Horse riding accident claims
If you have been involved in a horse riding accident caused by somebody else's negligence, you could be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries
How Much Could You Claim?

Horse Riding Accident Claims

Horse riding is a popular activity in the UK, attracting thousands of participants every year, from committed and professional riders to first-time child riders. However, due to the nature of the sport, which involves animals weighing up to 500kg and capable of reaching speeds of 40mph, it poses inherent risks to both participants and spectators, making horse riding safety a crucial concern.

As an equestrian, you are likely aware of the significant risk of injury associated with horse riding, despite the best safety measures and intentions. Accidents can happen, but if you suffered an injury due to negligence on the part of those responsible for your safety, you might be eligible to make a horse riding accident claim.

If you would like to discuss a horse riding accident with an experienced solicitor, call 0800 032 3660 today or enter your details to receive a call back. If you have a valid claim with a fair chance of success, you will be able to benefit from a no win no fee service, meaning you will not lose a single penny if your case fails.

Am I eligible to claim horse riding accident compensation?

Horse riding accidents refer to any incident where a rider, spectator, or other person is injured or harmed while participating in horse riding activities. These accidents can be due to several factors, such as the behaviour of the horse, a lack of appropriate safety measures, or the negligence of those responsible for your safety, such as riding instructors, trainers, or horse owners.

A horse riding accident can result in a wide range of injuries, from minor cuts and bruises to more severe injuries like broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and head trauma. In some cases, a fall from a horse can even be fatal. Regardless of your accident, if it was due to another party’s negligence, you should be able to receive compensation for your pain and suffering.

To determine if you are eligible to start a horse riding injury claim, your injury lawyer will consider several factors:

  • Firstly, it must be established that the accident was due to someone else’s negligence, such as the owner or operator of the riding establishment, the horse’s owner or trainer, or another third party.
  • Secondly, you must have suffered an injury as a result of the accident. The injury can be physical, such as broken bones, soft tissue damage, or head injuries, or psychological, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Thirdly, the accident should have occurred within the last three years, as this is the time limit for most personal injury claims in the UK.

If these three criteria are met, you are likely eligible to claim horse riding accident compensation. It is recommended that you seek the advice of an experienced personal injury solicitor who can assess your case and guide you through the legal process.

How to make a horse riding injury claim

If you have been injured in a horse riding accident that was not your fault, you might be entitled to recover compensation for all the damages you incurred. These may include physical pain and suffering, psychological trauma and financial losses. Here are the main steps you should take to make a horse riding injury claim:

Seek medical attention

The first and most essential step is to seek medical attention for your injuries. That will ensure that you receive the appropriate treatment and documentation of your injuries, which will be necessary for your claim.

Collect evidence

Collect any evidence that can support your case, which may include the following:

  • Photographs or a video of the accident scene
  • Contact details of any witnesses who saw the accident take place and could provide information about how the events have occurred
  • A copy of your medical records to show the type and extent of your injuries
  • An accident report form to prove when and where you suffered a fall from a horse
  • Training certificates to prove the level of training and instructions you received
  • A diary of how the accident occurred, the injuries you sustained and how they have affected your life
  • Financial evidence of all the losses you incurred, such as receipts, pay slips and invoices

Contact a personal injury lawyer

A personal injury solicitor with experience in horse riding accident claims can help you assess the strength of your case and guide you through the legal process. They will also be able to help you negotiate a fair compensation award or represent you in court if necessary. You can call 0800 032 3660 or click here to arrange a free case assessment, where you can also ask any questions you may have about the claims process.

Start legal proceedings

Your solicitor will help you start a claim against the person or entity responsible for your injuries. This may include the horse owner, riding instructor, or the facility where the accident occurred. They will also help you gather all the evidence you need to prove how the accident happened, who is to blame and the injuries you have suffered. The other side usually has up to three months to investigate your accident and admit or deny liability for it.

Negotiate a settlement

If the other side admits responsibility, your solicitor will work with them or their insurance company to negotiate a fair horse riding accident compensation. Your case may go to court if a settlement cannot be reached, although this is usually an unlikely event, as more than 95% of all personal injury claims settle without a trial.

If your horse riding injury claim is successful, you will receive the compensation you are entitled to within weeks. If your case fails, you will incur no financial losses, as the solicitors we work in partnership with will be able to offer you a no win no fee agreement.

What are the most common causes of horse riding accidents?

