We often times get calls from individuals who have been hurt while riding their horse. The main question is usually how these cases are handled and whether there is liability and the likelihood of recovery. Horse riding accidents involving vehicles, tractors or trucks can cause devastating injuries. Know your rights. For more information on horseback riding accident see here.
Common Injuries: Anytime there is a motor vehicle accident there can be serious injuries. Particularly if the accident involves a animal v. auto accident. In such cases the rider is often not properly protected, in fact they have many exposed areas, which will suffer most of the impact. When you have a collision between a horse and a automobile, it is likely that rider will suffer some degree of serious injuries.
Common injuries differ depending on the type of impact and the vehicle responsible. Generally if the accident was caused by a trailer, tractor or large vehicle the injuries can be more serious. Additionally, speed of both parties can be contributing factor. Common injuries include:
Traumatic brain injuries if the rider was not wearing a helmet;
Significant wrist injuries;
Herniated discs in the lumbar or cervical area of the back;
Shoulder injuries, including separation;
Ocular injuries; and
Who Can Be Held Liable: Liability will depend on how the accident happened. If you were run over, or side swiped liability will be clear, and the at fault party will be liable. But happens in cases which are not so clear? Generally, you will need to get a copy of the police report to identify how the accident happened. If you are put at fault by the police report do not be alarmed. Police reports are not always accurate and NOT admissible in the court of law.
A case can still be pursued even if you were partially at fault. However, this will depend on the extent of your injuries. California is a contributory negligent state, which means that you can recover based on your portion of fault. Make sure to take photos and get a police report to help in the reconstruction of the accident.
Steps to Take: After an accident there are certain steps you should take in order to ensure that your case is handled and won. Here are some tips with regards to steps you should take after a horseback riding accident.
First, make sure you are ok and that proper medical attention is provided. Never attempt to self diagnose your injuries as this can be dangerous. Always get checked out. Second, get a police report. Often times police will not respond to the scene of an accident unless someone was injured. If the police do not respond make sure you get all the necessary information for the at fault party. This includes drivers license number, make and model of the vehicle and the insurance information for the at fault party. Finally, speak with an attorney if you feel you need representation. Never attempt to negotiate your claim alone.
What About My Horse: Finally, the question which is always asked is “what about my horse”? In the eyes of the law any animal is regarded as personal property. This will allow you recovery for any surgeries or the overall loss of your property. Make sure you get your horse checked out in order to know whether there are any long term injuries. Should you have any questions feel free to call our office.