Horse Riding Injury
Florida has a rich heritage in agrarian ways of life, especially in northern and central Florida. Despite its largely urban landscape, South Florida is no exception with several towns and cities that still nurture a rural lifestyle. The most notable examples are Southwest Ranches, Davie, and Weston in Broward county and Wellington, Loxahatchee, The Acreage, Jupiter Farms and many more in Palm Beach county. There are many positives to living a rural area. There is a slower pace of living, less traffic congestion and properties large enough to own horses and other rural animals. Horseback riding is a very popular sport across the United States, and Florida is no exception. As much fun as it may be, riding on the back of an animal is inherently dangerous and requires that a proper degree of care is maintained to ensure the safety of all parties involved. The South Florida personal injury attorneys at The Ansara Law Firm have been advocating for victims of many types of accidents, including equestrian liability. If you have recently been injured while riding a horse, please call our attorneys immediately to discuss your legal options.
In more rural communities in Florida, many people with horses operate businesses that revolve around allowing customers to ride their animals for a fee and require them to sign a waiver. Although waivers typically exonerate the owner of the stable from liability of injury by customers, they can still be held accountable if they are found to have acted negligently. Negligence is defined by the State as the failure to exhibit a necessary degree of care when performing a certain task that a reasonable person would have exhibited otherwise. Equestrian liability is closely related to premise liability, as the owner must ensure that his business is being operated in a safe and secure environment. For example, if someone has a business in which they allow customers to ride horses through their property, the trails must be clearly marked and have any necessary signage to ensure the safety of the parties involved.
Horses have been domesticated for years and are typically very docile animals, however it should not be overlooked that they are 2,000 pound wild animals who can easily overpower a human. Horses can be unpredictable and cause a great deal of harm to people even in the most secure possible environment. That’s why Florida and 31 other states passed a version of the Equine Immunity Act which limits the scope of liability for horse owners. This piece of legislation recognizes the inherent risks that come along with horse-related activities. As mentioned above, horses are very powerful and they can be dangerous. Those who choose to participate in equestrian activities must understand that such behavior is inherently risky. The limit of liability only pertains to equestrian activity providers who have made their customers sign a waiver stating that they understand the inherent risks and agree to act in a manner that would reduce these risks.
The biggest exception to waiver of liability in this statute comes into play when a horse activity provider pairs an inexperienced rider with a horse that requires more experience to be able to handle properly. If the inexperienced rider is to spook the horse, causing it to kick or buck, then the owner could be held liable for the victim's injury for pairing an inexperienced rider with a horse that requires a higher degree of care than others. Common types of injuries sustained from equestrian activities include:
- Head and brain injuries
- Wrist injuries
- Injuries from being kicked
- Broken bones
Injuries are a physically painful and financially difficult burden to bear alone. If you were recently injured from riding a horse and feel as though the equestrian activity provider did not provide a safe and secure setting, call The Ansara Law Firm today to discuss your legal options. You could be entitled to compensation for the following damages:
- Lost Wages: If injuries sustained from a car accident has prevented you from doing your job for any period of time, you deserve to be compensated by the driver whose negligence caused your injuries.
- Loss of Consortium: If a family member or loved one lost their life in a car accident caused by the negligence of another, then that driver is responsible for compensating you for your loss.
- Pain and Suffering: If your injuries sustained from a car accident that was caused by a negligent or reckless driver cause you to be in pain, then compensation may be awarded based on your pain and suffering.
- Medical Expenses: If your injuries sustained from a car accident cost you a substantial amount in medical expenses, then you are entitled to compensation.
- Loss of Propensity to Earn Income: If injuries sustained from a car accident are serious enough to prevent you from working and earning income, then the negligent party will be responsible to compensate you for any income that you would have otherwise been able to earn.
- Emotional Trauma: If a car accident causes you emotional trauma then you could be entitled to compensation.
- Property Damage: The party responsible for the accident is also responsible to cover any damages to the other vehicles involved.
If you or a loved one were recently injured in a horse-related accident, call the South Florida personal injury lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm at (954) 761-4011 for a free consultation.