Dog Bite Compensation Claim Solicitors
Dog Bite Injury Claims
Being bitten by a dog can be a terrifying experience, and can leave you not just physically injured, but anxious and fearful around dogs in the future. Dog owners are legally obligated to make sure their dogs don’t hurt people, so if you or a family member have been attacked or bitten by a dog and have suffered as a result, you may be able to make a claim for compensation for your injuries.
Recent NHS figures show that there has been an almost 50% increase in people needing surgery following a dog attack in the last decade. At SDS solicitors we find this alarming, and we don’t believe that you should suffer as a result of an attack that wasn’t your fault. Our expert personal injury solicitors have years of experience in dog bite cases and regularly put together strong personal injury claims on behalf of victims. Contact us today to discuss your claim, and if you have grounds for a case, we will work with you to get the recompense that you deserve.
What can I Claim Compensation for?
If you or a family member have been bitten by a dog, you may be able to claim for damages. If you needed medical treatment or missed time at work as a result of the incident, you could be entitled to claim for any financial losses that you have incurred. Each case is different, and the amount that you are able to claim will depend on the circumstances of the attack; we will factor in the extent of any physical and psychological injury, taking into consideration any permanent scarring, which is unfortunately often a result of a dog bite incident. For a personalised estimate of the amount of compensation you may be entitled to, contact one of our experts for an initial consultation.
Can I make a Claim for a Dog Bite Injury?
If you want to make a claim following a dog bite incident, it’s important to contact us as soon as you can, as there are time constraints to consider. You have three years from the date of the attack to make a claim, unless you were under 18 at the time of the incident, in which case you need to make the claim before your 21st birthday. Unfortunately, children under the age of five are the most commonly injured age group, and if your child has been injured by a dog in an unprovoked attack, you can make a claim on their behalf before they turn 18. Speak to us if you have any queries about the eligibility of your claim; we are experts in this field of law, with a proven track record, and we will be happy to assess your case.
Dogs and The Law
There are around 9 million dogs kept as pets in the UK, and most dog owners are responsible and look after their companions well. Sadly, not all owners act responsibly however, and there are strict laws in place that dog owners must follow in order to keep people and other animals safe; dogs can cause serious harm if not properly trained or controlled. Making a claim for a dog bite injury can be complicated, as there are several pieces of legislation that may apply. The first Dogs Act was introduced in 1871, and subsequent acts include:
- Animals Act 1971
- Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
- Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Act 1997.
It is against the law to allow a dog to be “dangerously out of control” in a public place. If the out of control behaviour of the dog makes a person reasonably feel like they are at risk of being bitten or attacked, the owner can be fined up to £20,000 and could also be imprisoned for up to six months. If a dog wounds or kills a person or another animal, its owner can be fined a higher figure and can be imprisoned for up to 14 years.
Certain dog breeds are prohibited in the UK:
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Japanese Tosa
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Braziliero
The possession, breeding and sale of any of these breeds is against the law. If you are bitten by one of these breeds then your grounds for claiming are increased, as the owner is already breaking the law just by owning them.
Unfortunately though, despite the stringent legislation in place, the number of dog attacks and injuries are on the rise, resulting in over 6,000 hospital admissions every year in the UK. If you or a family member are bitten and injured by a dog, it is important to make a claim, not just so that you get the compensation you deserve, but so that the owner of the dog can be held accountable and action taken to ensure that the dog is prevented from hurting anyone else.
Common Injuries caused by Dog Bites or Attacks
An unprovoked attack by an out of control dog can be a terrifying experience that can leave you with a number of different types of injuries. Most common injuries include:
Bites can range in severity from bruising to serious wounding. If the bite breaks the skin it’s important to seek medical attention to avoid contracting an infection such as tetanus, which can be incredibly serious left untreated.
Where a dog bite breaks the skin there is a risk of permanent scarring. In some cases, this may leave the victim needing plastic surgery, which can leave the victim at risk of self esteem issues where their appearance is affected. This can also result in financial losses due to medical expenses or time taken off work to recuperate.
If you are attacked by a dog, you may end up falling to the ground, spraining or breaking a limb, or crush injuries can occur where a dog applies serious pressure to the injury site.
Being attacked and bitten by a dog can be extremely traumatic, often leaving victims with a lifelong fear of dogs, and in some cases post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, which can require extensive treatment.
Amputations and fatalities although rare, tragically do happen, leaving life altering and devastating consequences.
What to do if you have Suffered a Dog Bite
If you are bitten by a dog, your health and safety is paramount. We recommend that you receive medical treatment, even if you think initially that the injury is minor. Dog bites are particularly prone to infection so it’s important to take every precaution; and in the event that you decide to take action, your medical records will support your claim. There are several other actions you should consider taking.
- We recommend reporting a dog bite or dog attack to the police, so that they can investigate and ensure that the owner puts safety measures in place to prevent a similar incident from happening again. You will be given a crime reference number and should keep details of who you speak to about the incident.
- If the dog is a stray you should also contact the local dog warden, so that they can collect and kennel the dog, and will attempt to trace the owner.
- If possible, take details from the dog's owner, including their name and address, and pet insurance details if they have it.
- Take contact details from anyone who witnessed the incident if possible, as they may be able to support your claim.
- Keep a record of your injuries; photographs will help to document the extent of the damage.
- If you were at work when the incident happened, you should report it to your manager and ensure that it is registered in the accident book.
If you have been bitten by a dog that has previously behaved dangerously, your claim stands an even higher chance of success. Where dogs have bitten before they are often subject to certain safety measures, such as the wearing of a muzzle whilst in public, and a ban from being off lead. If the owner has failed to comply with these measures, then they will be judged more severely if the case goes to court.
Why choose Sheldon Davidson Solicitors?
If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog, the expert accident injury compensation lawyers at Sheldon Davidson Solicitors can help. Where you have been injured by a dog, through no fault of your own, we can work for you so that you can hold the irresponsible dog owner to account and claim the financial recompense that you deserve. Dog attacks can be serious, and settlements often reflect this. Sheldon Davidson Solicitor's expert Personal Injury Solicitors in Manchester have years of experience in dog bite cases and regularly put together strong personal injury claims on behalf of victims.
We are committed to helping clients to seek appropriate justice and recompense, and our track record speaks for itself.
Our experienced Personal Injury Solicitors in Manchester act regularly for clients across the Greater Manchester area including Ashton, Bury, Bolton, Radcliffe, Prestwich, Middleton, Failsworth, Rochdale, Oldham, and Whitefield.
Sheldon Davidson Solicitors are a Lexcel accredited law firm. The Lexcel standard, awarded by the Law Society, is only given to firms who meet the highest standards of practice management and customer service.
You can be assured that your claim is in safe hands.
So if you have been the victim of a dog bite, or suffered any other form of animal injury, call us for free now using the number at the top of the page or complete the online contact form and one of our Animal Injury Lawyers will get back to you.