There are various laws and penalties surrounding the appropriate control of dogs including State legislation and local council Domestic Animal Management Plans. Despite this, unfortunately dog attacks continue to occur and can have devastating effects both physically and psychologically.
Injury can occur not only from a dog actually biting, but also from a dog charging. For example where a dog charges at you and you are injured whilst trying to escape.
In addition to the power of the Courts to award compensation under the DOMESTIC ANIMALS ACT 1994 , a dog attack victim may have the right to bring a claim for damages which may include a claim for medical expenses, loss of income and pain and suffering.
It does not matter whether or not the dog owner has been prosecuted in relation to the attack.
A dog owner’s home and contents insurance, often provides cover for circumstances such as this, even if the incident occurs off the owner’s premises.
If you have been the victim of a dog attack you should:
- Seek medical help;
- Report the incident to the police, Council and where appropriate, the dog owner;
- Take photographs of where the incident occurred if safe to do so;
- Note details of any witnesses or surrounding CCTV cameras;
- Seek legal advice.
Cases are only as strong as the evidence that can be produced to support them. In many instances, CCTV if it exists, can be destroyed within a short time frame. Although our Team are experts in obtaining evidence and preparing cases, it is crucial that steps are taken to preserve evidence early on.
The law surrounding dog attack claims and your entitlements is complex and there are strict time limits that apply. It is important that you get appropriate legal advice from the outset to ensure that your rights are protected.
We can help you navigate the legal requirements, maximise your entitlements and make the decisions that are right for your future.
If you have a query, please do not hesitate to contact our expert Public Liability Team for a no obligation chat.