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Dog bite claims

Dog bite claims affect approximately 19 in every 1,000 people each year. While injuries can range from minor to severe, you can still claim for dog bite compensation whatever your circumstances. Contact Express Solicitors today to start your no win, no fee dog bite claim.

Last updated on June 10th, 2022.

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Key points for making an injury claim

The most important things to remember when making dog bite claims:

  • Dog owners have a responsibility to protect others from their dogs
  • You can claim against an individual or an organisation
  • You can claim on a no win, no fee basis
  • You generally have three years to make a claim
  • You can claim with the CICA if the owner is uninsured.

Dog bite compensation claims

Dog bite compensation claims are more common that you might think.  The UK has over 12 million dogs – that’s almost one for every two households.  This complete guide to dog bite claims explains everything you need to know if you’ve been injured as a result of a dog bite.

Dog bites can happen for many reasons, from emotional stress to poor control from their owner, but there is no reason why anybody should be injured. There are laws in place to control dogs and some breeds are even banned in the UK.

If you’ve been bitten by a dog and suffered an injury, contact us to claim dog bite compensation today.

Can I claim compensation for a dog bite?

You can make a dog bite compensation claim if somebody else’s dog bit you and caused you physical harm, no matter how minor. By law, the owner has a responsibility to control their dog and keep others safe from harm, whether they are at home or in public.

You can generally claim compensation for a dog bite if:

  • The dog bite happened in the last three years
  • You can prove you were injured
  • You can prove your injury was caused by another person or organisation’s dog.

Our trained personal injury solicitors can help you to gather the evidence to start your dog bite compensation claim.

If you’re not sure whose dog bit you, or if the owner does not have insurance, we can also help you make a Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) claim. Contact our specialist solicitors today to start your no win, no fee claim.

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What to do if you’ve been bitten by a dog

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you should first remove yourself from any danger, particularly if the dog appears to be vicious. Once you are safe, you should find the owner and ask them about their insurance.

Check to see if there are any witnesses and get their contact details, as these may help your compensation claim. You should also notify the police and make written records of what happened. We can use all of this when gathering evidence for your dog bite compensation claim.

Seek medical attention if you need it, and make sure you take photographs of your injuries. These photographs and any medical records will all help to build your case.

Finally, contact us with these records and we will put together a claim for you. We can help you to gather the right evidence including police reports, witness statements and medical records. We can also help to take your claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority if the owner did not have insurance, or if you do not know who owned the dog.

What kind of injuries are caused by dog bites?

Dog bite injuries can range from minor to severe, but we can help you make a no win, no fee claim no matter what kind of injury you’ve suffered. Common dog bite injuries include:

  • Puncture wounds and scars
  • Broken bones
  • Head, neck or eye injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Emotional trauma.

The seriousness of your injury will affect your final compensation pay-out. In very rare cases, dogs may even have rabies, which could pose a critical threat to your health. This is very rare, with only four recorded cases in the UK since 2000, but we can help you with any dog bite injury claim you make.

Can I claim for a dog bite at work?

You can claim for a dog bite at work. For example, if your employer has dogs on-site, such as guard dogs, then it is your employer’s responsibility to keep them under control and keep you safe. If you are attacked by a dog that belongs to the company, then your dog bite claim would be paid for out of your employer’s liability insurance.

Can I make a dog bite insurance claim for my child?

You can make a dog bite insurance claim for your child. You can act as a ‘litigation friend’ up until their 18th birthday. We generally advise that you make a claim with us as soon as possible after your dog bite injury. This helps us to gather the most accurate evidence to support your claim.

How to claim for personal injury compensation

Want to know more about claiming for a personal injury? Jargon free, we’ll explain your legal rights, letting you know everything you need to know about claiming.

How do I report a dog bite?

If you’re reporting a dog bite in the UK, you should notify the police by calling their non-emergency number, 101. Ask for a copy of any police reports so that you can use this as evidence to support your dog bite claim.

Can you sue someone for a dog bite?

You can sue someone for a dog bite if you were injured and they failed to control their dog. Your claim will usually be paid out of the owner’s pet insurance. In some cases, such as in public places, the claim may be paid for out of the organisation’s public liability insurance. If the dog bite happened at work, then your compensation would come out of your employer’s liability insurance.

