Equestrian enthusiasts such as livery yards, riding schools, and riders have all been warned against no win no fee claims, with one legal firm stating that proper liability insurance must be in place to avoid costly personal injury compensation claims.
One accident solicitor has recently remarked that it has been getting a steady stream of calls every day in the wake of advertising on Facebook recently, with one representative from the law firm stating that riding cases are indistinguishable form other kinds of injury claims, as negligence principles are the same. The number of equestrian claims has gone up over the past decade, the solicitor representative added, but attributed it less to a change in mentality and more to an increased number of riding enthusiasts.
The firm has represented several riders who were injured, such as one who had fallen from their horse and sustained injuries when a large HGV passed them at speed. Another rider made a successful claim against the owner of her mount as a horse whipped around, breaking her arm – she prevailed at court because she had not been warned about the horse’s behaviour.
South Essex Insurance Brokers representative David Buckton warned both businesses and riders to take steps to ensure they were prepared, stating that no win no fee claims are everywhere. Taking steps to secure the proper paperwork in order and making sure liability insurance is in place is a crucial step to safeguard against someone making a claim, Mr Buckton also said.
The Association of British Riding Schools also weighed in on the issue, adding that riding schools need to undertake risk assessments regularly and have comprehensive paperwork, according to Julian Marczak, the association’s representative. Courts will routinely ignore good work if not recorded, Mr Marczak cautioned, urging proprietors to document everything exhaustively and to pick an insurer that has a solid understanding of the sector.