Affectionately known as man’s best friend, dogs are very much part of our society. Although the exact figure isn’t known, the RSPCA estimates that there are 8.5 million dogs in the UK. While most dogs are well-behaved family pets that pose little, or no threat to people; it’s inevitable that from time-to-time incidents involving canines and the general population will occur.
Statistics show that dog bites and dog attacks are the two most common types of animal injury claim that are made. Between March 20014 and February 2016, 7,227 people needed medical attention after being bitten or struck by a dog – a figure which was up from 4,110 in the corresponding period 10 years ago.
Whilst bites from domestic pets are the most frequent cause of animal injury claims in the UK, other claims involve road traffic accidents caused by animals on the road and attacks by livestock. Animal injury claims cover a broad range of circumstances whereby an individual has been injured directly by an animal or indirectly as a result of an animal’s actions.
Thousands of people are wounded every year by vicious and dangerous animals. Regardless of whether it’s a horse or a dog, the animals’ owners are responsible. Introduced in 1971, the Animals Act legally requires owners and handlers to ensure that the animal in their care does not hurt or injure anybody. The person in charge at the time of the accident will be held liable and the Act imposes severe penalties on the owners of animals that cause any damage or injury to others.
Failure to take their responsibility seriously could result in owners being ordered to pay compensation to the victim. Although not a legal requirement, most responsible owners should have a public liability insurance policy in place to cover themselves if their animal attacks somebody without provocation. Furthermore, in situations where individuals or businesses work with animals and the public use their facilities or services, the obligation to risk assess and manage the animals to ensure a safe environment is even greater.
If you have been the victim of an animal attack through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. As specialists in personal injury law, we have acted for employees suffering wounds from animals in the workplace and the general public injured by pets, horses or livestock; securing substantial settlement fees.
You may have had to take time off work because of your injuries, leading to a loss of earnings. You may be entitled to compensation due to having to undergo medical treatment and the cost of this. Damage might have been caused to your property, for which you could also make a claim. Whatever the reason, you should speak to a personal injury claims solicitor who can advise you on your circumstances at the earliest opportunity.
Furthermore, if you’ve been attacked by an animal, it’s essential that you notify the police to ensure that the animal is unable to attack another person. The police may order a dangerous animal to be destroyed to prevent further attacks from occurring. Through speaking to a member of our team we can advise you on whether or not you may be entitled to make a claim following your accident, and we can arrange any further help or support you may need.
As every case is different, we’ll tailor our advice towards your individual circumstances in order to meet your specific needs and objectives. We offer various forms of funding such as conditional agreements. If your case is unsuccessful, you won’t have to pay a penny. However, if your case is successful, we guarantee you the maximum amount of compensation with minimal legal costs. As the victim, we’re here to help you and will always endeavour to do everything within our power to ensure you achieve the best possible outcome.
In the event of an animal attack you should seek immediate medical attention. The best course of action is to get the wounds cleaned out as quickly as possible to prevent any infection and future complications. You’ll also be issued with a medical report. As irrefutable proof that you were injured by an animal, this will significantly strengthen your claim for compensation.
After taking these steps, you need to file a report at the nearest police station. The police will then decide if anyone else is at risk of being attacked by the same animal and take the necessary steps to prevent this from happening. You should also take photographs of your injury and if possible, of the animal involved and ask for the contact details of as many people who were at the scene at that time who witnessed the attack.
Are you happy with the way your compensation claim is currently being handled? Even if your claim has recently settled we may still be able to review your case, read more here.
Through taking immediate action and contacting a member of our legal team, via our online enquiry form, you have the best possible chance of being fully compensated for your injuries.
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