Horse Riding Accident Claim *
Horse riding is a popular activity in both sport and leisure with a large number of both adults and children taking part each year. Working with horses is often considered a dangerous sport and can lead to injury and a public liability claim *. If it is the case that the injury was caused as a result of the negligence of another person, you may be entitled to pursue an injury claim *. There are certain risks associated with horse riding on the roads which can be outside of the horse rider’s control, such as the speed of vehicles on the road, road surfaces and conditions and motorists knowledge of dealing with horses on the road.
Equestrian accidents can also happen due to a momentary lapse in concentration by the horse rider and in these cases, if the accident was not the fault of another person, you may not be eligible for a claim.
Who is liable?
It is important to determine who was liable for the cause of the accident and the injuries you sustained. In most cases, it will either be the horse rider or other road users who have failed to show a reasonable duty of care and did not follow the rules of the road. In order to determine who is liable for the accident, it is advised that you gather as much information as possible relating to both the accident and your injuries. This includes;
- Date, time and location of the accident
- Details relating to others who were involved
- Details of any witnesses that were present
- CCTV footage and photographs of both the accident and injuries, if applicable
- Details of any emergency service workers who may have attended the scene
- Information relating to any vehicles that were involved
If it is found that another party failed to follow the rules of the road which in turn led to the cause of an accident, they are likely to be found liable. If the person who has sustained injuries is found to have contributed to the cause, through contributory negligence, they may be found liable and may not be entitled to make a claim for the injuries they have sustained. It is important to determine who is liable for the accident in the early stages of the claims process so as to avoid delays later on in the process.
There is a range of injuries associated with a horse riding accident * and common factors that influence your injuries would be, the speed at which you were going, what way exactly you fell off the horse, did the horse fall too, and what were your surroundings when you fell. Some common injuries that may be sustained are:
- Crush Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Back and spinal injuries
- Nerve damage
- Internal injuries
Health and Safety in Riding Centres and Farms
According to the Association of Irish Riding Establishments (Aire), each and every Riding centre and Farm that offers horse riding facilities should have a Health and Safety Statement, that all employees must read and sign once understood. This is to ensure that employees do not act in a negligent manner that may but the horse riders at risk of an injury.
For those who are renting time with a horse and possibly an instructor, it is important that, as clients, they are provided with the correct equipment needed to carry out the activity in a safe manner.
This includes saddles, reins, hats, gloves and clothing. This equipment should be in a good condition so as to avoid the risk of an accident occurring. All sporting equipment should comply with health and safety regulations and should have the correct labelling to state this on the clothing and equipment. If it is found that it does not meet requirement it may be the manufacturer who is found liable for any accident that has occurred as a result.
Not following the rules of the road
There is a universal expectation that all road users will follow the rules of the road. Most road traffic accidents are caused by somebody failing to comply with these rules. This can lead to injuries being sustained by other road users which they may be found liable for. There are different rules for both vehicles and horse riders when it comes to horses on the road.
- Take care when overtaking horses and ensure that you leave enough room
- Do not startle the horse by use of lights
- Show courtesy to horse riders and the horse and take steps to minimise any excessive noise
- Stay on the left-hand side of the road
- When leading a horse, ensure you stand between the horse and traffic
- Ensure you are wearing the correct equipment so that you are visible
- Do not allow the horse to block other road users or pedestrians
Poor weather conditions
As a horse rider, you are advised to not use the road in poor weather condition unless necessary. As drivers will already be driving in difficult conditions it can make the situation more dangerous if there is a horse present on the road also.
If the horse which you are riding does not have a temperament that is suitable for you it can lead to an accident occurring as a result. It is important that any horse which you will be with is suitable for you as this makes it easier to control and understand the situation in which you are in.
Lack of experience
Unexperienced riders may be more at risk of being involved in an accident as they may not be fully aware of the potential risks. If somebody has a lack of experience with horse riding on the road they should be assisted or led by a more experienced individual so as to avoid injury.
This is a common cause of many road accidents as drivers are often unable to control their car or react quickly enough in certain situations. This can lead to accidents involving horse riders as they may not be able to react to their presence on the road in time if they are driving faster than the speed limit which is in place. It is important that drivers do not drive above the stated limit as they are putting the lives of both themselves and other road users at risk by doing so.
Preventing Equestrian Accidents *
According to Aire, to prevent horse riding accidents * from occurring there are some critical areas that every horse riding centre should address:
- Training of all staff on manual handling/health and safety statement/operating procedures
- Suitable and protective clothing that is up to standards needed for customers to safely ride the horses
- There should be yard rules explained to all staff and customers and these rules should be clearly displayed around the riding centre
- The staff in the centre should create a health and safety checklist of items to routinely check to ensure that certain standards of equipment are met – for example, checking tack and conditions of the farm, fencing, arena when people ride, gates, nearby machinery etc. This is to ensure that the risk of injury is minimised.
- Every yard should have general housekeeping rules in place to ensure that pathways and arenas are kept clear of obstacles that could cause injury.
- All areas should be smoke-free to prevent fire and burn injuries
- Clients and staff should not be exposed to harmful chemicals, such as pesticides and veterinary supplies, these should be stored
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE
If you would like to make a horse riding road accident claim * you can contact our solicitors on 01 649 9900 or email email@example.com to tell us about your case and we can call you back for a confidential discussion.
With over 30 years’ experience, Tracey Solicitors ensure not to overwhelm you with legal jargon and can provide you with legal advice and guidance with your best interest at heart, in a language that you can understand.