Injured by a Horse: When can you sue in Wisconsin?
Perhaps you were riding, working with, or simply standing near a horse. You may have been in awe of the amazing animal… until you were injured by the horse. Horse-related injuries are frequent happenings. The most common injuries include:
Determining whether or not you can file a personal injury lawsuit can be tricky. The state of Wisconsin abides by the Equine Activity Liability Act (EALA), which dictates a horse sponsor or horse professional (including businesses), cannot be held liable for injuries caused by anything reasonably anticipated in the horse-related activity. Many minor injuries, like bruises and strains, likely fall under the protection of EALA.
There are circumstances in which you can sue for being injured by a horse in Wisconsin. If your horse-related injury was caused by the following, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit:
- The horse sponsor (or business) failed to provide a reasonable assessment of whether you could safely manage the animal. This includes assessing your experience level, and matching sizes and temperaments of horse and rider.
- Your injury was caused by faulty equipment, and the sponsor knew or should have known. For example, if the reins or saddle broke while you were riding, the horse sponsor is likely liable.
- Your injury was caused by the horse’s unpredictable behavior, like a kick or bite. In this case, the horse sponsor may be liable.
- Your injury was caused by an unsafe environment. For example, if the horse you were riding stepped in a pothole, causing you to fall from the horse, the horse sponsor or property owner could be held liable.