Rider wins £12k compensation after motorbike caused her horse to bolt

  • A rider has been awarded £12,000 in compensation after a untraceable motorcyclist caused her horse to bolt.

    Sarah Roberts received the settlement figure on 16 May after winning a case against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) — a body responsible for compensating the victims of accidents caused by untraced or uninsured drivers.

    Ms Roberts was hacking along a bridleway in Harlow Woods near Mansfield on 10 November 2013, when the motorbike passed her, causing her horse to bolt.

    Ms Roberts, who was 23 at the time, fell off her horse Sky and broke her ankle.

    The horse, a five-year-old cob/thoroughbred cross, was physically uninjured but lost his confidence completely afterwards, Ms Roberts said.

    The MIB had rejected the original claim stating that as the motorbike was being ridden on a bridleway it was not likely to be a road bike that would need insurance.

    But HorseSoclitor, acting for Ms Roberts, said under the Highways Act and Road Traffic Act, a bridleway is a public place or road.

    The solicitors said a witness had seen the motorbike had L-plates, which showed it was a road bike.

    They also referred to a piece of EU ruling – Damijan Vnuk v Zavarovalnica Triglav which addressed what constitutes a vehicle and the circumstances for which it should be insured.

    A spokesman from HorseSolicitor said the case “paves the way for future applicants to recover compensation for people whose injuries were caused by vehicles that would not fall under the pre-Vnuk definition of a vehicle.”

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    The settlement figure was based on the care needed by Ms Roberts throughout her rehabilitation, the time her aunt spent looking after her horses, nursery charges for her baby, mileage and compensation for her pain and suffering.

    The Vnuk case had involved claimant Mr Vnuk, who was climbing a ladder in the loft of a barn which was struck by a reversing tractor and trailer, causing him to fall. The tractor was reversing in the courtyard of a farm.

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