We have all heard it said many times. “We are a nation of dog lovers.” According to a poll in 2016 by BMG Research , it’s not just a well-worn saying but is backed up by statistics. A nationally representative sample of 1500 UK adults found that almost half of the British public (46%) prefer dogs to cats (19%) with just 1 in 10 not liking pets at all.
However, whilst most dogs are well cared for and raised by their human families, it is worrying to find that the rates of dog bites and strikes (or attacks) are nevertheless on the increase. A report in 2015 from the HSCIC based on evidence from the Hospital Episode Statistics database showed that for the 10 year period from March 2005 to February 2015, the number of hospital admissions as a result of dog bite attacks, had risen by 76% over the period, from 4110 to 7227. Children up to the age of 10 were those most commonly admitted for dog bite injuries.
The reasons for the increase in dog bite attacks could simply be due to the increase in population in Britain ie the more humans there are, the more people there are to own dogs. Alternatively, or in addition to this, perhaps we aren’t (or some of us aren’t) controlling our canine friends as well as we ought to be.
Doesn’t the problem stem mainly from banned dogs that are owned illegally?
The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, specified four types of dogs that it was illegal to own in the UK;
1. Pit Bull terrier
2. Japanese Tosa
3. Dogo Argentino
4. Fila Brasiliero
It seems almost weekly that we read in the news about attacks by banned dogs with the Pit Bull terrier’s name cropping up frequently. In April 2017 five pit bull type dogs went on the rampage in Bolton causing bite injuries to a man, a woman and another dog, with two of the offending dogs being shot dead, two being seized and one missing.
Such headlines can give the impression that it is pit bulls and their fellow illegally owned canine friends, that are responsible for most dog attacks in the UK.
Merseyside police figures in 2015 revealed that the worst dog offenders, for attacks on humans in the city were…. Jack Russells.
Undoubtedly though, the most surprising news is that in 2016, Labradors were revealed as being responsible for the highest number of canine attack personal injury claims in the country. This though may simply be due to the fact that they are currently the most popular breed of dog owned in the UK.
What these reports reveal is that most breeds of dogs, not just those with a notorious reputation, in certain situations, are capable of inflicting nasty personal injuries to human beings.
So if I suffer personal injury as a result of a dog bite attack, should I make a personal injury claim?
If you sustained personal injury in a road traffic accident that was not your fault or as a result of an accident at work where your employer was to blame, would you make a claim? Probably the answer would be ‘yes.’ So if you are injured in a dog attack, there is no reason why you should not similarly make a claim for compensation against the owner of the dog. Dog owners or carers have a responsibility for preventing their dogs from acting dangerously or causing harm to others. Being bitten by a dog is almost always a terrifying experience and can leave the victim with often serious, sometimes life-threatening injuries, as well as causing severe emotional trauma.
Most dog owners will either have pet insurance or household insurance that will deal with any compensation as a result of their dog’s actions.
In order to make a successful claim for compensation, you will need to be able to show that the dog’s owner knew, or ought to have known, that the dog was dangerous and liable to attack. Obtaining evidence that the dog has previously attacked someone or shown dangerous tendencies, will assist your case for compensation (don’t worry the solicitors at Truth Legal can find this out for you if you decide that you would like us to pursue a dog bite compensation claim for you).
1. Do report the attack to the Police as soon as you are able. This will ensure that the incident is on record and also they may be able to advise if the dog has been reported for a similar attack before.
2. Ensure you get a prompt medical after the incident.
3. Get someone to take photographs of the injuries that you have sustained. If there are witnesses to the attack, get their contact details.
4. Make contact with Truth Legal as soon as you are medically fit enough to do so. We are experts in dealing with dog bite compensation claims, so fully understand the procedures that need to be followed.
If the dog’s owners have no insurance, or if the owner deliberately set their dog on to you, you might be able to make a claim for compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). Truth Legal will be able to advise you fully on this should this be appropriate to your claim.
Your claim for compensation will be for damages for personal injury and the pain and suffering that goes with that and in addition you may be able to claim for any losses incurred as a result of the injury such as;
- Lost earnings
- Travel expenses
- Damage to clothing and property sustained in the incident
- Cost of medical treatment
One of the most important things that Truth Legal’s expert dog bite injury solicitors will be able to provide you with is peace of mind. You being subject to the attack will have been traumatic enough. Let our experts at Truth Legal relieve you of the stress of dealing with the aftermath of the attack for you. We might be able to offer to deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis, which means that if your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t have anything to pay.
Contact us now on 01423 788 538 or email [email protected] and we’ll get straight back to you.