Being attacked by a dog is a frightening experience, and one which can leave you with severe physical injuries as well as on-going emotional trauma. Statistics show that dog injuries have increased in recent years in the UK.
Dog owners have a responsibility to protect other people from the injuries and damage that a dog can inflict. It is their duty to make sure their dog is properly trained and does not pose a threat to others.
If you are attacked and suffer dog injuries, it can improve your chances of making a successful claim for compensation if you follow these steps:
- Identify the owner
- Report the attack to the police and local dog warden
- Take details of any eyewitnesses
- Try to ascertain whether the dog has a history of aggression
- Take photographs of your dog injuries and any subsequent scarring
Even if you are not able to follow all of these steps, it may still be possible for us to pursue a compensation claim on your behalf.
Establishing blame for dog injuries
The law regarding liability for dog injuries is complex, and you will need the help of a specialist solicitor, which Accident Advice Helpline can provide for you. However, generally speaking, successful compensation claims for dog injuries fall into one of the following categories:
- Dangerous Dogs
The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 amended 2007 sets out a number of dangerous dog breeds. Owners of these types of dogs and their cross‑breeds are required by law to take certain precautions for the protection of others. These include being muzzled and on a lead in public places. The dog must also be registered, insured, neutered, tattooed and microchipped. If you are attacked by one of these dogs and the owner failed in any of their legal responsibilities, you may have a valid compensation claim.
- Irresponsible owners
Owners are responsible for training and controlling their dogs so that other people are not endangered. Unpredictable and aggressive behaviour can often be attributed to lack of proper training, and the owner can be held responsible for this.
- Dog attacks in the workplace
Attacks on postal delivery workers are well documented, but there are many other professions in which people are at increased risk of a dog attack because their work takes them into places where dogs, perhaps even dangerous dogs as defined by the law, may be present. In such cases there may be a claim against the employer as well as the dog’s owner.
- A dog used as a weapon
If somebody sets a dog on you deliberately, there is certainly a case for compensation, as well as a potential criminal case, to answer. In these cases, eyewitness accounts can be critical in establishing responsibility.
If you have been the victim of a dog attack in the last three years, get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline for a free, no-obligation chat about making a claim for compensation.
Call us today on 0800 689 0500 from a landline, or on 0333 500 0993 from a mobile.
Date Published: 28th February 2013
Author: David Brown