What to do after a horse bite in California

Our Blog | January 27, 2015

The Bay Area is one of the best places in the country to get a taste of the beautiful outdoors. Residents and visitors alike have the option to explore the beaches, foothills and vineyards on bikes, foot or on horseback.

In fact, horseback riding is a popular recreational activity in the area, and there is a variety of stables and businesses that offer horseback riding excursions.

What some people forget is that horses are wild animals, and they are huge and powerful wild animals at that. All too often, unsuspecting people end up getting thrown off of horses or bitten, causing serious injuries.

According to Web MD, horses have very powerful jaws that can break through the skin and crush the bone. Horse bites can also lead to infection, tetanus, and rabies, which is why it is so important to seek medical treatment after a horse bite breaks the skin.

The medical treatment that is necessary following a horse bite can be expensive, and the injury can cause the victim to miss work or potentially lose the ability to perform some tasks altogether.

The good news is that in some cases, victims may be able to pursue damages from the owner of the horse or stable to compensate them for their losses.

As we explained in a previous post, though, horse bites are not treated the same as dog bites under the law in the state of California. With dog bites, dog owners are held strictly liable for their pets, while the owner of a horse must have been negligent in order to be held liable.

Additionally, some stables have guests sign waivers saying that they agree that the stable cannot be held liable for injuries. But if a horse had bitten someone in the past, for example, the waiver might not be enough to absolve the stable of liability.

After being bitten and injured by a horse, a person would be wise to seek medical treatment immediately and then contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to find out if an action to pursue damages is a possibility.