Dog Attack/Bite Claims
Dogs are known as “man’s best friend” but they can also be unpredictable and attack people, causing serious injuries and even death. If you’ve been injured, you may be entitled to make a dog attack claim.
We’ve all seen the awful news reports of babies and toddlers being mauled by the family pet or a relative’s dog, and that is why there are strict laws regarding certain breeds and characteristics.
The Dangerous Dog Act of 1991 was introduced after a spate of serious dog attacks carried out by certain breeds. The government brought in this law to protect the public and to prevent these types of attack in the future. The 1991 Act prohibits the ownership of certain types of dog, unless they are on the Index of Exempt Dogs:-
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Japanese Tosa
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Brasileiro
According to DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), these dog types are not classified by breed but by type, meaning that if a dog fits the physical characteristics of one of these four breeds then it is a banned dog and the owners can and will be prosecuted.
Receiving Dog Bite Compensation
If you are attacked by a dog that matches the physical characteristics of these four breeds, you will have an excellent chance of making a personal injury claim for your dog attack injuries. You will also have an excellent chance of success if the dog has a history of aggression and the owner did not take adequate steps, like muzzling it or keeping it on a lead, to protect members of the public.
The Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991 does not just apply to these four breeds, it also applies to all dog owners. It makes it illegal for ANY dog to be “dangerously out of control” in a public place or a place that it should not be and a dog can be classed as “out of control” if it causes someone to fear or believe that it will attack them.
Dog attacks can happen to anybody but are particularly common in professions like postal delivery workers, couriers, builders, care workers, water board, gas or electricity workers, and other people who visit people’s homes and can come into contact with strange dogs who are protecting their territory. However, dog attacks can happen anywhere if a dog has become out of control in a public place.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog attack, you should report it to the police, seek medical attention and then seek the services of an injury lawyer who can build a case for compensation on your behalf. Compensation can help you with expenses, lost earnings and also help you to get the medical care, or even psychological care, that you need after your traumatic experience. Reporting the dog attack to the police and pursuing a claim for personal injury compensation will also mean that you can prevent the attack happening to someone else and perhaps save a life. Although you may feel awful if the dog has to be destroyed, this may save the life of a child.
What to do if you are the victim of a Dog Attack
After you have got the medical attention you need and are safe, you should report the attack to the police so that it can be investigated. This will bring that dog and its owners to the police’s attention and the police report will also be evidence of the attack which your personal injury lawyer can use in court.
You should also record the contact details of the owner’s of the dog and ask them if they have any insurance that covers the dog, like home insurance or pet insurance. These details can then be passed on to your solicitor.
A dog attack can have all kinds of implications for your life. It can:-
- Leave you seriously injured, with either short-term or long-term medical problems.
- Affect you psychologically
- Lead to lost earnings
- Lead to lost future earnings if you are unable to go back to work as a result of your injuries
- Mean that you are out of pocket – You may incur medical bills, prescription charges and other expenses as a result of the attack.
You really do deserve to be compensated for your injuries and for your expenses, so contact a no win no fee specialist personal injury solicitor as soon as possible.