For some, riding a horse is simply a hobby that they enjoy. Others ride horses as part of their job or in competitive sports. In most cases, riding a horse gives the rider a sense of enjoyment that other activities don’t offer. In the main, horse riding is quite safe but accidents do sometimes happen. However, if you’ve been injured while horse riding in an accident caused by somebody else, you could be entitled to make a horse riding injury claim.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an equestrian accident at work, whilst learning to ride or in a road traffic accident through no fault of your own, this claims article will show you when you could claim damages for your suffering.
Our team are ready to help if you’d like to speak to us immediately, so please call us on 0800 652 1345 to discuss your options. Alternatively, carry on reading to learn more about claiming compensation for a horse riding accident.
Can I claim compensation for a horse riding injury?
As you can imagine, some horse riding injuries simply can’t be avoided. In these situations, it’s unlikely you’d be able to claim compensation for your injuries. However, if your claim meets the criteria set out below, our personal injury lawyers could help. When considering a horse riding injury claim, they’ll check whether:
- Whether you were owed a duty of care by the defendant; and
- The defendant’s actions or a failure to act caused a horse riding accident i.e. they were negligent; and
- You sustain injuries in that accident.
Various laws can be used to establish a legal duty of care. You don’t need to research this, though, as this will be checked by an advisor during your free consultation. The main thing you can help with is describing how the accident happened and what caused it. If your claim is accepted, your solicitor will help you to collect the evidence to prove your allegations.
What are the rules for riding a horse on a public road?
Sections 49 to 55 of the Highway Code set out the responsibilities of horse riders when on a public highway. These set out what clothing should be worn, how riders should prepare and the general principles of riding such as sticking to the lefthand side of the road, not carrying others and not riding more than two abreast.
Additionally, new changes to the Highway Code give cyclists and horse riders a higher priority in the hierarchy of road users meaning other vehicles must take extra care when overtaking.
Specifically, the new rules state that vehicles should pass horses at speeds of less than 10 mph and leave more than 2 meters of space. If you’ve been injured in a road accident while riding a horse and the new rules were not obeyed, you may be able to claim compensation for your suffering.
Examples of horse riding accidents you could be compensated for
Some common examples of horse riding accidents that might lead to a compensation claim include:
- Road traffic accidents where a rider is knocked off their horse by a car, van or lorry on a public road.
- If you were learning to ride and had an accident because the horse provided was not suitable for your skill level.
- Where you were provided with damaged or defective reins, girth, bridle, saddle or any other horse riding gear that caused your accident.
- Horse riding accidents during a group ride caused by a inadequate supervision or proper planning.
- If you were injured at an equestrian event as a spectator.
- Where you are thrown off or kicked by a horse that was displaying dangerous behaviour.
- If you were injured whilst working with a horse.
- Riders crushed by horses that fell on top of them.
In summary, you might be entitled to compensation for a horse riding injury caused by:
- Inadequate training.
- Unsafe equipment (damaged, faulty or defective).
- Insufficient risk assessments.
- A road user’s negligence.
- Unsafe working conditions.
- Reckless or dangerous driving including horse riding accidents caused by road rage.
A horse riding injury claim might be possible when riding as a hobby, competing or as a student at a riding school. So long as the accident was caused by the horse owner’s negligence (or a company such as your employer), you could be entitled to begin a claim.
Common injuries from horse riding accidents
When making a horse riding injury claim, so long as the accident was somebody else’s fault, you could be compensated for almost any injury. Some of the most common horse riding injury claims relate to:
- Head injuries and skull fractures, concussions and brain haemorrhages.
- Spinal cord injuries some of which could lead to temporary/permanent paralysis.
- Muscle, tendon and ligament damage.
- Broken bones.
- Excessive bruising.
- Shoulder injuries.
Some horse riding injuries will be minor and will usually be resolved in a matter of days or weeks. However, some can be longer-term and even life-changing or life-threatening. Whatever the type and severity of horse riding injury you’ve sustained, please get in touch to see if one of our solicitors can help you claim compensation.
Fatal horse riding injury claims
Unfortunately, it is a fact that horse riding accidents can lead to fatalities. Our solicitors realise that compensation payments won’t help you to get over your loss. However, they could still help you to claim for funeral costs and other expenses incurred if your loss was caused by somebody else’s negligence.
Additionally, if you were financially dependent on the deceased’s pension, income or other benefits, you could be entitled to claim for this loss too.
If you call our claims line, our advisors will treat your call with compassion and will never rush you into deciding on how to proceed.
How much compensation will I get for a horse riding injury claim?
