Being attacked by an animal can be a terrifying experience causing physical and sometimes emotional damage.
The most common incidents of animal accidents are those of dog bites and farm animals straying on the road. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having been injured by an animal that you have not provoked, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
Animals on the highway
Owners of livestock, such as horses or cattle, have a responsibility to ensure that the public are protected from them by ensuring that the animals are not able to get loose from their field or barn etc.
If the owner of the animals involved in the accident can be shown to have failed to manage their animals with regard to the safety of road users, a claim for personal injury damages can be brought against them.
Attacks by a dog
Despite being called “man’s best friend”, according to the NHS, the number of attacks by dogs between 2008 – 2012 has risen by 40% to just under 4000 incidents and are the most common cause type of claim for a personal injury by an animal.
For a claim to be successful, it would be necessary to prove that the owner, keeper or handler of the dog, knew or should have known that the animal was likely to bite unless properly restrained. If there is evidence that the dog had previously attacked someone or shown aggressive tendencies, there is a higher likelihood of a successful claim.
Under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, the following breeds are required to be muzzled and kept on a lead whilst in a public place. They must also be registered and insured, neutered, tattooed and have a microchip implant.
The breeds are:
- American Pitbull Terrier
- Dogo Argentino
- Japanese Tosa
- Fila Brasileiro
Should any of these breeds injure a member of the public, it is not necessary to prove previous aggressive behaviour and a claim for compensation would be successful.
Report to the Police
You should always report an attack by a dog, or any other animal, to the Police. You may not be the first to have been attacked by it and it is important that the Police are made aware that there may be a potentially dangerous animal in the area. They are then able to take measures to protect the public by preventing the dog from attacking again.
Making a claim for compensation
If you have suffered an injury from an animal attack, you will need to get the following information:
- The name and address of the owner
- The Police Crime Number that you will be given when you report the incident
- Information about the dog including whether or not it is insured
- Find out if the dog owner is covered by insurance which may include the dog
Information needed following an attack
- Write down the names and address of any witnesses
- Give us details of any injury sustained, the treatment received and your current condition
- Provide details of your GP and any hospital attended. Photograph your injuries
- Ask any witnesses to write down their version of events straightaway whilst the incident is still fresh in their minds
- Keep receipts for any expenditure resulting from injury, including all prescriptions
- Record details of any mileage for travel by vehicle to the doctor, or hospital or elsewhere
- Keep a note of any loss of earnings and any state benefits received
- Keep a note of people caring for you, especially those taking time off work to do so
- Record the number of hours and days and if possible their pay rate
- Keep a note of any activities or work you are unable to do as a result of the injury
- Keep a note of your feelings and symptoms and how the injury progresses.
Funding you claim
We offer a full range of funding options including “No Win, No fee”, whereby you do not have to pay any upfront costs and there is nothing to pay should you lose the case.
Please click the button at the top of the page for full details of all funding options.