While equestrian sports and horse riding can be very pleasurable and rewarding, a fall from a horse or other related accidents can be devastating. There are several common causes of horse riding accidents, including:

  • Lack of experience on how to handle the horse or to ride properly;
  • Unpredictable horses that may act out in certain situations if they get spooked or frightened;
  • Faulty or improperly maintained equipment such as saddles, reins, or stirrups;
  • Environmental factors, such as riding in turbulent weather, on uneven terrain or in unfamiliar surroundings;
  • Horses that are not properly trained or handled can be difficult to control and lead to accidents;
  • Riding at high speeds, attempting dangerous manoeuvres or not following safety rules;
  • Lack of supervision or proper guidance from trainers;
  • Lack of adequate safety measures at a race, gymkhana or equestrian event leading to spectator injuries;
  • Reckless or careless drivers causing road traffic accidents

If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to any of these or other types of negligence, you might be entitled to claim horse riding accident compensation. To find out if you have a valid claim, call 0800 032 3660 or enter your details into our online claim form to arrange a free consultation with a legal adviser.

What types of injuries can be sustained in a horse riding accident?

You may be injured in a horse riding accident for various reasons, whether you are on or off a horse. While some injuries may be pure accidents and not eligible for compensation, there are situations where another party may be held accountable, including:

  • Deliberate actions that may hurt or damage you or your belongings
  • Unintentional but negligent behaviour that results in you suffering an accident and injury

The types of injuries that can be sustained through horse riding vary significantly. Some of the most common traumas that result in compensation claims include:

  • Head injuries: Head injuries can range from mild concussions to traumatic brain injuries and can be caused by falls or being kicked by a horse.
  • Spinal injuries: Spinal injuries can be severe and may result in paralysis or other permanent disabilities. They can be due to falls, kicks, or being thrown from a horse.
  • Fractures: Fractures or broken bones are common injuries in horse riding accidents and can occur in any part of the body.
  • Soft tissue injuries: Soft tissue injuries such as sprains, strains, and contusions can occur due to falls, kicks, or being thrown from a horse.
  • Internal injuries: Internal injuries such as organ damage or internal bleeding can be caused by blunt force trauma, such as being kicked by a horse or if the horse falls on top of the rider.
  • Emotional trauma: Horse riding accidents can be emotionally traumatic, resulting in anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The severity of the above injuries will vary from one case to another, but the more severe the damage and suffering, the greater a horse riding accident compensation award is likely to be.

Who is liable for horse riding accidents?

To determine whether you can make a compensation claim for injuries sustained in a horse riding accident, it is necessary to establish whether another party owed you a duty of care. Your solicitor will need to prove who was responsible for the accident and the resulting injuries. Liability could be attributed to various parties, including:

  • Horse owner: The owner of the horse may be liable if the accident was due to the horse’s behaviour and they failed to take reasonable steps to prevent it;
  • Trainer: If you were under the oversight of a trainer, they might be responsible for your injuries if they were negligent in their training or supervision. For example, they might have encouraged you to do something risky that a reasonable trainer would not have suggested;
  • Stable owner: The stable owner could be liable if the accident has been due to unsafe conditions at the premises or negligent maintenance of equipment;
  • Equipment manufacturer or supplier: If you suffered an injury due to a defective or malfunctioning piece of equipment, the manufacturer or supplier might be liable under the Consumer Rights Act 2015;
  • Other third parties: Liability may also be attributed to other third parties, such as event organisers, if the accident occurred during an organised event. These organisations cannot mitigate their responsibility by communicating notices such as no liability accepted. Even if such notices are in place, the law overrides this suggestion and demands that adequate safety provisions are in place at all times;
  • A road user: If an injury occurs whilst horse-riding on a public road, a driver or another road user may be liable for compensation if they did not abide by The Highway Code.

You could also start a horse riding injury claim if you suffered an accident while working at a stable, gymkhana or something similar and your employer failed to:

  • Provide you with adequate equipment, instructions and training
  • Conduct risk assessments to ensure their facilities meet the required safety standards
  • Put you in control of a horse you are capable of handling

During a free initial case assessment, a solicitor will be able to determine who could be responsible for your injuries. They will then help you gather evidence to prove liability and contact the other side to negotiate your horse riding accident compensation.

Am I eligible to claim if I was injured as a spectator at a horse riding event?

Spectators at horse riding events have legal protection against the risk of injury as the event organisers owe them a duty of care. However, it is essential to acknowledge the inherent risks of attending such an event and to follow safety measures to avoid being held responsible for any resulting injuries.

Whether you are eligible to claim compensation for injuries sustained as a spectator at a horse riding event depends on the circumstances of the accident and who was responsible for it. To be able to claim, you must show that the negligent or intentional behaviour of the defendant directly caused the injury.

In some cases, the inappropriate actions of the horse rider may make them liable for any claims. Alternatively, if the accident was due to poorly maintained racetracks or seating areas, the organisers may be liable for any damages. However, if you acted negligently, such as failing to follow safety instructions or entering restricted areas, you may be unable to make a horse riding injury claim.

It is important to seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury solicitor who can review the specific details of your case and advise you on your eligibility. They can also help you navigate the legal process and pursue compensation for your injuries.

How much compensation could I receive for a horse riding accident?

