Equestrian and Horse Riding Accidents in Georgia


June 06, 2011

Few people other than dedicated horse enthusiasts gave much thought to the notion of suffering catastrophic injuries resulting in paralysis in a horse riding accident until the serious horse jumping accident involving Christopher Reeves a number of years ago.

Considered to be a fun and relaxing activity, as well as a professional sporting past time, horseback riding has been enjoyed by all different types of people for years. While certain types of sporting activities including competitive hunter-jumper competitions, three-day eventing, cross-country and endurance riding involve a higher degree of risk, horses that are considered “bomb proof” (a serious misnomer) can be unpredictable animals even on a leisurely trail ride. A few facts make clear that being involved in an equestrian accident is far more common than the typical person realizes.

  • Every year about 15 million people in the U.S. ride horses.
  • Visits to emergency rooms for horse riding-related accidents number about 75,000 a year.
  • Approximately 20 percent of horse riding accidents involve a rider being thrown from the horse.
  • The most common horse-related injuries are head injuries.
  • Injuries can involve being kicked, bitten or thrown from the horse.

Many people do not actually own their own horse but take instruction at a local barn using the barn's horses or some just go out on recreational trail rides now and again. Other people are hurt while testing a horse or taking a horse on trial during a potential horse purchase. Accidents can occur due to unsafe conditions, improper instruction, poor match of a horse to a rider’s ability or lack of safety equipment.

The types of injuries that can be sustained during an equestrian accident can be catastrophic and life changing, as the Christopher Reeves riding accident reveals. Injuries like spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and serious orthopedic injuries are far too common. If you are injured while riding horses, it is important to speak with an experienced equestrian accident attorney that has knowledge and understanding of industry practices, inherent risks, and liability rules associated with horse riding accidents.

If the horse that you were on was one that is owned by a training stable, dude ranch, or tour company, the owners or employees may be responsible for your injuries. They could be responsible for equipment failing, not supplying you with proper safety gear, not providing proper riding instruction, placing you on a horse beyond your ability level or other negligence. The accident may not be your fault, which may mean that you are entitled to compensation for your injuries or loss of a loved one.

As a horseback rider, it is important to be pro-active and try and protect yourself from harm. Our dedicated and committed equine accident lawyers offer some safety tips:

  • Make sure before you go out riding to get proper riding instruction from a professional instructor.
  • Wear proper safety gear, especially a helmet.
  • Check that your girth is tight and that all your tack is properly maintained and adjusted for you.
  • Do not ride alone. Ride with a buddy and know where you are going.

Proving liability in an equine accident case can be challenging. Our law firm will carefully evaluate your equestrian accident and advise you of your rights to compensation. A death due to a horse-related accident may result in a wrongful death lawsuit. You may be entitled to compensation for third-party negligence if you or a loved one were injured or killed in a horse riding accident.

Our experienced Georgia horse accident attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Posted by David Montlick

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied up as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.