Unknown insurance clause leads to successful payout for dog bite victim

On 15th December 2010 a 12 year old girl visited a friend’s house in Liverpool. Whilst there, the owners Staffordshire bull terrier jumped up and bit her.  The dog was completely unprovoked and the young girl (now 16) suffered severe facial injuries.

The victim was rushed to hospital immediately, where a specialist plastics team was brought in to assist with emergency surgery. During the months that followed, she had further surgeries and today continues to receive scar treatment and Psychological counselling.

The victim’s family were advised by several law firms that there was no case for negligence and that even if they were successful in obtaining a judgment, there was no hope of acquiring any financial compensation because the owner of the dog was unemployed and without an insurance policy.

With little hope left, the family met with Terry Otty who recently joined Setfords Solicitors as a Consultant Solicitor in litigation. After many months of lengthy enquiries, Terry successfully proved that the owner of the dog had breached her duty of care.  He discovered that she knew the dog was dangerous and had taken it from the previous owner aware of the fact it had behavioural issues.

He also identified a little known clause in the victim’s Mother’s insurance policy that led to proceedings being issued, judgement being made, interim damages being paid and a final settlement of £64,000 in damages plus costs being awarded for criminal injuries.

Whilst the payment cannot remove the emotional and physical damage caused, it goes a long way to helping with recovery.