Calculating compensation for a horse riding accident is quite an involved process. When assessing how much compensation you should get, you’ll need to review how you’ve suffered, how you’ll suffer in the future and whether you’ve lost any money directly due to your injuries.
If your horse riding injury claim is successful, you could be compensated for:
- The pain you’ve experienced physically from your injuries and subsequent treatment.
- Anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression or other psychological injuries.
- Any negative impact your injuries have on your social and private life, usual hobbies or family duties.
- The time a family member spent caring for you or, in more serious cases, the cost of a professional carer.
- Any earnings lost as a result of your injuries.
- Parking fees, fuel costs or public transport costs linked to your injuries.
- Compensation for money spent/required for replacing personal items damaged during the horse riding accident such as clothes and helmets.
- Private medical treatment for your injuries including physiotherapy.
- Modifications to your home to improve access for wheelchairs or the installation of hoists or lifts if your horse riding injuries cause a permanent disability.
- Similarly, if your injuries make it difficult for you to work in the future, you could also claim for future loss of income.
To help determine how you’ll be affected by your injuries, a medical assessment would be required for your horse riding injury claim. A medical expert will review your medical records, examine you and discuss how you’ve suffered and then prepare a report to clarify your prognosis. Your solicitor will use this report to determine how much compensation you’ll try to claim.
Providing proof for a horse riding injury claim
When you’ve been injured in a horse riding accident that was caused by somebody else, there are several steps that you could take to get proof for your compensation claim. They include:
- Report the accident. If you’ve been knocked off your horse in a car accident, you should report the accident to the police. Also, if you’re injured while riding a horse at work or on paid activity such as a riding lesson, report the accident and ask for a copy of the accident report form.
- Seek medical treatment. If you weren’t taken to hospital in an ambulance following your riding accident, attend A&E yourself to have your injuries assessed and treated properly. Your diagnosis could be confirmed later on by requesting your medical records.
- Take photographs. In some circumstances, photographs of the accident scene could make it easier to understand how the incident occurred. Also, photographs of your visible injuries taken throughout your recovery can show the extent of your suffering.
- Talk to any witnesses. If anybody else saw the horse riding accident, ask them to provide their contact details in case a solicitor needs a statement from them. Additionally, if they were driving a vehicle with a dashcam, ask for a copy of the footage.
- Keep a record. Write a diary of how your injuries have affected you. For example, record the dates you couldn’t work or attend a family event because of your injuries. Also, keep a record of any expenses incurred because of your injuries.
During your free consultation, we’ll be happy to review any proof you have collected so please have it ready when you call.
Horse riding injury claim time limits
The usual time limit for horse riding injury claims is 3-years. In most cases, it will begin from the date the accident occurred. As children can’t file a claim for themselves, their time limit starts on their 18th birthday. However, a litigation friend such as a parent or guardian could file a claim on behalf of the child at any point before that date.
We would usually suggest that you call us about your claim as soon as possible rather than waiting until the end of your limitation period. That way, your solicitor will have plenty of time to collect medical reports and supporting evidence.
Not only that but, if you might benefit from private medical treatment of your injuries, your solicitor could ask that an interim payment from the defendant be made to cover the cost before your claim is finalised.
No Win, No Fee horse riding injury claims
The cost of legal fees in a personal injury claim can be high, especially in claims relating to long-term injuries. However, you shouldn’t be too concerned about the cost of hiring an experienced personal injury solicitor to represent you as ours provide a No Win, No Fee service for all horse riding injury claims they work on.
That means that legal fees do not need to be paid in advance. As soon as your solicitor agrees to work for you they will aspire to:
- Collect proof to show how and why your horse riding accident happened.
- Arrange for your injuries to be assessed independently.
- Contact the defendant and ask them to respond to your allegations.
- Negotiate on your behalf so you don’t need to communicate with the defendant or their insurers.
- Try to secure the maximum level of compensation needed to cover your injuries.
If the claim isn’t successful, you don’t pay for any of your solicitor’s work. If the claim is successful, you’ll simply pay a success fee (set as a percentage of your settlement payment) to cover your solicitor’s efforts.
Start a horse riding injury claim today
If you have decided to start a horse riding injury claim, please get in touch on 0800 652 1345 today. During your call, we’ll find out what happened and give an honest assessment of what options are available.
If the claim appears to be strong enough and a personal injury solicitor on our panel takes it on, they’ll provide their services on a No Win, No Fee basis. Knowing that will usually make the process a very much less stressful.
To discuss a horse riding injury claim in more detail, please connect to our free live chat service.