A few days ago I attended a horse riding lesson, I was not really sure how to handle my horse and was subsequently thrown off, suffering severe bruising to my lower back. Am I eligible to make a compensation claim for a horse riding accident?
The riding school has a duty of care to all its customers and to claim for a horse riding accident you must prove that the riding school was negligent with regard to your safety. Before you mounted your horse a proper assessment of your riding abilities should have been carried out, a trained assistant should have been provided and the school were obliged to give you protective equipment such as a back protector and riding boots.
If the riding school failed to provide any of the above, they may have been negligent and you may be entitled to claim for a horse riding accident. In the aftermath of the accident you are advised to visit your GP or a doctor to assess your injury, the details of the injury you sustained will be noted in your medical record which you can use to substantiate your claim for a horse riding accident.
It is recommended that you also take photographs of the horse that caused your injury and obtain contact details of anybody who witnessed the accident. You should also make note of the incident in the riding school’s ‘Accident Report Book’.
You may be contacted by the riding school or their insurers soon after with an early offer of compensation, this should be welcomed as it means the riding school accepts liability for your injury. However, it is imperative you refer any such offer to a personal injury solicitor as there is a substantial risk you will be undercompensated for your injury if you accept an early offer of compensation for your claim for an accident that occurred while horse riding.
The full value of your compensation claim is not yet known and you do not want to put yourself or your family in a precarious financial position in the future. Your solicitor will be able to evaluate your claim and advise you on whether you should accept the offer of compensation. If you choose not to, your solicitor will be able to enter into negotiations with the insurance company as their early offer of compensation will have demonstrated that they admit liability for your injuries.