A dog may be 'man's best friend' but unfortunately they can also be dangerous and injuries can be caused due to a dog attack. Being the victim of a dog attack can be particularly traumatic as the injuries can not only be physical, but psychological too.
If you are one of the unfortunate people that have been a victim of a dog bite or dog attack then you could make a claim for compensation. The law surrounding a dog attack is complex and therefore it is important that you obtain specialist advice.
Thousands of Hospital Admissions Due to a Dog Attack
In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of dog attack incidents in the UK. According to a report by Hospital Episode Statistics, there were 6,118 hospital admissions resulting from being bitten or struck by a dog in England in May 2010-April 2011.
Dog owners and those who handle dogs therefore have a responsibility to protect others from the damage that dogs can inflict, including dog attacks. Unpredictable and aggressive behaviour that can result in a dog attack can often be the fault of its owner.
Workers May Be At Risk of a Dog Attack
Some people are victims of dog attacks when they are carrying out their job. People at risk of a dog attack include those who deliver post or parcels, carers, cleaners and home helps, builders and maintenance workers, and also those who check gas, electricity and water meters.
Dangerous Dog Act 1991 Aims to Protect The Public From Dog Attacks
The Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991 was brought in after a rise in serious dog attacks by certain types of dog. The Act attempts to protect the public from dog types known for their aggressive and unpredictable traits. Certain breeds of dog are therefore required to be muzzled when in public places, and also micro chipped.
Currently, if you are attacked by a breed of dog covered by The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 which is not muzzled, a personal injury claim is likely to be successful, even if the animal has not shown previous signs of aggression.
Report the Dog Attack to the Police
If you have been subject to a dog attack then you should always report it to the police. You may be the first, or possibly one of many attack victims of that particular dog. By notifying the police you are making them aware that there is a potentially dangerous dog in the community and you will also be helping your potential claim for compensation.
Making a Dog Attack Claim
If you are considering making a claim following a dog attack, you will need the dog owner's details, such as name and address. If you've spoken to the police, you will need your police details, which can aid your case.
The majority of people who own a dog will have either home insurance or dedicated pet insurance to cover any compensation that may need to be paid to the victim of the dog attack. If your dog attack claim is successful, the compensation awarded would be paid by the dog owner's insurance company. In some dog attack cases it is also possible to make a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. It is important to note that if a dog owner does not have any such insurance it can be very difficult to claim compensation from an individual.
If you have been subject to a dog attack and would like to discuss your options or make a compensation claim then please call our specialist team of solicitors on 0800 298 9690 or visit our website www.hattonslaw.com