If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you may be suffering from physical injuries and also psychological injuries that can stay with you for a very long time. Importantly, if you’ve been bitten or attacked by a dog because of the owner’s or handler’s negligence, you may be eligible to make a dog bite claim for compensation.
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, and how much compensation for dog bites you could claim.
We have a team of experienced personal injury solicitors who could help you claim compensation for dog bites on a No Win No Fee basis. Therefore, after you have finished reading, please feel free to call our claims team for a free assessment of your case on 0800 6524 881.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Make A Dog Bite Compensation Claim?
- Common Causes Of Dog Bite Claims
- How Much Compensation For Dog Bites Could I Claim?
- Dog Bite Compensation Claims Calculator
- Evidence To Support A Dog Bite Injury Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming Dog Bite Compensation
- How Long Does A Dog Bite Claim Take?
- Do I Need A Solicitor To Make A Dog Bite Claim?
- Starting The Dog Bite Claims Process
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.
Generally, to be eligible to claim compensation for a dog bite, you will need to demonstrate that:
- You were bitten by somebody else’s dog.
- The dog bit you through no fault of your own.
- The bite resulted in a physical or psychological injury or illness.
- The owner of the dog was responsible, either by not taking proper precautions to prevent it from happening or by failing to control the dog.
To check how likely it is that you’ll be able to claim compensation for a dog bite, please contact us for a free consultation with an advisor.
There are various common scenarios where an incident has led 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.
If you’re considering starting a dog bite claim, you might want to know how much compensation you’ll receive for a dog attack or bite injury. 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:
- The level of pain and suffering was caused by the dog bites.
- 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.
Essentially your claim will be separated into two elements, general and special damages.
Amongst other things, you could seek general damages compensation for:
On top of that, compensation for any costs, expenses or financial losses could be included as 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 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, 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 you are bitten by a dog, you should clean the wound following the guidance provided by the NHS and then try to secure evidence of what happened if you’re going to make a strong dog bit injury claim. To do this you could:
- Seek medical treatment at A&E to check for fractures, bruising or infection. Your medical report including treatment such as a tetanus shot could then be used as evidence.
- If you’re able to, ask for the dog owner’s details, the dog’s name and the 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.
- If you’re injured in a public place such as a park, report the incident to your local council dog warden and/or the organisers at a public 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.
Once you have as much evidence as possible, call our team to see how we can help with making a dog bite injury 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.
The time limit for making a dog bite compensation claim is generally 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 could make a dog biter claim on behalf of your child (as a litigation friend) at any point before their 18th birthday. If you don’t they can claim themselves before they are 21 years old.
Importantly, if you make a dog bite claim through the CICA scheme, you will have a 2-year time limit in which to do so. Additionally, you must have reported the incident to the police. If you can’t provide a crime reference number, your claim may be rejected.
Dog bite claims can be resolved fairly quickly if the dog owner or business admits liability straight away. Where that happens, claims can take a matter of months. However, if more evidence and an investigation are required, evidence is hard to come by or the other party is not agreeing to a fair settlement, compensation claims can take well over a year.
Essentially, each claim is unique, so it’s not possible to predict exactly how long a dog bite claim will take to settle without all the relevant details. However, by speaking with an experienced personal injury solicitor on our team they may be able to advise you on the likely timeline based on your specific circumstances.
No, you don’t. However, we believe it’s beneficial to do so. Whether you make a personal injury claim for a dog bite or a criminal injury claim following an unprovoked attack, 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.
A personal injury solicitor on our team can help you gather the necessary evidence to support your claim, including medical records, witness statements, and any other relevant evidence. They can also negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to. For these reasons alone, we advise that you take on specialist legal representation.
Ultimately, our solicitors will do all they can to try and ensure you receive the correct level of compensation for your dog bite claim.
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 dog bite claims process call us today on 0800 6524 881. There’s nothing to lose as we offer free legal advice whether you proceed to a claim or not.