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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Premises Liability > Do Premises Liability Laws Cover Horseback Riding Accidents?

Do Premises Liability Laws Cover Horseback Riding Accidents?


Premises liability laws give you the right to sue the owner of a real estate property or operator of a business if you suffer an injury caused by a preventable accident while you were on the defendant’s premises for legitimate purposes.  It is not quite as simple as it sounds, however.  Accidents are not automatically the responsibility of the person in charge of the place where they happened.  If the accident happened at a retail store while you were a customer, then the company that owns the store is responsible, unless you were engaging in obviously dangerous behavior, such climbing on shelves or on ladders designated for employee use only or roller skating inside a retail store.  If the accident happened at a place of recreation, then premises liability laws apply if you paid admission to use the premises.  The Recreational Use Statute makes it much harder to sue for premises liability if you were injured while hiking, swimming, or otherwise.  Still another set of laws applies if the accident involved horses.  Recreational activities involving horses are plenty expensive, but premises liability laws may or may not apply to people who get injured during equestrian activities.  To find out more about the rights of people injured in equestrian accidents, contact a Columbia premises liability lawyer.

The South Carolina Equine Immunity Statute

Domestic horses are not wild animals, but they are big animals, and no matter how accustomed they are to interacting with people, it is not always possible to predict their actions.  These are some common situations in which people can get injured at horseback riding events:

  • A rider falls from a horse
  • A horse kicks a person
  • A horse steps on a person’s foot or some other part of the horse’s body
  • A horse bites a person

South Carolina has enacted the Equine Immunity Statute (Statute 47.9.20), which holds that “equine professionals” and “equine activity sponsors” are not legally responsible for injuries caused by horses, even if the injured person paid to attend the event or to ride the horse.  The following are some of the categories of defendants protected by the statute:

  • Horse owners
  • Horse groomers
  • Horse trainers
  • Companies that operate trail rides
  • Teachers who offer horseback riding lessons
  • Stable owners
  • Coaches of equestrian sports
  • The owners of venues where equestrian events take place

Businesses involved in equestrian activities must post the text of the statute in a place where visitors and customers can easily see it.  If businesses do not post the statute, they waive the liability granted to them by the statute.  In other words, if you get injured in a horseback riding accident, it is always a good idea to discuss all the details with a personal injury lawyer before you decide what kind of action to take.

Let Us Help You Today

The car accident lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you get the money you need after a preventable accident related to a recreational activity.  Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.



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