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Horse Riding Accident Claims
With so many benefits associated with horse riding, it’s perhaps little wonder that around 6% of the British population have jumped into the saddle at least once during the past 12 months alone. It’s exhilarating, it’s fun and above all else, it’s a great way of exploring the countryside from a totally different perspective.
Unfortunately – and as with any other physical activity – the joys of horse riding certainly don’t come without their fair share of lumps, bumps and bruises. In fact, according to the highly-regarded publication, “Horse and Hound”, some 38 riders and 222 horses have been killed in accidents on Britain’s roads since 2010.
Suffice it to say, whilst there can be little doubt that horse riding makes for both a pleasurable and exhilarating way to enjoy some well-needed down-time, it certainly doesn’t come without an element of risk either.
There can be little doubt that the most common type of riding accident is falling from the horse, although this can be due to a whole host of reasons including:
- Rider inexperience
- The horse’s lack of experience and/or exposure to certain situations leading to ‘spooking’, (such as being startled by static objects, having to deal with traffic or dealing with an unexpected event etc.)
- The horse slipping or falling (perhaps due to wet or icy surfaces that should have been gritted)
- The horse’s refusal to clear a jump
- Third party negligence – for example, on the road, drivers or motorcyclists travelling too fast and/or failing to take heed of both the horse and rider
Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive and riding accidents can happen for all sorts of reasons – and usually when they’re least expected. However, regardless of how your riding accident occurred, you need to ensure that you’ve got the best legal team in your corner – and that’s exactly where we’re here to help.
Our legal team specialises in dealing with accident and personal injury claims only. We have been providing legal services in the UK since 1988 and are accredited through the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, as well as The Law Society and, are regulated and authorised by the SRA.
What Are The Most Common Types of Injury Which Can Result From Horse Riding Accidents?
Injuries sustained through riding accidents can, quite frankly, range from the most minor types (such as a simple bump or bruise) right through to broken bones, head injuries and even fatalities. For this reason, it’s always advisable to get the best riding hat you can possibly afford – particularly for younger riders. In fact, Rule 49 of the Highway Code quite clearly states: “Children under the age of 14 MUST wear a helmet which complies with the regulations and “It MUST be fastened securely” – although the same advice applies to all riders, of course, and regardless of age.
Since most riding accidents involve a knock to the head, all riding hats sold within Europe are now CE marked and fully comply with the regulations as stated in the European Directive 89/686/EEC on Personal Protective Equipment. If it isn’t CE marked – don’t wear it.
Where Do Riding Accidents Usually Happen?
Accidents involving horses can quite simply happen at anytime and anywhere. After all, even the best behaved horses have a mind of their own so always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to accident prevention!
Many new riders often find that they take a tumble during lessons (whether that be in a grass or sand menage, indoor schooling arena or even in an open field), whilst the more experienced rider is probably more likely to suffer injury whilst competing or hacking out on the roads.
There are, of course, numerous activities which can be done on horseback including show jumping, dressage, eventing, cross country, polo and trekking so all these are naturally exposed to a certain element of risk.
What Sort of Things Will Compensation Cover Me For?
If you’re eligible to make a claim for compensation then there are two different types of ‘damages’ (or ‘compensation’) you can claim for namely:
- General damages and
- Special damages
These two types of damages are slightly different and we’ll explain each in a little more detail:
‘General damages’ relate to the amount of compensation you might be entitled to claim for the injury itself. You may, for example, have suffered broken bones or a head injury. As you might expect, no two cases are ever the same so we’ll always assess each case on its own merits and will advise you on what you need to do in order to get the best possible settlement.
Because general damages can be quite difficult to quantify, we assess the nature of client injuries based on the ‘Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases’. This publication is issued by the Judicial College and provides everyone across the legal profession with some very useful guidelines on what your claim might be worth.
Whilst the figures are only intended to give you a vague idea of what you might be entitled to claim, it can certainly prove to be a very useful guide as to what you might be able to receive in terms of compensation for different types of claim.
However, whatever the nature of your injuries, you can rest assured that the team at Smith Jones solicitors will do the very best to ensure you get the best settlement deal from the other party and/or their insurers.
Turning, then, to ‘special damages’, these are much more specific in nature and therefore much easier to quantify. Special damages basically relate to any financial loss you suffer as a direct result of your riding accident such as:
- Loss of earnings for any time you might need off work (including reduced earnings if you only receive statutory sick pay)
- Travel expenses to and from any medical appointments
- Medical fees (for any consultations you might need to attend in order to assess the nature and/or severity of your injuries)
- General out-of-pocket expenses (such as parking tickets, postage and so on)
- Any rehabilitation or mobility aids you might need to hire or purchase (for example, walking frames, wheelchairs, stair lifts etc.)
- Any other special damages – such as domestic help around the home, or looking after your own horse(s) if applicable. Expenses for these can be paid in more serious cases i.e. when the level of your injuries make it impossible for you to perform these tasks yourself, as you ordinarily would have done had the accident not occurred.
The main purpose of compensation is to put you back into the position you would have been in had the accident not occurred in the first place. This is why it’s so important to keep a note of any associated losses – no matter how trivial they might seem – since these can all be claimed back from the other party. However, your legal advisor will certainly tell you more about this and what you might need to do in order to assist your claim.
Why Choose Smith Jones?
Smith Jones solicitors pride themselves on having a truly winning mentality but don’t just take our word for it – our results speak for themselves. In fact, during the past year alone we’ve already recovered over ten million pounds for our clients and we believe our genuine commitment to customer service truly sets us aside from other personal injury lawyers.
What’s more, we’re usually able to operate your compensation claim on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. The beauty of this is that, unlike other high street law firms, you don’t have to pay us a single penny up front to start your claim. We do this by entering into a conditional fee agreement with you. This means that if you don’t win your claim, then we don’t get paid. It really is as simple as that.
Why not give us a call now on Freephone 0800 195 95 90 to see how we might be able to help? Alternatively, you can complete our online enquiry form or even chat to one of our friendly online advisors. However you choose to contact us, we’re confident that you’ll be glad you did. We look forward to working with you.