04 Dec Animal attack claims
Animal attacks can happen anywhere; in a park or public place, or in someone’s home. Being the victim of a dog bite can be traumatic. Beyond sustaining physical injuries, you can suffer from shock and lasting anxiety. If you, or your child, have suffered a dog bite, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim. Contact one of our personal injury experts for advice on animal attack claims.
I’ve been bitten by a dog, can I make a claim?
Animal attack claims are slightly different from other personal injury cases. If you have been attacked by a dog, The Control of Dogs Act 1986 outlines that the owner is liable for damages. This piece of legislation focuses on the protection of livestock, but it covers injuries to people too.
Unlike other personal injury cases, victims do not have to prove an injury was caused because an owner’s negligence of duties. To have a sufficient claim, just two conditions must be met:
- An attack must have taken place
- The victim must have sustained injuries
This is all that’s needed for pursuing animal attack claims. Though dog owners are strictly liable, not every case is successful. The victim can be found at fault, for example, if they trespassed on private property and ignored warnings.
What injuries lead to animal attack claims
Animal attack claims can come about as the result of a dog attack in a public place or on private premises. The most common injuries suffered from a dog attack include:
- Soft tissue damage
- Cuts and scrapes
- Psychological trauma
What to do after an animal attack?
After being bitten, you should seek medical attention immediately. Once you have been seen to by a doctor, you may want to take steps to gather evidence for any future personal injury claim. You should:
- Identify the dog’s owner
- Write an account of the incident
- Document your injuries – take photos and save medical records
- Get the details of witnesses
- Check the area for CCTV which may have recorded the incident
- Report the attack to An Garda Síochána
Who pays damages for animal attack claims?
If you were bitten by a police or security dog, the owner will probably have insurance to cover personal injury claims.
Private dog owners may be covered by a household insurance policy. However, if they do not have adequate insurance, they may have to pay for damages out of their own pockets. This is where matters get complicated as not everyone has the means to pay and can’t be obliged to do so.
If you have been the victim of a dog bite, you have two years from the date of the attack to bring forward an animal attack claim. Contact Ferrys Solicitors LLP for advice. You can focus on your recovery, while we focus on your case.