horse dies, then the value of the horse is paid. Horses are considered property of the owner which means that any loss suffered by the owner is fair game in a civil suit for damages.
Sometimes the at-fault driver has no insurance, so this leaves the owner of the horses to look to their own auto insurance for compensation. Underinsured /uninsured provisions will pay for all damages, including “property” damages to animals which can include reasonable medical bills.
Sometimes owners have insurance on the horse that can also be used to cover expenses and loses. This insurance usually covers injured to the horses and any liability when the horse causes the accident.
Contact a Horse Trailer Accident Attorney
If you’ve been in any injury accident or one involving a horse trailer, you need to contact a Louisville Horse Trailer Accident Attorney today. Accident victims often wonder if they need an attorney, and the answer is almost always yes.
The insurance company agents have years of experience and are good at their job which is to pay you as little as possible or nothing at all. You need someone just as experienced to help you level the field. Talk to someone you can trust to be on your side and get you what is yours under the law.
The attorneys at Kaufman and Stigger, PLLC, have that knowledge and a combined 100 years’ experience in helping clients get the results they deserve. To discuss your case, call Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC today, at (800) 937-8443 or click here to contact them online.