Injuries resulting from dog bites and attacks are the most common type of personal injury claim caused by animals in the UK.
The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 was put in place to protect the public from dogs that are considered to be particularly dangerous. The law imposes strict rules for the control of the dog breeds named in the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. These breeds must be kept on a lead and wearing a muzzle in any public place at all times. They must also be neutered, insured and have a registered microchip fitted.
Over the last few years there has been a lot of publicity about attacks by dangerous dogs. Of course, it is not only those ‘dangerous’ breeds named in the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 that are capable of attacking or causing injury, any dog is capable of inflicting a nasty bite or serious injury.
Is the dog owner responsible for an injury caused by their dog?
The owner of any animal with the potential to cause injury or harm if not properly controlled may be liable if the animal attacks, bites or injures someone.
If you are injured by a dog and you can prove that the dog owner knew, or ought to have known that their dog has an aggressive temperament or has attacked or bitten previously, you may be able to make a claim against the owner.
Claims against dog owners are usually covered by home or pet insurance. It is possible to make a claim against the owner personally but that is largely dependent on whether they are likely to be able to meet any compensation award.
If you are able to prove that the dog owner was negligent, you are entitled to be compensated for any physical injuries you sustain, as well as any psychological distress and financial losses you incur.
What to do if you are the victim of a dog attack
As attacks are usually committed by dogs that are unknown to the victim, it can often be difficult to gather evidence of the dog’s temperament or previous attacks. If you are the victim of a dog attack you should:
- Obtain the dog owner’s name and address and, if possible, the details of any home or pet insurance they hold
- Take the details of anyone who witnessed the attack
- Report the incident to the Police
- If the attack happened in your local area, try to speak to local residents to find out if they have witnessed any previous incidents of poor behaviour or aggression
- Seek medical attention for any injuries you have sustained and take photographs at regular intervals during the healing process
Claiming for dog bite injuries
If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog, it is important to seek specialist advice as soon as possible to ensure that you are properly compensated for your injuries and losses.
Contact our team of expert personal injury lawyers, based at our head office in Leicester, to speak to someone today. Your first meeting with us, whether at home, the hospital or at our offices, will always be completely free and you can reach us 24 hours a day on 0800 634 1777.
Bray & Bray have three main offices across Leicestershire, feel free to phone or pop in to talk to our solicitors.