Can I sue if a dog bites me or my child?

Can you sue if you're attacked by a dog?

In the last decade hospital admissions for dog attacks rose by 76%, according to figures released by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. RSPCA figures show that 37 people have been killed by dogs between 1991 and 2016, 28 of which were attacked by dogs that aren’t a banned dog breed. Banned dog breeds include the pit bull terrier, Japanese tosa, Dogo Argentino and the Fila Brasileiro.

It seems the dog biting the postman isn’t actually a cliché. Last year alone there were 2,275 dog attacks reported by post men and women working for the Royal Mail.

But can you sue if you get bitten by a dog? The short answer is yes.

How common are dog bite claims

Dog bites are the most common form of animal attack when it comes to compensation claims, followed by farm animals straying onto the road and causing traffic accidents. You can claim compensation for an animal attack if it was completely unprovoked.

It’s the responsibility of the animal’s owner or keeper to make sure the dog doesn’t injure people. If they own one of the banned dog breeds, or a cross-breed equivalent, then they should muzzle their dog when out and about in public places.

How much can I claim if a dog attacks me?

The compensation you could receive is likely to differ to any other dog attack – as each case is unique. The amount you could receive depends on a number of factors such as the severity of the injuries, the parts of the body injured, psychological damage, loss of anticipated earnings, and the amount of scarring. The claim amount is also affected by recovery prognosis – are you likely to fully recover or have you got a life-changing permanent disability?

What do you need to make a dog attack or dog bite claim?

There are a few preparations you can make with regards to making an animal attack claim:

  • Make sure you report the incident to the police so you can get a crime reference number.
  • If possible, note the name and contact details of the animal’s owner and the details of any witnesses.
  • Get checked out by a medical professional and keep hold of your medical records.
  • Keep records of any expenses caused by the injury such as receipts for medical bills, prescriptions, missed income from work and so on.
  • Take photos of your injury – including any scars left over.

If you or your child have been bitten by a dog or experienced any other animal attack through no fault of your own, please contact our serious injury team on 0800 614 722. Your initial no obligation consultation with our specialist team is absolutely free. We work on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Talk to us