Dog Bite Injury Claims
If you’ve been bitten by a dog belonging to someone else, you may be able to claim against them for compensation. Being attacked by a dog can be very distressing and this can be a complex area of the law. However, we look to make it as clear, simple and stress-free for you as we can.
Our specialist team provides expert legal advice in different languages to clients who have been involved in workplace accidents, including warehouse workers. They operate on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning that you won’t pay any fees unless your case is successful.
In what circumstances can I claim for a dog bite injury?
Thanks to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, there is now a greater degree of protection if you are attacked by a dog due to its owner failing to keep it under control. As well as banning ownership and breeding of a small number of dangerous breeds, it placed a duty on all dog owners to keep their dog under control at all times.
Dog attacks can happen in a number of situations, such as:
- In a public place, especially when the dog is running freely without a lead
- At your own property if the dog has escaped or been left out of control
- When you legitimately visit the owner’s premises (for example to knock on their door or make a delivery)
- When working as a vet, dog groomer or walker
If the dog was not kept on a lead, it is significantly harder for the owner to claim that they had control of it. If the dog has a record of previous aggression, the law now obliges owners to take further steps such as using a muzzle or attending dog training classes with them. If none of these steps are taken, it improves your chance of making a successful claim.
What should I do if I am attacked by a dog?
Being attacked by a dog can be frightening, which makes it very hard to think practically in the heat of the moment. However, the more of the following you can do, the easier it is to manage a compensation claim against the dog’s owner:
- Obtain the name and contact details of the dog’s owner, as well as any eye witnesses
- Take photos of the dog and its owner if you can do so without confrontation
- Report the incident to the police as soon as possible
- Take photos of your injuries immediately, and as they progress
- Keep hold of any clothes or personal property damaged in the attack
- Make notes of the date, time, place and circumstances
- Seek medical advice, which may include a tetanus jab
- Keep receipts for any medical treatment
Even if you don’t have any of the above as evidence, it is still worth talking to a solicitor to see if you have a valid case.
Who pays out on compensation claims for dog bite injuries?
Compensation claims for a dog bite can run to thousands of pounds. However, nowadays pet insurance is affordable and commonplace for pet owners. Although most of them take out cover to protect themselves against large, unexpected vet bills for their pet, there is also usually an element of liability insurance on their policy, which covers their liability if their dog should bite someone.
If they don’t have this cover under a pet insurance policy, then they may still have public liability insurance under their home insurance policy, which will often cover them should their dog bite you.
Should you be attacked by a stray dog, you may be able to claim for criminal injuries or to claim against the local council, or the organisation responsible for the area in which you were attacked. Su
What sort of injuries can I claim for after a dog bite?
Dog bite compensation claims are typically based on a tariff for different levels of injury. The tariff takes account of the severity of the injury as well as how visible any marks and scars are in the long-term. The most common types of injury are:
- Cuts, bruises and scratches
- Infections as a result of the bites and scratches
- Permanent scarring and visible marks on the skin
- Psychological symptoms such as anxiety and fear of dogs
How much compensation might I receive?
The amount of compensation you receive very much depends on your specific circumstances. That’s why we recommend that you get in touch with us promptly so that we can discuss the details of your accident with you.
You may be able to claim for the following if they are a direct result of your injuries:
- Compensation for distress and upheaval
- Loss of earnings and financial losses incurred
- Medical costs, prescription fees, counselling, care and rehabilitation costs
- Damage to your property
- Travel expenses incurred
Do I have a valid claim for compensation?
If you can answer yes to all three of the following questions, we recommend that you contact us to discuss your circumstances further:
- Was the incident within the last three years?
- Was someone else to blame for the incident?
- Were you injured as a result of the incident?
Answering ‘yes’ to all three doesn’t mean that a successful claim is certain. However, these questions are key to the claims process. Answering yes to all three does indicate that you have a greater chance of being entitled to claim. Getting prompt, specialist legal advice could be beneficial.
Because of the three-year time limit, it’s important that you contact us promptly so that we can start the process for you.
How do I begin a compensation claim for a dog bite injury?
Call us on 0208 1111 911 or contact us through the website and we’ll discuss your circumstances with you. The first call typically takes about 15 minutes and in that time we can usually determine whether or not it’s realistic to pursue a claim for compensation.