Need a Dog Bite Lawyer?
You might, if you have been on the receiving end of a dog attack by a vicious or overly aggressive dog. Pursuing irresponsible individuals for personal injury compensation following a dog bite is one way in which we can improve the situation for all responsible pet owners.
Although this site is campaigning for the repeal of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, I want to make something very clear:
I am totally against people having to endure dog attacks by poorly trained or aggressive dogs under any circumstances. I do believe that we need laws to protect people from dog attacks, it is just that the Dangerous Dogs Act is not that law.
Pursuing a Personal Injury Compensation Claim due to a Dog Bite
If you are attacked by a dog that is out of control, through no fault of your own, then I feel that you definitely should make a legal claim if it is possible to do so. It is the threat of such claims that makes people act responsibly and in very many cases the reason people are bitten by dogs is due to poor training or irresponsible owners. When thugs feel that there is a chance of comeback against them personally for the actions of their “fashion accessories” (vicious dogs, trained to be that way) perhaps the situation will improve for all of us.
In many countries lawyers are allowed to pursue a claim on a no win, no fee basis – so making a personal injury claim need not cost you a penny. Injury claims against individuals are frequently paid by household insurance policies so it doesn’t matter a great deal if the person that owns the dog claims they cannot afford to pay. You cannot afford to be bitten either!
As with all the advice on this page, or this site, please consult a legal professional in your area about making a personal injury claim. Laws vary widely.
What to Do If You are Bitten
This webpage is viewed across the world and in various legal jurisdictions. It is therefore impossible to give comprehensive legal advice, but some general principles should hold true. This information is provided for educational purposes only as I am not a personal injury specialist.
- The first priority is to seek medical attention. Protecting your life and health come before any consideration of who is to blame or compensation due to you. If the injury is severe, call the emergency services promptly. You may go into shock and be unable to do so later. In most jurisdictions a hospital Accident and Emergency (A+E) department will be able to document your injuries and take a photographic record of them. This kind of professionally recorded evidence is extremely useful, make sure you get it if possible.
- Establish who owns the dog and their place of residence. The owner of the dog will usually be the person that is liable for the dogs actions, but this may vary if the dog is under the control of a legally responsible person for example. In many jurisdictions with dangerous dogs type laws, a dog is not considered to be under control if it is being walked by a child for example. Find out who the head of the household is in the home where the dog resides. Get an address for them. Ideally, get this address verified by the police at the time of the incident. Although many irresponsible owners will likely fail to do this, most countries have laws to ensure that a dog wears a tag to identify who the owner is – see if the dog has one. If it does not, then most likely the owner of the dog is guilty of a crime just for this fact. Pursue it. Proving ownership of dogs is one way in which their use as personal weapons will be decreased.
- If you are able to do so, gather evidence. Pictures from a camera-phone are unlikely to be admissible in many places, but are better than nothing. They are definitely better than trying to remember what the dog or owner looked like on your own. If you do not have a camera, or even if you do, write notes shortly after the event. Written notes will only complement any pictures available. The reason for doing this is that memories change over time, especially if the events being recalled were traumatic. Don’t let some thug get away with having his dog attack you because of a poor memory of the events. Also, make sure you do not dispose of torn or blood stained clothing. Do not wash these items. You may need to prove that it was a particular dog that caused the injuries at a later point, DNA evidence can be gathered from dog DNA just like a humans.
This concludes my personal advice on what to do if you are the victim of a dog attack. If you feel that I have made any errors or omissions in this document please feel free to contact me via the contact form on this website (comments will close automatically after a period of time).
Please remember that despite what the media may say the chance of being the victim of a fatal dog attack is extremely low. The majority of victims of dog attacks make a full recovery.
While personal injury compensation won’t make your injury’s go away they will help in other ways. Also remember that most owners of truly vicious dogs are cowards that have trained them to be that way as they cannot stand up for themselves. Any action to discourage this kind of activity must surely be a good thing. By using a specialist dog bite lawyer to pursue a personal injury claim following a dog bite you will be making things safer for everyone.