Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites can be a painful and traumatic experience, as anyone who has suffered one will tell you. Should you be unfortunate enough to be injured in a dog attack, you may be able to make a compensation claim.
Dog bites are an everyday occurrence, with official figures estimating that 210,000 people are attacked by canines in England every year and that more than 6,300 of them require hospital treatment for their injuries.
Many of the incidents involve a family pet biting someone in the home, meaning workers who have to access other people’s property as part of their job – such as postal and parcel delivery workers, home helps, utilities meter readers and tradesmen – are at a higher risk.
Dog bites also occur in public areas, including streets and parks, with children known to be particularly at risk.
The extent of the injuries suffered in dog attacks varies greatly from scratches to the hands and arms to permanent disfigurement and even fatalities. Bites can also cause psychiatric problems.
If you have been bitten by a dog, there is a chance you will be able to claim compensation from its owner for your injuries. Liddy’s Solicitors has one of the leading specialist personal injury teams in Yorkshire and our experts can help you to pursue your claim and secure the financial settlement you are due.
Can I claim compensation for dog bite injuries?
The law relating to compensation claims for dog bites is complex and you will need to consult a personal injury solicitor to ascertain whether your claim is likely to be successful.
One step you must take after suffering a dog bite is to report the matter to the police or to the local council. While you may not regard the incident or your injuries as serious, informing the authorities helps them to act against animals that are a persistent threat to safety.
Police and council officials may also be able to tell you if the dog has a history of aggressive behaviour – a fact that may influence your entitlement to compensation.
Whether your claim can progress and how much compensation you receive will depend on a number of factors, including the extent of the injuries, proof of liability, availability of witnesses, where the incident took place, whether the dog had a history of aggressive behaviour, if the animal was covered by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and whether you were at work when it happened.
One of Liddy’s personal injury specialists will assess these factors and any other relevant issues in order to reach a decision about how to move your case forward and who to claim against.
If you were bitten by a dog while carrying out your job and your employer did not take all reasonable steps to warn you about a foreseeable risk of being attacked (for example, if other employees had previously complained about the behaviour of the animal), it may be appropriate to make a claim against your employer.
In addition to the initial physical injuries, you may be able to claim damages for scarring, psychiatric injuries, the cost of ongoing care, medication and/or plastic surgery, and damage to clothing and personal items.
Can children claim compensation for dog bite injuries?
Figures compiled by the Health & Social Care Information Centre show that one in six dog bites that require hospital treatment are against children aged nine or under.
Not only are young children more likely to be attacked by dogs, they are also at a greater risk of suffering serious injury because even small breeds usually regarded as calm and friendly are capable of harming them.
Young people are equally entitled to claim compensation for injuries suffered in a dog attack and if your child has been bitten, you should contact a solicitor to discover your options.
Additionally, if you were bitten by a dog as a child, you have three years from your 18th birthday to begin a claim.
How to make a dog bite injury compensation claim
The first step towards making a successful dog bite compensation claim is to contact the personal injury team at Liddy’s Solicitors.
Our experts have huge experience of dealing with compensation claims and will guide you through every stage of the process, from the initial consultation and evidence gathering all the way through to issuing Court proceedings or negotiating a settlement.
We understand that the law can seem complex and that pursuing a claim can be stressful, so our solicitors will do everything they can to make the process as straightforward as possible.
To begin your dog bite compensation claim, complete the form on the left of the page, call us at our Wakefield office on 01924 780753 or contact our Barnsley office on 01226 731314.