If you are bitten by a dog, you may suffer physical injuries and also psychological injuries that stay with you for a very long time. You may not realise it but it is possible, in some cases, to claim compensation for any injuries you sustain following a dog bite.
In our dog bite claims guide, we’ll explain what options are available to you if you’re bitten by a dog through no fault of your own. We have a team of experienced personal injury solicitors who could help you claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
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After you have finished reading, please feel free to call our dog bite claims line for a free assessment of your case.
There are various common scenarios where an incident has lead to a dog bite claim. They include:
- Being bitten by a guard dog when at an event and you were doing nothing wrong.
- Whilst working as a vet or dog groomer you are bitten.
- If you are bitten when entering a premises to deliver a parcel or items of post.
- Where a dog escapes and enters your garden or property and attacks you.
- If you or your child is bitten by a dog that’s off its lead in a park.
While many dogs are well trained and don’t ever bite anybody, some do and you may be to make a dog bite claim for compensation if you are injured as a result. Essentially, where there are dogs, there is a risk of being bitten.
If you are injured because of an unprovoked dog and are bitten, you should consider making a personal injury claim for a dog bite. Any settlement could help cover the cost of private medical treatment and cover any lost income that was caused by the bite. On that basis, please call today on 0800 6524 881 if you’d like us to review your chances of claiming compensation.
According to Section 3 of The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, dogs must be kept under proper control. If they’re not, and somebody is injured as a result, the owner may have committed an offence. Furthermore, if you are injured because the dog bit you, then you may be able to claim compensation.
To be eligible to claim for a dog bite, you will need to demonstrate that:
- The dog bit you through no fault of your own; and
- You were injured in the process.
If you are bitten by a dog, you should try to secure evidence of what happened. To do this you could:
- Ask for the dog owners details, the dog’s name and breed.
- Report the incident to the police.
- Take a picture of the dog where possible.
- Ask for details of any witnesses that saw what happened.
- Report the incident if you’re injured in a public place such as a park or at an event.
- See if the area is covered by CCTV footage and ask to be sent a copy.
- Write a statement of what happened.
- Photograph your injuries and keep hold of any clothing that was damaged when the dog bit you.
- Seek medical treatment at A&E to check for fractures, bruising or infection.
Once you have as much evidence as possible, call our team to see how we can help with making a dog bite claim. Our assessment of your case is free and there is no obligation to claim. If your case is suitable, we could appoint a No Win No Fee solicitor to your case.
If you’re considering starting a dog bite claim, you might want to know how much compensation you’ll receive. However, it is not the act of the dog biting you that you are compensated for, it is the extent of your injuries. Therefore, no two claimants will be paid the same amount. The factors that solicitors and insurers will use to calculate compensation payouts for a dog bite include:
- How much pain and suffering was caused by the dog bite.
- If you’ve been left with any permanent scarring and, if so, whereabouts on the body.
- If your injuries will affect you in the long-term i.e. if you’re left with reduced grip following nerve damage in the hand.
- Whether you’ve incurred financial losses because of your injuries.
We can help you work out what your claim might be worth on a no-obligation basis. If you speak with one of our advisors, they’ll give free legal advice and let you know if one of our solicitors could represent you.
If a successful claim is made against an insurance policy (public liability insurance for instance), the amount of compensation you’ll receive will be based on figures in the Judicial College Guidelines. Therefore, we’ve used those figures in our dog bite claim calculator below.
The compensation calculator displays just a sample of the different injuries that dog bite claims might be based on. Therefore, don’t worry if yours isn’t included, you could still make a claim. Importantly, these figures are just average dog bite payout guidelines for general damages and do not include compensation for special damages. There is no guarantee that you’ll receive the amounts displayed if your claim is successful.
If you do decide to make a dog bite compensation claim, amongst other things, you could seek general damages compensation for:
- The psychological impact caused by the incident.
- Nerve damage.
- Cuts and lacerations.
- Bruises and soft tissue damage.
On top of that, any costs, expenses or financial losses could be claimed for special damages. These could include:
- The cost of your treatment (if private healthcare is required).
- Prescription costs or the cost of over the counter medicine.
- Any lost earnings.
- Travel costs.
Where you claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), the figures may not be as high but you could still receive compensation. CICA claims might be made if a stray dog bites you or if an owner provokes their dog to hurt you.
If you make a dog bite claim through the CICA scheme, you will have a 2-year time limit. Additionally, you must have reported the incident to the police. If you can’t provide a crime reference number, your claim may be rejected.
In the majority of other personal injury claims, the time limit is longer. The time limit for making a dog bite compensation claim is 3-years from the date of the incident. However, if a child has been bitten by a dog, the 3-year limit only applies once they turn 18. Therefore, you can represent your child in a claim at any point before their 18th birthday. If you don’t they can claim themselves before they are 21-years old.
Dog bite claims can be resolved quickly if the dog owner or business admits liability straight away. Where that happens, claims can take a matter of months. If more evidence and an investigation are required, compensation claims can take over a year.
Our specialist personal injury solicitors (in our opinion) can really make the dog bite claims process easier. As well as reducing stress levels by working on a No Win No Fee basis, they could improve your chances of winning your case and being compensated fairly. Our team of experienced solicitors always assess your claim in full before filing it to make sure no aspect of your suffering is missed. That’s really important as, after you have settled the claim in full, you can’t request further compensation.
We can help you claim through the CICA scheme, or to make a personal injury claim for dog bites in public places, or at work, or elsewhere. If your case is taken on, you won’t have to pay any solicitor’s fees upfront and you won’t pay at all if we don’t win your case.
To start the ball rolling, why not give us a call today on 0800 6524 881? There’s nothing to lose as we offer free legal advice on dog bite compensation claims whether you proceed to a claim or not.
Whether you make a personal injury claim for a dog bite or a criminal injury claim following an unprovoked dog bite, you’ll need to prove exactly what happened, who was to blame, and how you suffered. If you’re unable to do so, any compensation may be reduced or not paid at all.
For that reason, we advise that you take on specialist legal representation. Our solicitors will provide evidence to support your claim in a clear and concise way. They also have the experience and legal training to try and counter any objections that are raised during your claim. Ultimately, they’ll do all they can to try and ensure you receive the correct level of compensation for your dog bite claim.
Last updated 16th August 2021.