An attack by a dog or another animal can be terrifying, for an adult or a child. It often affects the victim significantly, both physically and emotionally. As with any injury, the victim may be forced to take time off work and suffer severe, long term disruption to their life. It is understandable that many such victims feel that they deserve to be compensated, but are often unsure as to how to go about this or are even unaware that they may be entitled to compensation.
Despite calls for reform, the law regarding dog and other animal attacks can be confusing, and victims may not be aware of the options available to them to seek compensation.
If you have been attacked and injured by an animal, whether it be in someone’s home or in a public place, you may have a claim against the keeper of that dog who has allowed the attack to happen. The law governing such claim is a piece of legislation called the Animals Act 1971. This Act imposes liability in some situations upon the keeper of the animal which has caused injury or damage.
In some cases, a claim against the occupier of the land where the attack took place may be successful.
A claim must be brought against the owner of the animal or occupier of land within 3 years of the date of the attack, or else it will be statute barred (i.e. legally prevented from continuing). Where the victim was under 18 at the time of the attack, they will have until their 21st birthday to make a claim.
Often the animal owner will have some sort of insurance policy either through their home or pet insurance to cover such claims. Where the animal owner does not have the means to satisfy a claim or is not liable under the Animals Act, it is possible that the victim of an animal attack may be able to recover compensation by applying to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (known as the CICA).
The CICA will consider making an award to a victim who has suffered injury as a result of a crime of violence, so in the case of dog attacks where the dog has deliberately been set on the victim. The incident must have been reported to the police, and the application must be made to the CICA within 2 years of it happening.
Veitch Penny have acted on behalf of and successfully recovered compensation for victims who have been injured by dogs and other animals. We understand that these types of attack can be extremely traumatic and will ensure that any potential claim is fully investigated.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a dog or any other animal, and wish to discuss your situation in a free, no obligation chat please contact us on 01392 344800, or request a call back.