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Can I claim compensation if I am bitten by a dog?

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Can I claim compensation after being attacked by a dog?

Dogs are rarely violent. You may own a dog yourself and know what loving and caring animals they can be. Despite this, there are sadly some cases where dogs have been known to attack without reason or even used as a weapon by their owner.

If you or anyone you know have been attacked by a dog then you may be able to make a claim for compensation. There are a few different ways in which dog bites can lead to a successful claim, as follows:

Occupiers’ liability

This is when the owner of a dog has bitten you whilst out in public or on their own territory whilst visiting the property. If the owner is forthcoming and has pet insurance, then you may be able claim for compensation through their insurance. If they do not have insurance but have sufficient other financial assets, you may be able to claim from them directly. However, it is usually necessary to show that the owner was aware of the dog’s aggressive temperament prior to the incident.

Accidents at work

This is not something you may automatically think of, but if you are bitten by a dog in the course of your employment, you may be able to pursue a claim against your employer rather than the dog owner (especially if the owner is not insured). It may also be easier to establish fault against an employer as they owe various duties with regards to health and safety. For example, if you work for a company delivering parcels or letters to customers’ addresses then you should be properly trained as to how to approach properties with regards to dogs. If your employer has failed to provide training or put safe procedures in place, then you may be entitled to compensation.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)

This is a government body from which you are able to claim compensation if someone else uses their dog as a weapon, ordering them to deliberately attack you and resulting in significant injuries then you may be able to make a claim through the CICA. Again, if the owner has pet insurance, then this may be an additional route to go down although you can only recover compensation once and the CICA will only pay out if there are no other options available.

Please see our YouTube video showing how Stephensons were able to help a client who lost his arm as a result of a dog attack whilst he was delivering prescriptions in the course of employment:

If you have been injured by a dog and would like to speak to a member of our team about pursuing compensation, then please do not hesitate to contact our expert personal injury team on 0161 696 6235 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly.

By Rachel Gildart, new business advisor