Owning a horse – three different types of compensation claim

by Tim Bishop on January 15, 2014

I have had an accident whilst riding can I claim compensation?

If you have experienced a horse riding accident, which was caused by someone else’s negligence, then you may be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries. In order to establish a 3rd party’s negligence you must show that the 3rd party owed you a duty of care, which they breached, thus causing you an injury.

In England and Wales there is a standard limit of three years in which a personal injury claim must be made. If legal proceedings are not started within these three years then you become unable to do so as the case is ‘barred’.

In order to bring an accident compensation claim you should seek the services of a personal injury solicitor, experienced in equine injuries, as soon as possible. Many accident Claire cases are now taken on as no win no fee cases. This means that the solicitor will only take on your case if they feel there is a high chance of success. No win no fee essentially means that the solicitor will not charge you for his/her legal fees if you lose the claim. If you win, the fees will either be deducted from your compensation award or more likely will be claimed from the other side.

A rider has had an accident during a lesson at my riding school, could I be liable for compensation?

As the owner of a riding school you are under a duty of care to those who pay you for lessons or hacks. Your duty of care towards them includes things such as ensuring that the horses you provide are suitable for the level of experience the rider has, and that riders are accompanied by teachers or guides at all times.

However, in order for a successful accident compensation claim to be brought against you, the victim must show that you have breached your duty of care, and that this failure caused their injury. If the accident occurred due to reasons completely out of your control, then it is possible that you may not be liable. Other aspects such as contributory negligence[ i.e. the extent to which the injured party was responsible for their own accident] will also be considered.

As an owner of a riding school you should be in possession of insurance, which should cover you for damages if someone has suffered an injury whilst using your riding school You must be aware however that if your insurance company feels that the incident was caused purely by accident and you were not negligent, they may refuse to pay out.

I believe my vet mistreated my horse – can I claim for compensation for its hurt and suffering?

A vet is under a duty of care to treat animals with the level of reasonable care and skill as would be expected from another member of the same profession. Therefore if you feel that your vet has given your horse sub-standard treatment, you may have a grounds for a claim for veterinary negligence.

In order to show veterinary negligence you must be able to prove that your vet breached his duty of care and because of this breach your horse suffered unnecessary pain and suffering. It may also be the case that in addition to the horse’s suffering you have experienced financial loss, which may include the cost of medical treatment, as a direct result of this breach.

Before commencing proceedings against your vet, you should always seek special legal advice to ensure that you have a case that is worth pursuing.

Tim Bishop is senior partner of Salisbury Solicitors, Bonallack and Bishop, specialists in medical negligence and accident compensation claims. Contact them on 01722 422300 or click here to visit their website.


Tim Bishop

Tim Bishop

Senior Partner at Bonallack and Bishop
Having qualified as a Solicitor in 1986, Tim Bishop is a legal entrepreneur who owns leading law firm Bonallack & Bishop Solicitors. Find out why you should choose Bonallack & Bishop Solicitors: Visit
Tim Bishop

Previous post:

Next post: