Riding horses are popular for sport and for pastime. If you do not have the land or the resources to have your own personal stable, you may be forced to visit one that is owned by another person. What happens if you end up getting injured while at a stable on someone else’s land, can a Decatur, Georgia personal injury attorney help you?
Equine Activities Liability Act
The Equine Activities Liability Act states that any equine, livestock, or llama professionals or activity sponsors cannot be held responsible for death, loss, injury, or damage unless the circumstances fall under subsection “b” of the code.
Subsection “b” of the Georgia code clearly defines that these professionals and sponsors can be held responsible if:
- The person provided the equipment or tack for the activity and they knew or should have been aware that said equipment or tack was faulty. The faultiness of the equipment must be to the extent that it caused injury.
- The person provided the animal(s) and did not make an effort to determine if the participant was able to safely engage in the activity provided by the animal based on the presentation of the participant.
- In reference to livestock, the person supplying the livestock did not make an effort to determine if the livestock would cause harm or if the participant was able to safely engage with said livestock based on the presentation of the participant or the nature of the livestock in question.
- The person owns, rents, leases, or is in lawful possession of land or facilities that had previous knowledge of it being unsafe and a participant is injured while on the premises in which there should have been warning signs clearly visible of the danger but was not posted.
- The person omits any facts that can be considered the disregard of a participant’s safety and the omission caused injury.
- The person intentionally caused harm to the participant.
If you have been injured while interacting with a horse or other livestock, you may be eligible for personal injury compensation under the law. Contact a Georgia personal injury attorney for a free consultation.
Understanding Inherent Risk
When you decide to ride a horse at a stable, there is a general rule that you should know all of the inherent risks of riding on a horse prior to saddling up. The definition of inherent risks are the dangers and conditions that are general knowledge when riding a horse.
The most common inherent risks for horses include:
- The possible temperament being unpredictable. The horse may act in a way that is usual for its nature which could cause injury.
- The unpredictability of how the horse may act when presented with unaccounted for stimuli. This can be something like a wild animal spooking it or other unexpected movements.
- The hazards of the surface being ridden upon. If the surface is uneven it can make for more tossing and movement upon the horse.
- Collisions with another animal.
- The rider being negligent because they do not know how to ride the animal and chose to ride regardless of their ability.
It is important to realize that while inherent risks do exist, there is also a standard of care that the stable should be provided to riders who are using their animals and equipment.
A stable that is providing the horses and the equipment used to ride them should be following a specific standard of care:
- Riders who have never ridden a horse prior should be informed of the inherent risks involved with riding a horse.
- The stable owner should be assessing the abilities of those riding and making certain accommodations to keep both rider and horse safe.
- The use of personal protective equipment, such as helmets and other protective gear, should be enforced by the stable. Failure to enforce could result in negligence.
- If a horse’s temperament has been an issue in the past, the horse either should not be eligible for riding or the rider should be clearly warned of the animal’s unpredictability.
- The owner should be checking to make sure that all equipment used for riding their horses is in working order. If there is faulty equipment, it should not be used and should promptly be replaced.
Contact a Decatur, GA Personal Injury Attorney if You Were Injured While at a Stable
If you have been injured while at a stable or riding a horse, it is possible that the stable owner will convince you that they are not liable for the injuries that you sustained. Regardless of the situation, you should seek out an experienced Georgia personal injury law office who can review your case and see if the stable owner was negligent and did not follow the expected standard of care.