Australia is home to a range of famous equestrians, such as the late Lawrence Morgan, who won gold at the Rome Olympics or Matthew Ryan a triple gold medalist. It is no surprise then that horse riding is one of Australia’s favourite past times.
However, like all sports, horse riding can be dangerous, with a large number of people seeking a compensation lawyer after sustaining injuries.
Australian trauma specialist Dr Bruce Paix published a highly-cited article in 1999, which claimed horse-riding sports events were more dangerous than motorcycle or car racing. With The Conversation stating that globally there were 70 documented rider deaths between 1993 and 2015, there is cause for concern.
While racing events are dangerous, riding horses can also lead to injuries, as a recent case has shown. However, it also highlights that the circumstances of the injury can allow a horse rider to seek compensation under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999.
Startled horse throws rider into compensation case
In 2011, the plaintiff was riding his horse beside the carriageway of Cooramin Street, Cartwrights Hill. During the ride, a car driven by the second defendant and owned by the first, startled the horse. As a result, the plaintiff was thrown from its back onto the curbing and guttering.
The accident left the plaintiff in a lot of pain and he was taken to the Wagga Wagga Hospital. He sustained a number of injuries, including:
As a result of the injuries, he was placed in an induced coma for three days and underwent intensive rehabilitation for 20 more.
The plaintiff claims the defendant was negligent in her actions and directly led to the accident, which left the plaintiff sprawled over the curb. The court found the defendant was negligent as she was travelling over the speed limit and failed to slow down when she caught sight of the plaintiff on his horse. As a result, the plaintiff was awarded nearly $340,000 in damages and compensation.
The case is important as the court found that the incident fell under the definition of a motor accident as the Act defines it. For those that have been injured while riding near a road, you may be able to seek compensation through the Act. If you would like to know more, contact a lawyer at Gerard Malouf and Partners today.