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By Spencers Solicitors

  Carol Peach    
  July 15, 2022

10 FAQs About Making A Horse-Riding Accident Compensation Claim

1. What are the most common causes of a horse riding accident?

The most frequent causes of horse riding accidents which result in horse riding accident claims include:

  • Defective or ill-fitting equipment – such as saddle, girth, bridle, reins or riding hat
  • Riders riding an inappropriate horse or pony for their riding ability-- such as an incorrect size and temperament
  • Poorly organised hacks (where an instructor takes a place at the front and rear of a group) with inadequate leadership and supervision
  • A road traffic accident involving a rider, a horse and a motor vehicle
  • Being kicked or crushed by a horse
  • Riding on an unsuitable or uneven surface which leads to an accident or injury
  • Falling or being injured in the yard or in the stables because responsible persons have not taken reasonable safety steps

2. What can horse riders do to minimise the risk of an accident?

There are many ways in which a horse rider can reduce the chances of a horse riding accident occurring. These include:

  • Make sure you are riding the correct horse for your size, experience and ability
  • Make sure you are wearing appropriate footwear. You should never wear ‘everyday’ footwear such as trainers or sandals, and ideally should wear proper riding boots
  • Always make sure you are riding with another horse and partner, particularly if you are inexperienced and always when in quiet rural areas
  • Make sure you go through proper safety checks of all your equipment beforehand, particularly the girth, saddle, bridle and reins. If these are not fastened properly they can come loose and cause an accident
  • Wear the correct safety clothing when riding in a public place, such as a properly-fitted helmet which conforms to current safety standards, and fluorescent clothing, and it is also recommended to wear a back protector
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times, including motorists, pedestrians or other animals which may distract or scare your horse
  • If you intend to ride on public roads, make sure you have successfully taken a Riding Road Safety test
  • Before you ride on the road and in a public place, make sure you have learnt to ride with a fully-qualified instructor. This ensures that you are confident and able to deal with riding on the road

3. What personal injuries are most commonly caused by horse riding accidents?

The biggest problem with horse riding accidents is that there are two factors involved; the rider and the horse. This can compound the serious nature of any injuries caused, because an injury can be made much worse by the sheer weight of the horse falling on top of the rider. Such injuries have been known to be fatal, but it is not always the case that a fall from a horse will result in the horse also falling.

Nevertheless, common personal injuries from horse riding accidents include brain and head injuries, spinal injuries, broken bones (arms, shoulder, elbow, collar bone, legs) and an injured horse also. It is of course common to suffer bruising and grazing to some extent, even if the fall was relatively minor. Horses can also cause injury to the rider. These can involve biting, kicking, crushing or the horse standing on a person’s foot.

4. When can I make a horse riding accident claim?

You can make a horse riding accident claim if you have been injured while riding a horse or working with horses or you were a pedestrian and a horse has injured you. If the incident was not your fault and you have suffered injuries or financial loss as a result, you can make a horse riding accident claim.

5. What is the process of making a horse riding injury compensation claim?

If you, a colleague or a loved one have been involved in a horse riding accident or have been injured by a horse in some way, then you can contact Spencers Solicitors and make a claim. We will offer you a free consultation to establish the nature of your injuries, what happened and whether you have a strong case that is likely to be successful. It would be a good idea to gather evidence of your injuries and what happened as soon as you can, this could be photographs or witness statements. Once we have all the details, our experienced personal injury lawyers will take on your case and process it to a successful conclusion, always keeping you infirmed of progress. This may involve a settlement without the need to proceed to courts, but if your claim does proceed to court we will make sure you are fully informed and prepared, to ensure you receive the best possible settlement and without incurring any further stress or discomfort.

6. How long do I have to make a personal injury claim?

You can make a claim for a horse riding accident up to three years after the date of the accident. However, we recommend that you proceed with a claim as soon as you can. This is because the sooner you start a claim, the sooner you will receive your compensation, but also because we need as much key evidence as you can provide, so if the claim is started quickly you will have evidence of injuries sustained and your memories of the incident will be much clearer and fresher, including the memories of any key witnesses. The more detail we have, the stronger your claim and your chances of success will be.

7. If my horse riding injury claim is successful, how much will my compensation be?

If your claim is successful, you will be paid out to cover your legal costs, any costs incurred treating your injuries, any loss of earnings and a fee to cover your emotional stress and discomfort. This final cost is difficult to estimate, but generally-speaking this will depend on factors such as the extent of your injuries, how it has impacted on your life and whether it will have long-term or even permanent impacts on your life. Our personal injury lawyers will be able to give you a better idea of any likely pay-out figure once they have heard your story and gathered details, as all claims are individual cases and vary significantly.

8. How long does a horse riding accident claim take to process?

The horse riding accident claims process can vary considerably, depending on the complexity of the case. If there is any doubt about your injuries, what happened or who is liable for your injuries, this can make the claims process long and challenging. If a claim is likely to end up in court, this can take several months to a number of years in more complex matters. However, in all cases our personal injury solicitors will keep you fully informed of progress and will deal with all matters swiftly and diligently to ensure your claim is processed as quickly as possible and you can move on from your traumatic experience.

9. How much will it cost to make a horse injury compensation claim?

At Spencers Solicitors we offer no-win-no-fee, so if your claim isn’t successful there will be no cost to yourself and we take on the risk. If your claim is successful we will take a fee from your compensation pay-out and this will be agreed before we proceed with your case.

10. Why should I choose Spencers Solicitors to process my horse riding accident claim?

At Spencers Solicitors we have specialist personal injury solicitors with detailed and dedicated horse riding accident claim experience, so we are best-placed to successfully process your horse riding accident claim because:

  • We have personal and professional experience of horses and equestrianism (our team have written numerous articles for horse riding publications)
  • We have a proven track record in equine litigation which spans many years
  • We have an ethical and responsible approach to litigating fearlessly for our client when an accident occurs and when we believe it should and could have been avoided
  • We have experience and expertise in handling the type of serious personal injury claims that are often caused by being involved in a horse riding accident.

About the author

Carol is a Paralegal within our Serious Injury Team.

Carol, who joined the business in December 2000, has worked in various client facing roles during her tenure, all of which have provided Carol with valuable insight and experience for her role within the Serious Injury Team. Carol assists the team on a wide range of integral tasks involving complex injury including cases involving amputations, serious spinal injuries resulting in permanent disability, brain, head injuries and fatal accidents.

Carol can be contacted on 01246 266749.

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