Road horse riding accident claims

Updated: October 8, 2018

Introduction

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.

Whatever the cause, an injured party is entitled to make a claim for compensation if the accident was a result of negligent behaviour on the other side.

Horse-riding on the road
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Do I have a claim for a horse riding road accident?

If you have suffered a horse riding road accident in the last three years (longer if children were involved) and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.

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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?

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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
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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.
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Calculate my horse riding road accident compensation

The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our personal injury compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.

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Road traffic accident claims

Every year almost 200,000* people are injured on Britain's roads. If you have been injured in a road accident that was not your fault, you can claim compensation.

Find out more about claiming compensation for a road accident: Read more about road accident claims

*Source: Official Department of Transport statistics (gov.uk)

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Our national network of solicitors help injured people with all types of personal injury claims, including fast track, complex and serious injury claims. Our lawyers are chosen for their track record in recovering compensation and their knowledge and expertise.

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Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Emma Bell Employers and Public Liability Panel Solicitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex Injury Claims Panel Solicitor
Jonathan Speight, Senior litigator

About the author

Jonathan has over 30 years' experience in the personal injury sector and has been awarded the rank of Senior Litigator by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

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