If you have been bitten by a dog, you might be thinking of making a dog bite compensation claim. These are fairly complicated because of the nature of a dog and owners can argue that they cannot be expected to predict what their dog might do in all circumstances. Dogs, after all have brains and so have minds of their own.
A dog bite compensation claim would have to start with the Animal Act 1971 and also take into consideration the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. Because it is not legal to breed dangerous dogs such as pit bull terriers in the UK (under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991) they could be classed as a dangerous species under the Animal Act 1971 which states that a dangerous species is one:-
a) Which is not commonly domesticated in the UK and
b) Whose fully grown animals normally have such characteristics that they are likely, unless restrained, to cause severe damage or that any damage they may cause is likely to be severe.
Dog bite compensation claim
A solicitor acting for your dog bite compensation claim would have to be able to argue the case very succinctly as the criteria governing liability is set out in section 2 of the Animal Act (see below).
(1) Where any damage is caused by an animal which belongs to a dangerous species, any person who is a keeper of the animal is liable for the damage, except as otherwise provided by this Act.
(2) Where damage is caused by an animal which does not belong to a dangerous species, a keeper of the animal is liable for the damage, except as otherwise provided by this Act, if:
- (a) the damage is of a kind which the animal, unless restrained, was likely to cause or which, if caused by the animal, was likely to be severe; and
- (b) the likelihood of the damage or of it being severe was due to characteristics of the animal which are not normally found in animals of the same species or are not normally so found except at particular times or in particular circumstances; and
- (c) those characteristics were known to that keeper or were at any time known to a person who at that time had charge of the animal so that keeper’s servant.
For any dog bite compensation claim to be successful these points will need to be addressed by a solicitor acting on your behalf.
Accident Advice Helpline
If you are considering making a compensation claim, then you could contact us at Accident Advice Helpline for expert legal advice about your possible claim. You can call us at any time free of charge on one of our helpline numbers. These are 0800 689 0500 for landlines and for mobiles, call us on 0333 500 0993. Why not call now to get expert legal advice regarding your dog bite compensation claim?
Date Published: 14th July 2013