Riding Accident on the Road Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a horse riding accident we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a horse riding accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

In our guide to claiming riding accident on the road compensation:


The British Horse Society estimates that there are around 3,000 road traffic accidents involving horses in the UK each year. Such accidents not only damage vehicles but also lead to injury in motorists, riders and horses.

Most horse riding accidents on the roads occur in the countryside, on minor roads or at junctions, where drivers have failed to notice the 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 both parties

Both motorists and horse riders are responsible for each other's safety. This responsibility comes under the common law duty of care' which dictates that 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 have a riding accident on the road claim?

It should be possible to make a riding accident on the road claim if your injury happened:

  • in the last three years, and;
  • someone else was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
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Do I have a claim? - Common questions

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a riding accident on the road claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

What if I can't prove who caused the riding accident on the road?

Your solicitor will work on your behalf to assess your riding accident on the road claim and gather evidence. They will identify the party responsible for your accident.

How much compensation can I claim for a riding accident on the road?

The amount of money you could claim for your riding accident on the road will depend on:

  • the extent 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 riding accident on the road has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

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

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after a riding accident on the road? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.

The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.

For example:

General damages for a severe head injury can be £34,000

For a more minor arm injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £4,000.

However, if you have a severe head injury and a more minor arm injury, you would typically receive £34,000 + a reduced percentage of £4,000.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.

What is the average injury compensation for a riding accident on the road claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following a riding accident on the road will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your riding accident on the road compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

Can I see the complete judicial college tables?

The table above (excerpted from the Judicial College Tables) shows the most common riding accident on the road claims. To see the complete list see: Judicial College Injury Tables.

Calculate my riding accident on the road compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a riding accident on the road injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your riding accident on the road claim could be worth now:

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How long does a horse-riding injury claim take?

How long it can take to settle a horse-riding accident claim can vary considerably.

For instance, a straightforward uncontested occupiers liability claim could be settled in a few weeks. If liability is denied, however, a compensation claim can take longer. Typically, an occupiers liability claim will take 6 to 9 months. For more information, see: How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your riding accident on the road claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

No win, no fee

Under a no win, no fee agreement (known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') you can make a riding accident on the road claim without the worry of upfront legal fees. If your riding accident on the road claim is unsuccessful you won't have to pay any money to your solicitor.

Our no win, no fee guarantee

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is no financial risk in making a riding accident on the road claim, even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my riding accident on the road claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, only after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my riding accident on the road claim?

If your riding accident on the road claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Is there a penalty if I withdraw?

Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.

How can Quittance help?

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.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:

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Riding accident on the road FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a riding accident on the road claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the riding accident on the road to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your riding accident on the road claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a riding accident on the road after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim riding accident on the road compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a riding accident on the road claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor