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A Guide To Horse Riding Accident Claims

By Jade McCoy. Last Updated 25th June 2024. In this guide, we will take a look at horse riding accident claims in greater length. Make no mistake, horse riding is one of the most dangerous sports that UK citizens can be involved in, whether you’re taking riding lessons or are a seasoned equestrian.

Despite the relatively low numbers of people who participate in the sport, equestrian accidents are quite common. You will find a guide to claiming personal injury compensation following a horse or riding accident on this page.

If you still have questions for us about how to claim after finishing this guide, or if you’d like to speak with someone about starting your horse riding accident claims, you can get in touch with us by calling 0800 073 8804.

The back shot of a person riding a horse in the woods.

Select a section:

What Is A Horse Riding Accident Injury?

For people involved in the sport of horse riding, a horse riding injury is something that most will suffer at one time or another, and in some extreme cases following horse accidents, fatal results are the outcome. There are many ways that a horseback riding injury can be caused, and below are the most common:

  • An injury caused by the horse itself, for example, a bite or a kick, or the horse throwing its rider.
  • Being injured at work, whilst performing an equine-related job role such as a groom, instructor, or working in a livery yard.
  • Injuries caused by unsafe or badly maintained horse riding equipment such as a saddle, the reins, or girth.
  • Any injuries that are the result of a horse and rider being involved in a road traffic accident.
  • Horse riders are being given an unsuitable horse to their riding skill level, or an unpredictable horse, which leads to them being thrown whilst riding.
  • Suffering an injury due to an instructor’s bad advice or negligence or other person working in a supervisory capacity.
  • Injuries caused by a fall from a horse due to riding on an unsuitable surface.
  • Competitive horse events, that result in a rider taking a spill and sustaining an injury.

These are the most common ways that horse riders and people working with horses sustain an injury.

To find out more about horse riding accident claims and the accidents that can lead to them, please read on.

How dangerous is horseback riding?

Horse riding accidents can cause serious injury due to the height that riders fall if thrown from their horse. Although it’s hard to quantify the risk exactly, horse riding injuries can include broken bones, paralysis or even death. 

Do I Have A Claim For A Horse Riding Accident?

In order for you to be able to pursue a case for personal injury compensation due to a horse riding injury, then certain situations regarding the accident that caused the injury must be true:

  • The accident must have been the fault of a third-party. If you were the sole cause of the accident, you would not be able to claim compensation.
  • Can you prove that the accident was the fault of a third-party? Even if it was, if you can’t prove it, then it is unlikely you will be able to claim compensation successfully.
  • Did the accident happen within the last three years? Generally, horse riding accident claims will not be entertained for injuries that were sustained longer than three years previously.

If your own situation fits within these restrictions, then you should contact us to find out how we can help you claim compensation for the horse riding injury you have sustained.

Can I Claim If A Horse Has Caused A Car Accident?

Yes, a horse is a road user just as a car, bicycle or motorcycle is. Therefore, it is bound by road traffic laws (with a few slight differences) that apply to all road users.

If a horse is the cause of a road traffic accident, then the process for claiming against the rider is the same as if the rider were actually driving a car or other motorised vehicle.

However, extenuating circumstances may contribute to the horse causing an accident, such as it being spooked by an additional third-party. Therefore, the process of claiming compensation might be a little less clear cut than, for example, claiming against a car driver who can be proven to be wholly at fault for causing the accident.

For more information on horse riding accident claims and when a claim can be made, please read on to our next section.

What To Do If You Are Involved In A Horse Riding Accident Causing Injury

If you are involved in a horse riding accident, especially if it had serious consequences such as a horse riding accident death, then you must do everything you can to ensure you have the best chance possible of successfully claiming compensation. Some of the things you can do towards this goal are:

  • Take plenty of photos – of the accident itself and anything that contributed to the accident such as badly obstructed road signs, or uneven surfaces.
  • Get the details of everyone involved – this means every party that was affected by the accident, whether they caused it or not. It also means any witnesses to the accident that may be able to support your compensation claim if it comes to a court decision.
  • Document losses – both financial and extraordinary. These losses will be claimed as part of the special damages attached to the claim.

By following simple advice like the items listed above, you will have a much better chance of winning your claim for compensation following a horse or riding accident.

If you have questions about the horse riding accident claims process, then our next section will be of help to you so please read on.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Horse Riding Accident?

The amount of compensation you could potentially receive if your horse riding injury claim is successful depends on how you have been affected. These effects can sometimes be divided into two heads of claim, known as general damages and special damages.

General damage is the head of claim which is always awarded when a claim is successful. This provides compensation for how you have suffered emotionally and physically from a horse riding accident. Such factors that are taken into consideration under this head of claim include:

  • Pain severity.
  • Loss of amenity.
  • The prognosis and recovery time.

You may attend an independent medical examination during the claims process. The reports from this examination can be referred to with the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help value this head of claim.

The JCG has different guideline compensation amounts for a variety of mental and physical injuries.

Guideline Compensation Table

In the table we have provided below, there are some injuries that might be suffered following a horse riding accident. We have taken the guideline compensation amounts for each injury from the JCG (except for the top amount, which is our own).

Please bear in mind that the amount of compensation that could be awarded for your specific horse riding accident claim may vary from the values in the JCG. This is because all claims have unique circumstances, so no set value can be guaranteed at this stage.

