Law

Injury Compensation Solicitors – UK Dog Bite Claims

A dog bite claim may be pursued by injury compensation solicitors seeking a payment of damages for personal injury. Most injury compensation solicitors offer initial advice at no cost and without obligation thereafter dealing with the compensation claim using the no win no fee scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal fees are payable unless the personal injury case is won, and  compensation is paid. If the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client.

A dog bite claim by injury compensation solicitors is only possible if the dog has previously shown some aggressive tendencies. There is a general misconception that a dog gets its first bite ‘free’ but that is simply not the case. If the dog was previously generally aggressive and unpleasant then that is enough to put the owner on guard about potential tendency to bite requiring the owner to take specific care about the safety of others. Certainly, if a dog has previously bitten then the owner is without doubt on notice and is therefore responsible for any further assaults by the dog.

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 requires certain breeds of dog (pit bull terrier, Japanese tosa, Dogo Argentrino, Fila Braziliero) to be muzzled in public, chipped, tattooed, insured and registered on the Index of Exempted Breeds. Unregistered dogs can be seized and destroyed. The forgoing does not apply to these breeds and owners are liable to pay compensation in a dog bite claim for any assault or injury even if the dog had never previously shown any aggressive tendencies. Any dog on this list must be under the control of its owner at all times failing which it can be seized and destroyed. The act only covers the most dangerous dogs that have been bred with a very powerful stature for fighting. In reality the list does not cover the 10 most common dog bite claim breeds which are outlined below with their annual attack statistics :-

    Staffordshire Terrier – 200+

    Cattle Dog – 200+

    Rottweiler – 150+

    German Shepherd – 150+

    Pit Bull – 100+

    Kelpie – 100+

    Bullmastiff – 50-100

    Labrador 50-100

    Bull Terrier – 50-100

    Terrier – 50-100

Guard dogs are only allowed to be active on premises when they are under the control of a handler or are chained. They cannot be just left to roam free on premises with the intention of deterring unwanted visitors. If a guard dog is being used it must be clearly declared on a notice at the entrances to the property.

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