Claim Compensation For Dog Attack: How to show a dog owner is at fault for an injury caused by his animal whether by attack or by accident
Claim compensation for dog attack: find out which dogs are considered as dangerous fighting breeds, how to show an owner is responsible for your animal injury and how to claim criminal injuries if a dog is used as a weapon.
Which types of dogs are considered dangerous dogs?
In public dangerous dogs must be kept on a leash and muzzled at all times. The owner should also ensure the dog is registered, insured, neutered and tattooed – there is even a requirement for microchip implants.
The Dangerous Dogs Act is a piece of UK criminal law which describes two main classifications of dog which are considered dangerous:
1. Species of dogs known to be fighting breeds
Species of dog which are known to be bred for fighting include: the pit bull terrier, the Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro or any other cross breed of dog which is considered to be bred for fighting purposes.
These species of dog are considered by the law to be automatically dangerous.
2. Other breeds of dog which present a serious danger to the public
Any other species of dog which is not a specific dangerous fighting breed, but has characteristics which present a serious danger to the public. This might include a dog which is known to bite or attack.
Can you claim compensation for an attack by a dog which is considered a dangerous dog?
If an attack occurs from a dangerous dog it is very likely you will be able to claim compensation from the animal owner – in fact there is normally strict liability for such an animal. In other words – you only have to show that the dog is dangerous and that dog has caused you injury and the animal owner will be considered liable in UK law to pay you compensation for your injuries without having to prove that the owner was negligent.
Can you claim compensation if a dog which is not a dangerous breed causes you injury?
“Yes” – you will be pleased to discover that it is still possible to claim compensation if a dog, which is not a dangerous breed, causes you injury.
How can you prove a pet owner is at fault for your injury from a dog which is not of a dangerous species?
The process for proving responsibility for an injury by a dog is quite involved – there is no substitute to consulting with an expert animal accident solicitor, but in short the following steps should be taken (set out by UK law’s known as the Animals Act and Owner Negligence):
1. Is your injury of a kind which the dog, unless restrained, was likely to cause
For example – a big dog, such as a Great Dane, could cause injury if it ran into the back of a jogger – even if it was not intending to attack him.
2. Was your injury likely due to a behavioural characteristic of that particular dog and that behaviou is known by the owner to exist?
If a dog, which is not of a dangerous species, has a certain type of behavior which is known to the owner that can cause injury – the owner could be responsible for the injury caused.
This is particularly the case if a dog of that species would not normally have such a behavioural characteristic.
The best way to explain this is to give an example: imagine you are playing football in a park when all of a sudden you are knocked over from behind by a Great Dane. A Great Dane is a large heavy dog, but is not the type of dog which is known to behave in this way. If the Great Dane has behaved this way before with the owner’s family or other people – the owner knows it has this behavioural trait and also knows that if the dog runs into you from behind you are likely to be injured. In this case it is likely that you will be able to claim compensation from the owner.
3. The owner was negligent as to the safety of the public
An owner may have not taken necessary precautions as to the safety of the public, for example: if a dog owner let his dog off the lead in infant school playground it is likely that a dog, especially a big dog, could frighten or knock a child over when an adult would be safe. In this instance the owner may be considered negligent and at fault if a child is injured and consequently responsible to pay compensation.
Can you claim criminal injuries compensation if the dog is used as a weapon?
A dog can be used as a weapon if the owner deliberately uses the animal to attack you – this is especially true if the dog is of a dangerous breed.
Click criminal injuries compensation to find out how to claim compensation if you have been injured by an act of violence or a deliberate dog attack.
Summary of how to claim compensation for a dog attack
You have seen on this page how to claim compensation for a dog attack or other injury caused by a dog including criminal injuries compensation.
Click claim compensation for dog attack to see how to ensure the animal owner has the means to meet your claim for compensation from dog attack.