With an estimated 8.5 million dogs in households across the UK in 2015, the likelihood of coming across one while on a leisurely stroll through your local area is highly likely. In most cases, there is nothing to fear but there is always a risk that a dog owner could be negligent and not in control of their animal.

One of our consultants acted for a 15 year old girl and her parents from Surrey. She was attacked by a dog owned by a nearby resident whilst out walking her own dog.

The young girl was walking her dog on a lead in local woods when she saw a person approaching with another dog this time off the lead. As she came closer the other persons dog ran at her dog and attacked it. In trying to separate the animals she was bitten badly on the hand severing tendons. She was taken to hospital and had to have surgery. This effected her ability to practice her piano and to complete her academic studies (She was right handed and the dominant hand was injured)

The consultant approached the owner who refused to cooperate. The owner however lived in a large private house in an affluent area and seemed as though she would either be well off or be insured. Several letters were sent to no avail.

The consultant advised that we should bring proceedings under a no win no fee agreement. A medical report was obtained and court proceedings were started. The owner then instructed her insurers who dealt with it and who then paid the girl compensation.

The same consultant acted for a German tourist who was attacked on a public footpath in Berkshire by a Rotweiller that escaped from an adjacent farm. The tourist even climbed a tree to try and escape the dog. He was badly bitten and injured. The farmer who owned the dog was insured but denied liability saying that the tourist had entered the farm which he denied. The consultant brought legal proceedings and with the help of local witnesses who confirmed that the dog regularly escaped and attacked people and the case was won with the dog owners insurance paying out compensation and costs.

A third such case involved a community worker who was asked to shovel snow at a Dog Sanctuary. He attended the premises and whilst having a break talking to a co worker was attacked by one of the dogs that had taken a dislike to him. The claimant had tried to stroke the dog but it attacked him. Liability was denied on the basis that he was warned not to go near the dog as it evidently did not like him. He denied this and confirmed that no warning was given and that the keepers of the dog were aware of its aggressive nature and should have taken steps to mussel it. The case was won including compensation and loss of earnings in excess of £10,000.

If you’ve been bitten by a dog and are looking for advice on making a claim, please contact us on 0845 450 6135 or email ncragg@setfords.co.uk who can advise you about whether you are likely to have a successful claim.