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Dog Claims

Dog Attacks

There are 9 million dogs in the UK. The most popular being the Labrador secondly the Cocker Spaniel then the French Bulldog. The Dog Act was first introduced in 1871 followed by the Animals Act 1971. There are reportedly over 200,000 Dog Attacks a year, 20% of which involve children.

The Dangerous Dogs Act came into force in 1991 and was amended in 1997. This banned the ownership of Pit Bull Terriers and 3 other dog types bred for their fighting qualities.

Dog Compensation Claims

If you are attacked by a dog you should:

  • Immediately seek medical advice. You may need a Tetanus Injection, particularly abroad.
  • Report it to the police and keep the case reference number safe.
  • Gather any evidence, including photographs of the dog, the injuries sustained and any damage to property or articles of clothing.
  • Identify the owner and provide the address.
  • Contact the local dog warden.
  • Find out, if possible, if the animal has a history of being aggressive, whether this is the first attack.

It is important to understand who is to blame and whether the owner accepts liability, or if the animal was partially provoked.

Types of Dog Claims

If a dog attack occurs on private property then a Civil Personal Injury Claim for compensation can be made, providing that the owner can be proven to have been negligent. Dog owners have a duty to ensure that their pet is properly trained and doesn’t pose as a threat to other members of the public. There is a time limitation of 3 years after the incident.

Compensation may well be covered by the owner's household or pet insurance.

If an attack occurs in a public place that the dog has strayed into, a claim can be made under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. In this case the time limitation period is 2 years after the incident.

If you are bitten at work, your employer should be able to compensate you under his employers liability insurance cover. Dog attacks on workers include:

  • Delivery men
  • Post office workers
  • Building and tradesmen
  • Electricity/gas and water meter readers
  • Security dogs
  • Home carers, including nurses and doctors.
  • Door to door campaigners

Levels of Compensation

The amount of compensation claimed will be determined by the Severity of the Injuries and the extent of pain and suffering. It will depend on the length of time to make a full recovery and will take into account whether there is any permanent damage, such as facial scarring. Psychological injury may also be taken into consideration as severe attacks can result in serious emotional trauma.

Compensation will be awarded for any special expenses such as medical treatment or care, (plastic surgery or skin grafts), as well as any additional travel costs or loss of income.

The most common claim is for hand injury, particularly fingers, for which compensation levels start at £500. Broken fingers can result in claims worth over £3,000, whilst serious fractures can result in compensation in excess of £10,000.

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