More than one serious injury with special damagesSeriousUp to £500,000+
Brain damageVery severe (a)£344,150 to £493,000
Less severe (d)£18,500 to £52,550
BackSevere (a) (i)£111,150 to £196,450
Moderate (b) (i)£33,880 to £47,320
NeckSevere (a) (i)In the region of £181,020
Moderate (b) (i)£30,500 to £46,970
ShoulderSevere (a)£23,430 to £58,610
Moderate (b)£9,630 to £15,580

Special Damages

Special damages is the head of claim which is occasionally awarded when a claim is successful. This provides compensation for how you have suffered financially from a horse riding accident. Such costs that can be reimbursed under this head of claim include:

  • Medical costs to cover the initial medical treatment and therapy during recuperation.
  • Travel costs for any out of pocket travel expenses incurred due to the injury or the compensation claim.
  • Either care in the home or institutionalised care costs.

As we have mentioned, you might not receive this head of claim, even if your claim is successful. So, gathering evidence to prove your financial losses, such as payslips and invoices, can greatly benefit you.

For more information on how a horse riding compensation claim is valued, please speak to our team.

No Win No Fee Horse Riding Injury Claims

If you have been involved in a horse or riding accident in the last three years, that resulted in a personal injury, you may be able to claim compensation. However, if you choose to manage the claim yourself, it could be costly.

We offer representation on a No Win No Fee basis for horse riding accident claims, which provides a way for you to claim horse riding accident compensation without paying anything unless your claim is successful.

Only once we have our own compensation on your behalf, will we ask you to pay a fee. And if we don’t win you a compensation payout, then you don’t pay us a thing. Call us today to begin your No Win No Fee horse riding claim.

Why Choose Us As Your Claims Service For A Horse Riding Injury Claim?

As a major compensation claims service provider, we have the knowledge and experience to ensure that you have the best chance of receiving the highest compensation payout possible.

We do everything we legally can to ensure that you win your personal injury claim, and will always act in your best interests at all times. We pride ourselves on the fact we build close relationships with our customers and keep them updated on the status of their claim at all times, using plain English, not legal jargon.

So, for a helpful and friendly claims service with knowledge of horse riding accident claims, get in touch with us today.

Have you suffered a personal injury due to a horse riding accident in the last three years? Do you believe that you may have a valid reason to claim compensation?

If the answer is yes to both of these questions, please contact us on 0800 073 8804 and arrange a free legal session to talk about your possible claim. We will tell you if we think you have a good reason to make a compensation claim and if we think you could successfully claim damages against the party that caused the accident.

If you would rather not call us on the telephone, you can use the chat feature available on this page or send us an email. We can contact you back to discuss horse riding accident claims and get the ball rolling on your claim.

Useful Links

Government Riding Establishments Act 1964

The official Government published a website that details the Riding Establishments Act 1964 in full.

HSE Health and safety with horses

A resource published by the Health & Safety Executive that provides top-level H&S guidelines for working with horses. The page links out to more detailed information provided by H&SE.

Horse Rider Safety

A page by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents advises horse riders for training and safety equipment considerations.

Think! Horses Pass horses wide and slow

A UK Government resource gives information for horse riders and road users encountering a horse on the road.

NI Direct Horse safety on the road

A further UK Government resource gives in-depth road safety information and advice for both horse riders and other road users.

ROSPA Horse Riders Advice And Information

A downloadable PDF published by RoSPA that gives very detailed safety advice and information for horse riders who use public roads.

Tractor Accident Claims

See if you could be owed compensation.

Click here to read our guide to whiplash accident claims or head here to check out our guide to head injury claims. 


Horse Riding Accident Claims FAQ

Can you sue for falling off a horse?

In short, you could have grounds to make a claim if a negligent third party causes the accident.

What injuries can you get from horse riding?

Some various injuries and traumas can be the direct cause of a horse-riding accident. For instance, if you are involved in a horse-riding accident, you could suffer:

  • Sprains.
  • Strains.
  • Fractures.
  • Head traumas.
  • Elbow injuries.
  • Back injuries.
  • Neck injuries.

What happens if a family member dies after a horse riding accident?

In severe cases, a horse-riding accident could result in death. It’s possible to pursue a claim on the deceased’s behalf.

How are injury claims calculated?

Compensation for personal injury claims is calculated using the extent of the claimant’s suffering. Typically, this comes from a medical evaluation with an independent expert, identifying the exact impact of the accident.

What is fair compensation for pain and suffering?

As personal injury claims focus on the extent of the claimant’s suffering, every payout is different. To get an accurate estimate of how much you could be entitled to, please get in touch for a free consultation today.

Can I make a personal injury claim myself?

Technically, you could make a personal injury claim yourself. However, lawyers can increase claims’ chances of success and maximise the payout.

How can a No Win No Fee agreement help me?

No Win No Fee agreements allow claimants to make legal proceedings without paying out of pocket for solicitors’ fees. That’s because there are no upfront costs and you only pay if they win compensation for you. This ‘success fee’ also has a legal cap, so you don’t lose out for your successful horse riding accident claims.

Where can I find a No Win No Fee solicitor?

A personal injury solicitor from our panel will always offer to work on a No Win No Fee basis. Therefore, you don’t have to look any further in your search for a specialist solicitor.

Thank you for taking the time to read our guide on horse riding accident claims.

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    Meet The Team

    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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