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Can I Make A Claim For Personal Injury If I Have Been Attacked By A Dog?

If you, a friend, or family member have been attacked by a dog then you could make a claim for personal injury. An attack by a dog is a frightening experience and may leave you with serious injuries and a fear of leaving the house. A dog bite can cause severe scarring and pain and you may require injections.

There is no reason as to why anybody should be injured by a dog. The UK has over 12 million dogs and there are laws in place that stipulate how to control dogs and which breeds are banned in the UK.

What causes a dog to bite?

There are a number of reasons as to why a dog may attack you. It could be out of fear or to protect their owner. Most of the time it is due to lack of training and control. Very few dogs will attack because they are considered a dangerous breed.

Who pays compensation in dog bite claims?

The owner of the dog will pay for the compensation as a result of a dog bite. This is usually done through their pet insurance or home insurance. Where there is a criminal prosecution, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme would pay for the claim.

If you are bitten by a dog while at work, your employer’s insurance company might pay your compensation and if in a public place – the organisation or local authority will have insurance in place to pay if found negligent.

How do I make a claim if I’ve been attacked by a dog?

You can make a claim for compensation if somebody else’s dog has attacked you which resulted in physical or psychological harm in the last three years.

You can also make a claim against an organisation such as a private company or a local authority. If a dog is kept on the property, that is accessible by the public, the person responsible for the area could be held liable if the dog is not properly supervised. It is important that you seek medical treatment immediately after you have been attacked by a dog and if you were attacked by a dog in a public place to report it to the police.

Remember to take the contact detail of the dog owner if possible, as well as the contact details of any witnesses. If it is possible you should also take a photo of the animal if the owner will not leave any contact details or the dog is without an owner. Make sure you also take photograph of your injury.

An individual who sustained an injury caused by an animal may have a claim under the Animals Act 1971. They will have to demonstrate that the person in charge of the animal who caused the injury failed to take reasonable care. Alternatively, a claim could be made under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 if the injured party was a visitor to premises.

To determine what reasonable care is the dog’s past behaviour is looked at. To show that the dog’s owner was negligent we would have to prove that the dog has been dangerous in the past and should be kept away from individuals or put on a lead to prevent the dog from attacking others. A way of proving this is to request a copy of the dog’s vet history and obtaining witness statements from neighbours who could testify that the dog is dangerous.

If you have had an injury caused by a dog and you believe the situation could have been avoided, you could make a claim.

If you’ve been involved in an accident where a dog has attacked you and would like more information about your claim please contact our helpful and experienced Personal Injury team who will be able to guide you through the process or call us on 0808 291 2499 alternatively you can request a call back.