Have you come to our website looking to find out more about the likely average compensation for a dog bite? The RSPCA notes there were around 8.5 million pet dogs in the UK in 2015. Most of these dogs are perfectly safe and friendly, and have been brought up and trained by their owners to behave well. However, every now and then we read about dog attacks in the press, so it’s easy to assume they are more prevalent than they are.
With that said, figures show many people are still bitten by dogs each year. NHS data refers to attacks by animals that cause injury as ‘bites and strikes’. The former term is self-explanatory, but strikes refer to incidents that may cause bruising and injury, but do not tend to break the skin. Of all the animal attacks that end in the victim needing hospital treatment, over two-thirds of admissions between March 2014 and February 2015 stemmed from dog attacks. Thus, it is not surprising some people want to know the average compensation for a dog bite, particularly if they or someone they know has been affected in this way.
Is there any way to work out what the average compensation for a dog bite might be?
Averages are difficult to work with in cases where people have suffered any kind of injury because of negligence. There are good reasons for this:
- In some cases, the victim may be found partially responsible for their injuries (this is uncommon, but it can affect any compensation amount awarded to them)
- How many parts of the body were injured?
- How serious were those injuries?
- What is the prognosis for recovery? Will it be a full recovery or has the person been left with permanent disabilities or scarring, for example?
Suffice to say, even if you could get an amount for average compensation for a dog bite, that average may bear no relation to any amount you could potentially be awarded if you were to make a claim.
Seeking medical advice
You should always get your bite looked at if you have been attacked and bitten by a dog. The same applies if you were badly scratched by their claws and your skin was broken. Infection is a possibility, and you may also need stitches and to have the wound cleaned if it is a serious one. That’s why it is always wise to seek advice from your GP or to attend a casualty department if you have been badly hurt.
The NHS website has extensive information on what you should do immediately following a dog or animal bite. There are seven points to follow if you are unfortunate enough to be in this situation. They also encourage anyone with broken skin to visit a medical professional. Look out for local walk-in centres or similar units if you cannot get in to see your GP immediately. They advise you to do this even if you don’t think the wound is infected. The sooner it is treated, the better the outcome may be.
Are some breeds more prone to attack than others?
There are currently four types of dog breed that are banned in the UK, including the pit bull terrier. No one should keep any of the dogs currently on the list of banned breeds unless they have a Certificate of Exemption and comply fully with its conditions. However, many of those who ask us about the average compensation for dog bites reveal they were bitten by another breed entirely. Very few people persist in keeping banned dogs. In many cases, it could potentially be badly-controlled and poorly-trained dogs that bite people.
While the size of the dog can make a difference to how easy it is to shake off if you are attacked, small breeds can do damage as well. A dog bite to the ankle can be very painful and there is always the potential for bones to be broken and other damage to be done from a puncture wound. Proper training is essential for a dog to grow up safely and happily, and thus the chances of needing to know the average compensation for dog bites are greatly reduced.
What are the most popular pure-bred dog breeds registered today?
The Labrador is the most popular breed listed by the Kennel Club, whose figures are for 2015. The Cocker Spaniel comes in second, followed by the French Bulldog. However, even one of these dogs could be potentially dangerous in certain situations. This should not be the case with appropriate training from a young age. After all, any dog can be trained to bite by unscrupulous owners.
Make sure you have as much information as you can
When you have been bitten by a dog and received medical treatment, you’ll have a record of your injuries on file. You’ll then start thinking about the average compensation for a dog bite. But you must have proof of who owned the dog and their contact details if you wish to find out whether you could claim for your injuries. Take photos of your injuries and get information from anyone who saw what happened, too. All this will be important evidence in helping with a claim. The more information you have, the easier it will be to proceed if you can claim.
Statistics show 24% of UK households own at least one dog. Most will never be involved in an attack that leads someone to wonder about the average compensation for a dog bite.
However, if you’ve been bitten, calling Accident Advice Helpline could be a smart move. You can do so on 0800 689 0500, or on 0333 500 0993 from your mobile. Our advisors can assess the chances of claiming and may provide more details about the average compensation for a dog bite like yours. Secure the assistance of one of our experienced solicitors now to see if a no-win, no-fee* claim may be successful for you, and warrant compensation to be paid in return for the injuries you have suffered.
Date Published: 27th July 2013
Author: Rebecca Smith
Category: Dog attack injury claims