Horse-riding is hugely popular in the UK, with an estimated 3 million adults and children who ride horses regularly either as a sport or as a past-time. Considering the nature of the equestrian activity however, there are a few risks that are inherent in this activity, irrespective of skill levels.
Statistics indicate there are approximately 3,000 accidents every year involving horses. Most horse riders have been involved in at least one if not more equestrian accidents during their career, some of which were unavoidable whereas others were due to somebody else’s mistake or negligence. If you have suffered an injury in a horse-riding/ equestrian accident that was not your fault, there is a high chance that you may be able to file an equestrian accident claim.
Common Types Of Equestrian Accidents
An equestrian accident and a resulting personal injury can happen for all sorts of reasons, from the rider’s momentary lapse in concentration to faulty gear or ill-fitted girth or reins. Horses too have a mind of their own, which contributes to the high risk associated with the activity. While riding, you can be thrown off if your horse decides to buck, bold or rear. With horses being able to reach galloping speeds of up to 40mph, it’s only natural that falling from your horse can result in serious injuries. This is one of the more common causes of equestrian accidents.
Other common equestrian accident injuries may include but are not limited to:
- Injuries due to being provided a faulty saddle, bridle, girth, reins or any other defective riding gear.
- Injuries because of incorrect fastening of the girth, causing the rider to fall off the horse.
- Injuries caused because of being given a horse with a temperament that is not suitable to your riding skill or your riding style.
- Falls and injuries because of riding on an unsuitable surface.
- Injuries sustained in a road accident with a motorised vehicle.
- Accidents during a competition or at work.
- Accidents caused by mismanagement or poor leadership while organising group equestrian activities.
- Injuries sustained from being bitten or kicked by a horse.
- Injuries due to being crushed by a horse against the wall or gate inside the stable.
- Injuries sustained while you were a spectator at an equestrian event.
The most serious of equestrian injuries are the result of the horse falling on top of the rider. Horses can weight an average 500 pounds. When an animal that heavy falls on top of the rider, the resultant injuries can be severe or even fatal.
Common Injuries That Can Result From Horse Riding Accidents
Equestrian accidents can result in a wide range of injuries from mild grazing and bruising to more serious injuries such as broken bones, spinal injuries and brain damage. Unfortunately, some horse riding accidents can even be fatal.
Injuries may be an inevitable consequence of horse riding but that does not mean that any and all accidents should be unquestionably accepted. You should consider claiming compensation if you were injured in an equestrian accident that was caused because of somebody else’s mistake or negligence.
How Equestrian Injuries Can Occur From Another Person’s Actions
When you are riding a horse and you meet with an accident, it can be difficult to determine what exactly caused the accident. In most instances, after an accident, most riders are unsure about where the responsibility lies for the incident. Was it an unavoidable accident resulting from the unpredictable nature of the animal or was it an accident that could have been avoided with the proper precaution? Who was responsible for the accident? How much should they claim for?
There are several guidelines that help to distinguish accidents that are unavoidable and accidents that could have been avoided with proper care. For example, if you were injured because your horse reared or bucked and threw you off, you may not be able to claim if the horse’s action was spontaneous and unprovoked. However, if the horse’s behaviour can be attributed to another person’s actions, then you may have grounds to file a claim for compensation.
What You Should Know About Filing A Horse Riding Accident Claim
If you have been involved in any equestrian accident, the first thing you should do is consult with a personal injury solicitor. An experienced solicitor will help you determine if you have sufficient grounds for filing a compensation claim after getting all the details about the accident that caused your injuries.
The good news is, most solicitors (including ourselves) will review your claim on a Conditional Fee basis. Also known as a No Win No Fee agreement, it means that the solicitor will evaluate and file your claim and also represent you in court without asking for any upfront payment. You only need to make a payment after the case is closed and only if the solicitor has won the case for you and you have received the settlement in your bank.
The amount of compensation you can expect will depend on several factors, the most important being the severity of your injuries. A good personal injury solicitor will make sure that all your medical expenses and other costs associated with your medical treatment including ongoing rehabilitation support are added into the compensation. You may also be compensated for the cost of any structural changes that you may have had to make in the home or in a vehicle, full-time personal care if necessary, cost of transportation to and from the hospital and loss of income from not being able to work while injured.
Speak to us today if you’d like to know more on how our personal injury solicitors can help you to get the compensation you deserve.
Time Limit For Filing An Equestrian Claim
If you are injured in an equestrian accident, you must file a claim for compensation within three years from the date you were injured. Your claim will not be accepted after the 3-year limitation unless the delay was caused because the full nature of the injuries was only recently discovered.
In any case, it is always advisable to file at the earliest possible opportunity. Getting statements from witnesses and providing other evidence to support your case will always be easier immediately after the accident rather than a few years later.
Keeping a detailed record of the events of the day complete with timings and all other information however trivial it may sound can help strengthen your claim in court. You will also need to keep records and receipts of all medical treatments that you underwent for injuries sustained in the accident.
An experienced personal injury solicitor will give you the proper advice as to how to proceed, what are your chances of winning your case and what is the compensation amount that you can expect.