While most residents of Philadelphia think of horseback riding as an activity that may have filled the city streets at the time of the revolution, many still ride horses for sport or recreation. In fact, there are a number of horseback riding trails around Philadelphia, including right through Fairmount Park. Horseback riding is a great way to connect with the natural world; however, just like any other recreational activity, accidents can happen. If you have been injured in an horse-related accident, talk to an experienced Philadelphia equine accident attorney.
Equine Accidents Background
Many people may be surprised to learn that in the heart of Fairmount Park is an equestrian center which allows visitors to take group riding lessons, arrange for private horseback riding lessons, or participate in a kids' summer riding camp. In the surrounding area, there are other private and public equestrian centers and stables where experienced and novice riders can take lessons or simply ride for fun.
Horses are large and powerful animals. Unfortunately, when a horse and rider are involved in an accident, the rider may suffer serious injuries. When a horse is spooked, injured, or stops at a perceived threat, the rider may be thrown from the horse, suffering a dangerous fall. Even bystanders can be injured if they spook an animal from behind or end up in the path of a galloping horse. Equine accidents can result in minor injuries, or land the rider in the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
With the number of horseback riding activities, each one has the chance for a unique set of dangers. Activities like hunger or show jumping involve horses leaping over barriers or obstacles at speed. If a horse hits the barrier, stops short of the jump, or resists the riders directions, the rider can be thrown forward, often landing on their head or neck. Head and neck injuries are some of the most dangerous equine accidents. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of injury; however, these injuries may cause ongoing complications, including possible paralysis.
Rodeo, western riding, and polo often involve galloping at speed. While the rider feels exhilaration during the ride, an accident can result in the rider being thrown from the horse, or falling from the saddle. In addition to a dangerous fall, riders can become entangled in the stirrups and dragged, putting them in the path of their horses galloping feet. A fall could also land them in the path of other horses who may trample the rider if they do not have time to stop or avoid the fallen rider.
Even lower speed riding, including pony rides, guided horseback rides, or dressage may result in a fall or trampling accident. Horses are heavy animals with a significant level of force put out under each of their four hooves. If a horse steps on a person, they can cause broken bones and internal injuries, even if they are standing still. A step or kick to a rider's head can cause facial trauma, eye injury, or a traumatic brain injury.
Even bystanders can be injured in an equine accident. When an untrained horse is loose, a horse gets spooked or is injured, the horse may kick or gallop away. Anyone in the way of the horse or their kicking legs can be injured or knocked down. Children may be especially susceptible to these types of injuries. Children are smaller and they may stand at the height of a kicking hoof. Children may also be more curious about horses and unaware of how they should act around animals.
Equine Accident Lawsuits
Horse-related accidents can cause serious injuries. Injury victims may be left with expensive medical bills, scarring, permanent damage, or brain damage. This can require ongoing treatment, lost wages, and possible disability. If a horse owner, trainer, stable owner, or other rider was responsible for the accident, they should be held liable for the damages. Talk to your attorney about getting compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Equine Accident Injury Attorneys in Philadelphia
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 Philadelphia area. We will fight for your rights to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.