Each claim for a horse riding accident is different, so there is no pre-set compensation award. Several factors will determine the value of your settlement, including the type and extent of the injuries you suffered, how the accident affected your daily life, the related financial expenses and whether you hold any part of the blame.

Your solicitor will assess the value of your claim based on two types of damages:

General damages are based on the physical injuries and their consequences, such as:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental and emotional trauma
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Inability to pursue a hobby or social event
  • Loss of prospects
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Physical and mental disability

Special damages are based on all the related financial losses and expenses and may include the following:

  • Medical expenses like diagnostic tests, medications and hospitalisation
  • Mobility aids and other medical devices
  • Necessary adaptations to your home or vehicle to accommodate a disability
  • Travel expenses to and from medical appointments
  • Physical therapy and counselling
  • Lost wages during recovery and loss of earning capacity
  • The cost of replacing any personal items damaged in the accident
  • The cost of hiring help and assistance during recovery

Special damages are easier to calculate and are based on all the financial evidence you have, such as pay slips, receipts, bank statements and invoices. General damages are more difficult to calculate as they consider subjective losses that are not easily quantifiable.

Your solicitor will refer to the guidelines published by the Judicial College to work out a fair settlement for general damages. Based on their guidelines, your claim could be worth anything from £1,000 to £322,000, depending on the severity of your injuries, from minor cuts and lacerations to paralysis and severe brain trauma.

You can refer to our compensation calculator or arrange a free case assessment with a legal adviser to learn more about how much compensation your horse riding accident could be worth.

Is there a time limit for beginning a horse riding accident claim?

As with most sports injury claims, you must usually start horse riding accident claims within three years from the date you were injured. This period is called the claim limitation date, and if this date has passed, you will usually lose your eligibility for compensation.

If the injuries sustained were not discovered until a point in time after the accident, this would be considered the starting point of your limitation period. There are several other circumstances where the usual time limit to claim does not apply:

  • If the injured person is a child, the time limit does not begin until they turn 18. Before that date, a suitable adult could claim on their behalf. Afterwards, they will have until their 21st birthday to pursue horse riding accident compensation.
  • If the claimant lacks the mental capacity to conduct legal proceedings, the time limit is suspended until they are able to do so. In the meantime, a litigation friend could claim on their behalf.
  • If you were injured abroad, the time limit to claim could be different than in the UK and much shorter than three years.
  • If you lost a loved one due to a fall from a horse, you could begin a horse riding accident claim within three years from the date of death or when a post-mortem confirmed the cause of death.

You are advised to begin your claim at the earliest opportunity to ensure that these time limits are not exceeded, the evidence to support your claim is easier to obtain, and memories of the incident are clearer for both yourself and any witnesses.

Can I claim on behalf of someone else?

Yes, under UK law you are entitled to seek horse riding accident compensation for someone who cannot handle their claim. That could be the case if:

  • The injured person is under 18 years old, in which case they are not considered to possess well-formed judgements that would allow them to make decisions about the claim.
  • The injured person is an adult who lacks the mental capacity to claim, either due to a horse riding accident injury or a pre-existing condition like a mental health disease or neurodegenerative condition.

To claim for someone else, you must be appointed by the court as their litigation friend. As part of this process, you will have to fill in a certificate of suitability showing that:

  • You do not have any conflict of interest with the claimant
  • You can conduct legal proceedings fairly and competently
  • You agree to pay any fees the court might request

Becoming a litigation friend could be a long-term commitment that brings several responsibilities, such as:

  • Attend court hearings
  • Approve and sign legal documents
  • Meet with solicitors and take legal advice
  • Make decisions regarding the horse riding injury claim
  • Consider any settlement offers from the defendant

The role of a litigation friend typically ends when the case settles, when a minor turns 18, or if an incapacitated adult regains their intellectual abilities.

Can I claim for a horse riding accident on a no win no fee basis?

If you have a valid horse riding accident claim, your solicitor will offer you a no win no fee service. This type of arrangement is also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which means that your solicitor will only receive a payment if they win the case. If you receive compensation, they will receive a success fee that is deducted from your compensation award and is capped at 25% of your settlement.

The no win no fee agreement also involves taking an After the Event (ATE) insurance policy that will offer protection against legal charges and disbursements in case your claim fails, such as:

  • The other side’s solicitor fees
  • Police and medical reports
  • Court and counsel fees
  • Barrister fees if your claim goes to trial
  • Travel expenses related to the claim
  • Cost of paralegal and other staff time
  • The ATE premium, which you only pay if your case is successful

To determine whether a no win no fee arrangement is appropriate for your case, you should consult with a qualified personal injury solicitor who specialises in horse riding accidents. They can evaluate your case, explain your legal options, and advise you on whether a no win no fee arrangement is appropriate for your specific circumstances.

To start a no win no fee claim for horse riding accident compensation, call 0800 032 3660 today. Alternatively, you can enter your details below to arrange a call back and receive a free case assessment with an experienced solicitor.