When we think about claiming compensation for a personal injury, we usually think about things like road traffic accidents, a back injury from lifting at work, industrial accidents and illnesses or maybe something like food poisoning from a restaurant. Not many of us will have to seek compensation for an ear bite, and although this is a rare situation to find yourself in, it is nevertheless a very serious one. An ear bite, either from an animal or a person, can not only lead to physical damage, but also psychological trauma as well.
How could an ear bite happen?
Most people who find themselves on the unfortunate end of a bite will do so from a dog or other animal. Dogs need to be kept under control by their owners, and some breeds are actually illegal to own in the UK such as Pit Bull Terriers, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Braziliero. Unless you are trespassing on private property, even if you are in somebody’s home with their dog being there, the owner is responsible for making sure it is safe for you to be present. Failure to do so could lead to an attack and a claim for compensation for an ear bite.
Delivery drivers and postmen are sometimes put at risk from dogs as they must visit many different properties during their work, and may encounter dangerous dogs. Again, whoever owns the dog must make sure that it is either restrained, muzzled, or kept in another part of the building or property away from the public so that no damage can be done. It is sometimes the case that guard dogs are trained to be aggressive towards intruders, but this must only be in a controlled and limited way.
Can police dogs pose a threat?
In the same way that guard dogs are trained to be aggressive towards intruders, police dogs are also trained to be aggressive towards certain individuals if the handler sees fit. Police dogs are sometimes used in riot or protest situations as part of crowd control, but this does not mean that they should be attacking people for no reason. It was reported in 2014 that five people a week are bitten by a police dog. Some people may believe that it is not possible to claim compensation for an ear bite against the police, but if you are doing nothing wrong and you were attacked for no reason, this is certainly not the case.
In the three years prior to 2014, 827 people were bitten by Metropolitan Police dogs, according to figures released under a Freedom of Information Act request. Despite the fact that most of the people bitten were suspects being chased by the police, 53 were actually members of the public or even police officers themselves. The Metropolitan Police paid out £243,363 in compensation to victims of dog bites because of these events, more than twice as much as the £95,000 paid during the previous three years.
In a separate report from the BBC in 2014, at least 150 police dog attacks on innocent people were reported in the previous three years, resulting in UK police forces paying over £120,000 in compensation between 2011 and 2013. Victims included children as young as 10, joggers and a photographer.
Compensation for an ear bite by a person
Sadly, it is also not impossible that you could receive an ear bite from another person in an attack. Although this is obviously very rare, it is not an unheard of assault and could also result in a claim for compensation. Compensation for physical assaults are usually conducted in one of two ways; either through making a claim with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authorities (CICA), or by making a civil claim for damages in court.
In either case, it is hugely beneficial to have professional legal representation if you want to make a claim for compensation for an ear bite by an individual. Accident Advice Helpline can provide that professional representation, as well as asking for no upfront fees, and no solicitors’ fees at all if your case is not successful. Whether your ear bite was from a person, a dog or another animal, you should contact us to see if you are eligible to make a claim for compensation.
How damaging can an ear bite be?
The repercussions of an ear bite can be extremely serious. First of all, the cosmetic damage done to your ear may not be repairable, and could leave you scarred or disfigured for life. This could cause huge psychological trauma as most of us are greatly affected by our physical appearance, and should you lose part of your ear to a bite, this could have a huge effect on your self-esteem and confidence.
Being bitten on the ear could also lead to a loss of hearing. Although most of the most delicate and important parts of your ear are inside the ear canal, and should not be affected by a bite, if some kind of infection was to take place, these sensitive parts inside the ear may also be affected. Any loss of hearing could have a big effect on your life, including your ability to work and go about your daily chores. All of these physical and psychological repercussions would be considered when claiming compensation for an ear bite.
Would you like to know more about claiming compensation?
If you would like more information or would like to start a claim for compensation for an ear bite, the best thing to do is to call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) to discuss your case. Our helpful advisors provide free initial advice, and should you not wish to continue with a claim after you have talked with us, you are under no obligation to do so. However, if you do want to go ahead with a claim you will have the UK’s largest personal injury specialist law firm on your side.
Date Published: 18th August 2013