Dog bite compensation claims - animal attacks

Britain is considered to be a nation of dog lovers, and the best estimate is that there are approximately nine million dogs in the UK, with 26% of the population owning one as a pet.

Although dog bite incidents are relatively low given the huge UK dog population, sometimes a pet may behave or react in a way which leads to them becoming aggressive or acting out of character. If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog and suffered injuries, then you may be entitled to claim compensation. Dog attacks are not necessarily confined to a person being bitten by a dog, as if a dog were to jump up at you in an aggressive manner and cause you to fall and become injured, this could also be categorised as a 'dog attack'. 

Our personal injury experts handle all manner of cases, including:

  • People being subjected to an unprovoked attack whilst walking their own dog
  • Suffering an attack whilst making a delivery to a property
  • Being attacked by a family pet whilst in friend’s house
  • ... and even the old cliché of a postman being chased by a dog

If you have been injured as a result of a dog bite and would like to speak to a member of our specialist personal injury claims team about pursuing compensation call us on 0203 816 0065 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly. 

 

  • Dog Attack Compensation Claims 

    Christopher Hirst came to Stephensons after suffering a serious injury during the course of his employment which ultimately led to the amputation of his arm following an attack by a dog. In this video Christopher shares his story and explains how the personal injury solicitors at Stephensons were able to help him pursue a claim for compensation.

    Solicitor Danielle Callaway also comments on the case and discusses the importance of seeking specialist advice when making a claim for compensation, as a serious injury can often lead to a dramatic change in circumstances for the rest of your life.

  •  
  • Christopher Hirst

    "The compensation that I've received obviously it's going to be a great help. My first intentions are to get a bionic arm. Without Stephensons, I wouldn't be able to go anywhere. God forbid it but if someone actually had an accident and they asked me if I could recommend anybody, the first thing that would come into my mind is Stephensons, because they were absolutely brilliant with me. Every step of the way, they've guided me which way to go, they've told me everything that I needed to know, and i just can't fault them." - Christopher Hirst

  • Danielle Callaway - Personal Injury Solicitor

    "The best part of my job when dealing with a serious injury claim like this is when we reach a successful conclusion. After all the hard work that goes into these claims it's so nice to see Mr Hirst have closure and be able to move forward." - Danielle Callaway - Amputation Accident Claim Expert

Dog attack compensation claims

Suffering an injury caused by a dog is distressing however, for anyone looking to bring a claim for such injuries, they should be aware that this is a complicated area of law, and the fact that you have been bitten does not necessarily mean that you will automatically receive compensation.

Firstly the defendant needs to be identified and enquiries made as to whether they have insurance cover. Unfortunately not all dog owners are responsible and many do not feel the need to insure their pets. If not insured, our solicitors would typically make enquiries as to whether a defendant had sufficient means for an injured party to be able to sue them directly. That being established, liability then has to be proven.

Whilst the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is in place to protect the public, the reality is that the few limited breeds covered by this legislation are not typically the dogs that people have contact with on a day to day basis. 

Claims are typically pursued under the Animals Act 1971, and the owner or 'keeper' of the animal must be established, and a case built as to whether a dog has been aggressive, or has demonstrated uncharacteristic behavioural qualities, and importantly, whether the owner or 'keeper' of the dog ought to have known that their pet was likely to behave in such a manner. 

What breeds of dog are illegal in the UK?

In the UK, the following breeds of dog are now banned by the Dangerous Dog Act and it is illegal to sell or breed any of these dogs:

  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasiliero

What to do if injured by a dog

Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Appropriate treatment should be sought, and this will ensure that a contemporaneous record of the incident is noted down either by the hospital or within your GP records.

Obtain the details of the dog owner and ascertain if they have insurance cover. Many dog owners will have pet or house insurance, which would cover the claim.

Report the accident to the police. This is an appropriate course of action if the incident is severe or there are concerns that the animal concerned could attack again.

Make a detailed account of the accident circumstances. Write down or record an accurate account of the incident as soon as possible, as your legal representative will require as much information as you can provide, in order to pursue your claim.

Obtain the name and contact details of any witness to the accident. Your solicitor may want to obtain a written statement from any passers-by, or from anyone who may know the characteristics of that particular dog which caused your injury.

Take photographs of your injuries. Do this as soon as you are able to, and ensure that you take regular photographs throughout the duration of your claim, to monitor the progression of scarring, for example.

Animal attack claims

Although rare, Stephensons have dealt with claims arising from being injured by other animals, including horses. These claims are also covered by the Animals Act 1971. Typical circumstances would be suffering injury whilst undertaking a riding lesson, animals escaping from farmland, and even being injured by animals in a petting zoo.   

If you are subjected to an animal attack, it is crucial to seek specialist legal advice right from the start. Stephensons have dealt successfully with many dog attack cases, and our team would be happy to assist with your enquiries if you have been the victim of this type of incident. Call us on 0203 816 0065  is you would like to discuss a potential claim with one of our specialists.

Is there a time limit for making a claim following an animal attack?

The time limit for making a claim for an injury arising as a result of an animal attack is 3 years from the date of the accident, however, in the case of injury to a child, they have until their 21st birthday. Court proceedings must be issued against the defendant by either the third anniversary of the accident, or the 21st birthday in the case of a child, otherwise the case will become 'statute barred', and the injured party will lose the right to seek compensation. Therefore, it is essential to seek specialist legal assistance at the earliest opportunity.

Is no win no fee available for animal attack compensation claims?

Our personal injury specialist offer no win, no fee funding arrangements in relation to this type of case.

Examples of cases that Stephensons personal injury team have successfully dealt with:

A lady approached us, having fallen as a result of her neighbours’ out of control Alsatian dog. The woman, who was 74 years old at the time of the accident, was walking her friend’s dog on a public path, when an Alsatian dog jumped over the wall of a garden, barking furiously and jumping up at her. She turned away and, while doing so, fell and landed heavily on her hand. The woman suffered from fractures and dislocation to the fingers in her left hand which required surgery. Stephensons brought an action against the owners of the dog arguing that they were strictly liable for the damage caused. The claim eventually settled for £17,000.

Our client was bitten on the hand when posting a letter, as a result of the bite the client’s index finger had to be amputated and nerves and tendons in the hand were damaged. Our personal injury solicitors were able to prove the dog owners were negligent in failing to keep their dog under control and keep their premises safe for visitors. Our client was awarded a £30,000 settlement.

What is my injury compensation claim worth?

Try our interactive personal injury claims calculator using the link below to find out how much compensation you may be entitled after an accident which resulted in injury.

Personal Injury Calculator

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It is our business to deliver legal services that work for our clients, you can trust our specialists to take care of things on your behalf. Over the years our personal injury team has been recognised by industry awards and accredited for their excellence.

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