Horse riding is very popular with both adults and children. But it does have its dangers and sadly many people are injured whilst riding. If you have suffered a horse riding accident that wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries.
Please note – we cannot help with claims against vets or with regard to injuries to horses. We can, however, help you with any PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM suffered by riders or any other person in a horse related accident.
Common Horse Accident Claims include:
Injuries caused by horse riding accidents vary in their seriousness – from spinal, head and neck injuries to fractured feet. Amongst the most common causes of horse riding claims are:
• Injuries whilst a spectator or when taking part in a horse event – the organisers of any equestrian event must provide a safe environment for the competition. They cannot avoid liability by putting up a notice that says ‘we as the organisers accept no responsibility for injuries whilst in competition’. So, for example, if you fell off your horse whilst competing due to a faulty jump, you may be able to claim against the organiser of the competition.
• Accidents riding on the road – for both horse riders, and motorists when a horse was not properly controlled. Both riders and motorists must observe traffic law and the Highway Code. If you and your horse are involved in an accident whilst riding on the road you may be entitled to compensation from the negligent driver. The compensation awarded may cover your personal injury and any vet bills for the horse.
• Accidents when working with horses – your employer must provide you with a safe working environment. So if you suffer an injury at work, you may be entitled to seek compensation. This applies to stable volunteers as well as employees.
• Riding school accidents– a riding school owner must, for example, make sure that the horse is suitable for the rider and that a trained instructor should accompany inexperienced riders during lessons or whilst on a hack.
• Injuries, to riders or their horses, caused by faulty equipment – every riding equipment supplier must ensure their equipment is of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. Suffering a riding accident caused by faulty tack can give cause to an equine compensation claim.
We offer FREE initial phone advice and a FREE first interview for all personal injury claims. Call us now to find out where you stand.
What can I claim?
Compensation can be awarded for any injuries suffered as a result of an accident – the amount increases with the severity of the injury. There are two basic categories of damages you can claim:
1. Special damages – Special damages reflect any expenses and financial losses caused by the accident and can reimburse a rider for damaged tack, loss of earnings and cover any uninsured losses in relation to the horse.
2. General damages can be awarded to compensate for anticipated future losses such as your earning potential.
Note; you cannot be compensated twice for the same thing. So if you have received a pay out for vet fees from your insurer, you cannot claim this from the negligent party.
What is contributory negligence?
Contributory negligence occurs when an accident was partially your fault eg if a motorist drives too fast and close to your horse causing it to throw you off and you sustain serious head injuries due – made worse by your failure to wear a helmet. When assessing liability for damages the court will consider ‘contributory negligence’.
Even if you believe that you may have been partially responsible for your accident, you may still be able to make a compensation claim. Any contributory negligence will, however, reduce the level of compensation.
What to do after a Horse Riding Accident
Accidents involving horses are surprisingly common – over 3000 a year, according to the British Horse Society. So what should you do if you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in accident with a horse, either as a rider, pedestrian or motorist?
1. Inform the emergency services
The police must be notified of any accident on the road or on a public footpath which causes severe injury. Of course, if the injury is severe enough, you will also need to call an ambulance. For your own safety and for the safety of other people, call the police and an ambulance as soon as possible.
2. Get evidence
Whether or not the police attend, you will need evidence to support any claim for injury compensation that you need to make. Take photographs of the scene of the accident, the extent of any injuries to yourself or the horse, and photographs of damage to property or motor vehicles. If the accident involved a car, make sure you get its registration details.
3. Speak to witnesses
Witness testimony is also vital. Make sure you get the name and contact details of anybody who witnessed the accident, and ensure that they are happy to give their testimony. Good, independent witness accounts can make all the difference when it comes to making a successful injury claim.
4. Speak to the other party
Although it may be the last thing you feel like doing, its imperative that you speak to the other party involved in the accident. Get their contact details, along with details of their horse or car insurance. If you can remember to do this out at the time of the accident, you’ll have a much easier time of it later on.
Like car accidents, most horse riding accidents can be sorted out quite satisfactorily through insurance companies and acci and accident lawyers [if a personal injury is involved] , provided you remain calm and take the necessary steps at the time.
Horse Accident Claim Limitation Periods
There is, in general, a limitation period for bringing a horse accident claim of 3 years from the date of the injury – the time within which any court proceedings must be issued (which can be extended if you have only recently discovered the effects of your injury). However, we strongly recommend that you take initial specialist legal advice about any horse riding injury as soon as possible.
- Our team are injury compensation specialists.Horse riding accident compensation is a specialist area of law – so make sure that you appoint a solicitor with the right experience. We have the expertise you need – with accredited members of a number of highly regarded accident claim panels including the Law Society’s Personal Injury Panel.
- We provide a FREE initial telephone and FREE first appointment – to find out if you have a claim, and if so what is the most likely level of compensation
- We are approved by the majority of legal expenses insurers who may pay your legal costs.
- We can run your Horse Accident Claim on a “no win no fee” basis – which means that you should not have to pay legal costs when you win or lose and keep all of your compensation – we are paid by the defendants when you win your claim.
- Hospital or home visits are available for those clients with serious injuries.
- We can represent you in your Horse Accident Claim wherever you live in the UK, taking your instructions by e-mail and phone without needing to meet – although, if you live locally, we are happy to meet you at one of our Wiltshire, Hampshire or Dorset offices.
Click here to find out more about making a Personal Injury Claim.
Avoid Horse Riding Accidents – 10 top tips for riding safely
1. When riding make sure you wear full protective clothing including a helmet and back protector (note it is a legal requirement for children under 14 to wear a riding helmet).
2. Wear proper boots, numerous leg injuries are caused by feet getting stuck in stirrups due to riders wearing inappropriate footwear such as trainers.
3. If riding in the late afternoon or evening wear florescent clothing (if riding on the road it is good practice to wear this at all times).
4. If you are going to be riding long distances or riding in the countryside alone, then make sure someone else knows what route you are taking and take a mobile phone for emergencies.
5. If you are an inexperienced rider then always follow a guide when hacking.
6. Check your riding equipment before you set off. Re-check the girth after 5 minutes into your ride to make sure that the horse has not tightened and released its stomach muscles which loosens the girth.
7. Look after your tack. Defective tack is often caused by brittle leather or stitching due to a lack of care.
8. Learn and observe the Highway Code when riding on the road.
9. When working with horses or using stables, observe the livery code of conduct and be aware of your surroundings.
10. Keep an eye on young children around horses. Make sure that they do not walk behind the horse as they can suffer serious injury if kicked.
Contact us about your Horse Accident Claim today
Our team can see you in our Salisbury, Andover or Amesbury offices and we have interviewing facilities in West Dorset.