If a horse riding injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Horse riding accidents can lead to severe injuries, with compensation claims often covering medical costs, rehabilitation, and sometimes long-term care, especially when there has been negligence, inadequate safety measures or poor training.
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a horse riding injury, we can help. Whether your injuries were caused by a slip or trip, fall or other incident, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
With approximately 4,500 horse riding injuries each year, you are not alone
Three million people a year ride horses in the UK, sometimes as a sport, other times for leisure.
Unfortunately, it is often underestimated how dangerous horse riding can be. Experienced riders will know that however careful you are that injuries are an inevitable consequence of horse riding and that at some point during your time in the saddle you could suffer an injury.
If that injury has been caused by someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim.
If you decide to make a horse riding injury claim, your personal injury solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
Horse riding injury compensation claims advice
If you are unfortunate enough to suffer a horse riding injury as a result of an accident you should always seek medical advice whether from your GP, walk in centre or accident and emergency department. Your recovery is paramount and seeking early advice can help both diagnose and treat any problem. You should also try to do as many of the following as possible:
- obtain details of any witnesses who saw the accident. A name and phone number will do.
- report the matter to an relevant party to make sure a report of the accident is completed.
- take photos of the aftermath especially if these will show how the accident happened
- take photos of your injuries, if they are visible.
Horse riding accidents on the road - Claiming compensation
The British Horse Society estimates that there are around 3,000 road traffic accidents involving horses in the UK each year. Such accidents injure riders, horses and drivers, in addition to vehicle damage.
Most horse riding accidents on the roads occur in the countryside, on minor roads or at junctions, where drivers have failed to notice or leave enough room for a horse and its rider.
Accidents can also occur because a horse reacted unpredictably to a horn beep or the rider failed to wear high-visibility clothing.
If you have been injured while riding a horse, due to the negligence of a road user or other party, you should be able to claim compensation.
What are the responsibilities of motorists and horse riders?
Motorists and horse riders are responsible for each other's safety. This responsibility comes under the common law duty of care' which dictates that all people using the highway do what is reasonably expected to avoid causing harm to other road users.
If a road traffic accident between a motorist and a horse rider does occur, which results in personal injury, either or both parties could be held negligible. Apportioning negligence will depend on whether one or both parties were at fault.
The Courts will consider: "Were the parties' actions directly to blame for the accident? Could the accident have been avoided if due care was taken?
What are the rules for motorists?
Drivers are required to adhere to the general rules of road use, as set out in sections 159 to 161 of the Highway Code. They are required to:
- Check mirrors, blind spots and signal correctly at all times (159, 161)
- Keep to the left (unless markings say differently) (160)
- Drive with both handles on the wheel where possible (160)
- Be aware of other road users (including horse riders), and give them plenty of room (160)
In addition to this, the British Horse Society also gives clear guidance to motorists on how to act when horses are on the road. This includes:
- Leaving plenty of room between the vehicle and the horse
- Not revving the engine or beeping the horn
- Slowing down and waiting until it is possible to pass widely and slowly
What are the rules for horse riders?
Horse riders have a right to use the road. Often it is their only means of accessing bridleways or other off-road amenities.
Sections 49 to 55 of the Highway Code give specific advice to horse riders using the roads. This includes wearing the correct safety equipment, including helmet, hard sole shoes and fluorescent or reflective clothing (with bands for the horse).
They are also required to:
- Ensure all tack fits correctly and they can control the horse (52)
- Look behind and give a clear arm signal before turning or riding off (53)
- Keep to the left (53) Move in the direction of the traffic flow in a one way street (53)
- Never ride more than two abreast (53)
- Keep both hands on the reigns unless signalling and both feet in the stirrups (53)
- Avoid roundabouts where possible. If using, stay to the left and watch for vehicles. Signal correctly to exit.
Do I qualify for horse riding injury compensation?
If you've been injured or made ill in the last three years and it wasn't your fault, then you will be entitled to claim compensation for horse riding injury.
Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.
What if the accident was partly my fault?
Attributing blame for an accident isn't always clear-cut.
In our 2023 Public Liability Injury Claimant Survey, we found that 17.45% of respondents felt they had at least some responsibility for the injuries they sustained.
Even if you partly caused the accident or your injuries (refered to as 'contributory negligence'), you may still be entitled to make a claim. These claims can often be settled on the basis of a split liability agreement.
How long do I have to claim horse riding injury compensation?
For most injury claims, you have up to 3 years from the date of your injury to start the claims process.
The 3 year limitation period does not apply to minors (under 18s). A parent, guardian or litigation friend can start a claim on a child's behalf up to their 18th birthday and the child has until their 21st birthday to claim for themselves.
How will a claim help me?
You should choose a solicitor who has a solid understanding of the law and horse riding injury claims and how this affects your claim. One who knows what evidence is needed and how to get it. Your solicitor will have many years of experience of just these types of claim. We have detailed knowledge of the regulations involved and how employers and companies should adhere to them.
How Quittance's panel of solicitors differ:
- Smaller caseloads - greater chance of success - The solicitors handle smaller caseloads than many firms meaning we spend more time on your individual case. The more time we spend on a case, the greater the chance of success.
- Specialists, not generalists - Here at Quittance, we live and breathe Personal Injury work. We do not take on any other type of legal work meaning we are specialised an fully focussed on your case.
- We empathise - Because Personal Injury is all we do, we understand things from your perspective as a claimant and show a caring and are always highly considerate in our approach to you and your case.
- Communication - Help is always at hand and a regular update is provided every 28 days so you are fully in the picture at each stage of your case. Of course if anything happens in the interim we will contact you and you can contact us at any stage.
- Clarity - Making a claim can be a confusing process. Your solicitors will explain the process for your claim at each and every step of your case in a clear and jargon free manner.
How much compensation can I claim for a horse riding injury?
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
Horse riding injury
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Updated December 2023
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General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred because of your accident. In addition to paying compensation for lost earnings, bonuses and overtime, damage to clothing and equipment , special damages can cover any care costs and medical procedures you need, such as diagnostic imaging tests, physiotherapy and pain management.
Can I claim compensation for a psychological injury?
If you have experienced psychological issues in addition to physical symptoms, you are not alone.
Our 2023 Public Place Injury Claimant Survey reveals the extent of psychological trauma, with 29.03% of claims involving a psychological injury, 70.97% of which related to a physical injury.
Your solicitor will help ensure that any psychological harm you have suffered as the result of another party's negligence is recognised and included in the calculation of your compensation award or settlement. In addition, you can also claim for mental health treatment costs that may not be readily available on the NHS.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
The process for a horse riding injury claim depends the circumstances of the accident. To learn more, click the icons below:
How we can help you with your injury claim
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.