Lawyers Secure Settlement For Man Seriously Injured In Riding Lesson Fall
A hotel receptionist seriously injured when he fell off a horse during a jumping lesson has spoken of his determination to get his ‘life back on track’ as he continues his recovery.
Michael Taylor, 44, was taking part in a horse jumping lesson in January 2019. Michael said he was instructed to jump poles by the riding instructor, despite the horse bucking and moving sideways. As he attempted to make the jump, the horse he was riding caught the poles with his front legs. Michael fell and landed on a sloping box, hurting his lower back.
By the time he got back home to East Grinstead, West Sussex, he was in ‘excruciating’ pain. His partner phoned an ambulance and Michael was taken to hospital where he underwent a full body scan.
He was diagnosed with a fractured vertebra and substantial bruising to his buttocks, hip and lower back. He remained in hospital for four days.
Following the incident, Michael instructed serious injury experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate. The legal team has now secured an undisclosed settlement for Michael from the riding school which was responsible for running the lessons. The funds will ensure he has access to the specialist therapies he requires to maximise his recovery.
Expert Opinion“The past two years have been incredibly difficult for Michael. What was meant to be an enjoyable leisure activity didn’t go as expected and left him with serious injuries.
When he fell, he didn’t realise how bad it was until he got home and the pain intensified. He was then diagnosed with a serious back injury which has had a huge impact on his life.
Businesses have a duty of care to protect those attending organised events. Through our work, we come across people seriously injured in such circumstances and who are then left struggling with everyday tasks.
We are pleased to have been able to help secure this settlement for Michael, ensuring he can continue to access the specialist treatment and therapies he requires.”
Katie Lowe - Solicitor
Michael, who works as a hotel receptionist, had been attending the riding school since March 2017.
On 2 January, 2019, following a group hack, Michael was asked if he wanted to participate in a jumping lesson with around 10 other students. He said he ‘struggled to control’ the horse throughout the lesson and he was ‘very apprehensive’ about jumping. However, he told his lawyers that the school instructor encouraged him to take part and he trusted their judgement.
They were jumping poles at a height of around one foot, and when it was Michael’s turn, he said his horse began bucking and moving sideways. As he ‘reluctantly’ attempted the jump, the horse caught the poles with his front legs. At this point, Michael lost his balance and fell, landing on a sloping box and hitting his lower back.
He complained of some pain and discomfort, but continued with the session. Afterwards, he felt he was walking differently but managed to drive home, before being taken to hospital where he was found to have fractured a vertebra.
Following his injuries, Michael was unable to work or drive and needed assistance with getting in and out of the car. He also underwent physiotherapy treatment.
Two years on, Michael is back at work but suffers with intermittent back pain. Michael has also suffered psychologically.
Michael said: “Prior to the fall, I enjoyed my riding lessons and I was relatively active. After it happened, I was barely able to do anything. I couldn’t even walk up the stairs in our house so my partner had to move our spare bed downstairs for me.
“At the time, even the smallest of movements left me in pain. I struggled to walk our dog and I relied on taxis and family members to drive me around when I needed to go to appointments.
“More than two years on, I still suffer from a constant dull ache in my lower back. I am anxious about returning to horse riding, but I am determined to try and get my life back on track as best I can.”