Can I claim for a dog bite on private property?

You can claim for a dog bite on private property, even if it was the dog owner’s land. In 2014, the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 was updated to include rules for dog bites on private property. By law, owners must still keep control of their dogs and keep others safe.

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The laws around dog bite compensation claims

There are certain laws that apply to dog bite personal injury claims. We can use these when building your case, as they have been put in place to protect others from potentially dangerous animals.

What is The Animals Act 1971?

The Animals Act was introduced in 1971 to protect victims of damage caused by animals. It applies to animals including dogs and livestock, and states that owners are responsible for damage caused by these animals, including physical harm.

What is The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991?

The Dangerous Dogs Act prohibits owners from allowing their dogs to attack others or become dangerously out of control. It also prevents the following dog breeds from being sold, bred or exchanged:

  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Pitbull Terrier.

Owners with these breeds of dogs must, by law, have them insured, neutered and microchipped.

Can you sue if a police dog bites you?

You can sue if a police dog bites you, but this becomes a very complicated legal case as these are rarer than standard dog bite injury claims. In some cases, the police’s defence might be that you accepted a reasonable level of risk if you failed to comply with a police officer, resulting in the dog attack.

Our specialist dog bite personal injury solicitors can advise you if you do have a unique claim like this.

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That’s right, we provide unlimited legal support for our prospective clients. Not sure if you have a claim, or if you even want to make a claim? You can speak with us for as long as you like and as many times as you like. We’ll let you know your legal rights, completely free of charge and with no obligation to make a claim.

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How much can I claim for a dog bite?

There are no set compensation amounts when claiming for a dog bite injury, as each case is different. When you make your claim, you will be assessed based on the seriousness of your injury, the long-term impacts on your life and any financial losses you’ve suffered.

Based on historical cases, dog injuries have been awarded these amounts for specific injuries:

  • Minor hand injuries: up to £4,500
  • Loss of part of a finger: up to £7,400
  • Serious hand injuries: up to £58,000

We will go above and beyond to make sure you get the largest compensation settlement possible.

What can I claim for when claiming for a dog bite injury?

When you claim for a dog bite injury, our specialist solicitors will calculate your claim based on three things:

  1. General damages – the seriousness of the physical or psychological harm you’ve suffered
  2. Special damages – any financial losses you’ve suffered, such as medical bills or time off work
  3. Long-term impacts – any long-term impacts on your life such as changes to your home.

What are the time limits for dog bite compensation claims?

You generally have three years from the date of your injury to make a dog bite claim. This can be longer if the bite happened to a person under 18. You can represent them as a ‘litigation friend’ until their 18th birthday, or they can represent themselves up until the age of 21. If the person was mentally incapacitated, for example, if they had learning difficulties, then there is no time limit for somebody to claim on their behalf.

Frequently asked questions about dog bite compensation claims

Is it worth suing for a dog bite?

It is always worth suing for a dog bite, even if your injury is minor. Your compensation can cover medical bills, time off work and even psychological trauma that you may have suffered.

Who pays for a dog bite?

Dog bites are usually paid for through their owner’s pet insurance. However, if it happened in a public place and belonged to an organisation, it may come from that organisation’s public liability insurance, such as with guard dogs. If your injury happened at work, it would come out of your employer’s liability insurance.

What happens if a dog owner doesn’t have insurance?

You can still make a claim if the dog owner does not have insurance, or if you do not know who owned the dog. In this case, you would make your claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, which was set up for cases like this. We can guide you to make your claim through this scheme.

Do dogs that bite get put down?

Dogs that bite do not necessarily get put down, but it depends on individual circumstances. Generally, if the dog has a history of violent behaviour or has bitten more than twice, then this may be the best option.

Can dog owners be prosecuted if their dog bites me?

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, dog owners can be prosecuted if they deliberately allow their dog to injure someone. They can face an unlimited fine or up to 14 years in prison.

Why choose Express personal injury solicitors?

At Express Solicitors, we offer decades of experience settling dog bite injury claims just like yours. Our specialist solicitors have extensive knowledge of animal control laws, claims against the police and public liability claims, so we can guide you through the process. No matter how minor your injury, we will listen to your story and get you the compensation you deserve.

Contact us to start your no win, no fee dog bite claim today.

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