Dog attack claims

Dogs are very popular pets in the UK and for many people, provide companionship which enriches their lives. For anyone who lives on their own a dog can be a very good friend. They can also provide many years of fun and enjoyment to a family.

Dogs are usually very loyal and friendly towards a person but sadly, there are cases where the opposite is true. There has been an increase in the number of reported cases of dog attacks, particularly in children, which is extremely distressing to everyone concerned.

If you or someone you know has been attacked by a dog then you may be able to claim compensation.

This equally applies to dog attacks in public as well as inside the home. If you have been threatened or bitten by a dog then you may be able to pursue a claim against the dog’s owner. Failing that, a claim against whoever was in charge of the animal at that time.

Why do dogs attack people?

Dogs are animals which mean that they are unpredictable in their behaviour towards other animals and humans. They cannot be judged by standards of human behaviour and any owner of a dog needs to be aware of this.

Dogs are pack animals and unless they know where their place is within their ‘human pack’(or hierarchy) they will try to assert themselves. This takes the form of growling, barking or even biting as a means of doing so.

An example of this is where a dog exhibits aggressive behaviour towards children within a family. Dogs are territorial and unless they are disciplined will persist with this behaviour which can have devastating consequences.

A dog can suddenly turn on someone for no apparent reason. However it is often due to a lack of care on the part of the owner rather than the dog’s fault.

Owner responsibility

Dog owners have a responsibility to ensure that their dog does not attack other people. This means attending dog training classes and monitoring their dog’s behaviour especially in public places.

But there are people who refuse to do so. In some cases they actively encourage their dog to behave in this way which has far reaching consequences.

A dog attack can result in serious physical and mental injuries which are emotionally distressing to both the person affected and their family.

This is even worse if a child is bitten. Dog bites are far worse in a child due to their small body size and weight. Even worse, there have been cases of children being killed as a result of an attack by a dog.

The effects of a dog attack can last for a lifetime.

Making a claim for compensation for a dog attack

There are personal injury law firms or solicitors who have knowledge and experience in dealing with these types of claims. They will discuss the compensation procedure with you and will handle your case with sensitivity and understanding.

They will assess the details of your claim and will provide help and advice on how best to proceed.

Any claim for compensation is based upon the burden of proof: if negligence can be shown to have happened and the attack was not your fault then you have a greater chance of obtaining compensation.

What does help in these situations is the following:

  • Reported the attack to the police
  • Identified the dog’s owner
  • Obtained names and addresses from witnesses
  • Taken photographs of your injury/injuries
  • Have enquired if the dog has attacked anyone else

All of these actions will help to improve your chances of claiming compensation.

For more information about the claims process, visit our making a claim for compensation section.

Time limit for claiming compensation for a dog attack

There is usually a time limit of 3 years for personal injury claims.

However this does differ in certain types of claims, for example industrial diseases and injuries.

Check with your lawyer or solicitor about the time limit for your type of claim.

Personal Injury Guide

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