Horseback riding is a popular recreational activity for many people in the Washington D.C. area. Farms and horse riding centers in the District, Maryland, and Virginia provides horseback riding opportunities for everyone from seasoned riders to children going for their first ride on a horse. While horses are intelligent animals, they are also very powerful. A fall from a horse can lead to serious injuries for the rider and bystanders.
Horses are strong and majestic animals. Children and adults alike find horses fascinating, watching them in a horse race, galloping across a polo field, or trotting along alone in a paddock. However, horses and their riders can be unpredictable. Combined with their large size and strength, equine accidents can lead to serious injury for riders and bystanders alike.
Horseback Riding Accidents
There are many horseback riding activities available, including western riding, dressage, hunter, show jumping, rodeo, polo, guided horseback riding tours, harness racing, and pony rides. Riding through the woods, jumping, or playing polo at a full gallop can be more dangerous than a simple pony ride. However, no matter what type of activity a rider is engaged in, a fall can be dangerous. Even experienced riders who have ridden horses for years can suffer a dangerous fall.
The height of a horse and the dynamics of a fall from a horse are the reasons why a fall can be so dangerous. A fall from a horse generally results in the rider landing on their head, neck, or back. Even when the horse is stopped, a fall can cause serious injury. Riders are often unable to brace for impact or get a chance to land on their feet. This leaves them vulnerable to head trauma or spinal injuries.
In some cases, a rider falling from a horse may have their foot caught in the stirrups, causing them to be dragged on the ground. When a horse is moving and the rider falls, they may face the additional hazard of a trampling horse.Horses weigh hundreds of pounds, and a horse hoof landing on a person can cause serious damage. This includes internal injuries, head trauma, and can lead to death.
Accidents Involving Another Rider
Individuals can also be injured as a bystander. This may occur when watching others ride horses, or petting or feeding a horse. If the horse is being ridden by an inexperienced rider, they may direct the horse into the path of another person, striking them or causing them to fall down. This can lead to falling injuries or trampling injuries. Even stopping on a person's foot can cause permanent damage to the bones and nerves in their feet.
A horse with no rider can also be dangerous. The horse may get spooked or gallop away. Without a rider to direct the horse or make them stop, a runaway horse can trample someone or knock them to the ground. Children may be more susceptible to such injuries because of their size and natural curiosity about animals.
Equine Accident Lawsuits
After an accident involving a horse, the injured individual may not know where to turn. Injuries can leave them with permanent damage, scarring, or brain damage. They may have to seek emergency treatment, hospitalization, surgery, and continuing medical care. This can result in expensive medical bills, lost wages, in addition to pain and suffering. However, they may be able to seek compensation for their injuries from the person or company responsible.
The horse owner, farm, or trainer may try and place the blame on the injured victim. However, if the owner or another rider acted negligently, causing the individual to suffer an injury, they may be liable for the damages. Your attorney can investigate your claim, and have experts testify as to the cause of the accident and extent of the injuries. You should not have to suffer because of someone else's negligence.
DC Equine Accident Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in a horseback riding accident or injured by a trampling accident, the law firm of Gilman & Bedigian may be able to help. In some cases, the owner of the horse may be responsible for the accident, in other cases, another rider may be responsible for causing the injuries. Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with equine accident cases against individuals and companies throughout the D.C. Metro Area. We will fight for your rights to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.