If a dog bite injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward

Dog bite injuries can be very serious, leading to compensation claims against pet owners for their lack of control of the dog. Compensation claims can cover medical treatment, psychological harm and any costs or losses you incur as a result of the attack.

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a dog bite injury, we can help. Whether your injuries were caused by a slip or trip, fall or other incident, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

You can make a No Win, No Fee compensation claim for an accident in a public place with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

With around 8,000 serious dog bite injuries each year, you are not alone

There is evidence from both the NHS and the Royal College of Surgeons that dog bites are increasing, however, but this may be a result of people being more likely to seek medical advice following a bite.

A study published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) estimated that around 1/4 of Britain's population have been bitten by a dog. This statistic includes everything from nips requiring no medical treatment, to serious bites. Approximately 0.5% of dog bites required hospital admission.

In the UK, there are round 8,000 serious dog bite injuries each year (bmj.com).

The increasing popularity of smaller breeds may also account for a rise in incidents. It has been suggested that these breeds are assumed to be less dangerous, but they can potentially still inflict serious injuries and permanent scarring.

Typical dog bite injuries include finger amputations and lacerations to the limbs and face, resulting in permanent scarring or nerve damage. There may also be a risk of contracting tetanus or other infections through deep puncture wounds.

In addition to physical injuries, many people attacked by dogs also sustain psychological trauma.

If you decide to make a dog bite injury claim, your personal injury solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you need to move forward.

Do I have a dog bite injury claim?

If you've been injured in an accident that was caused another person or organisation in the last 3 years, you will be entitled to make a claim for financial compensation.

Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.

What if I was partially at fault?

Personal injury claims where both the defendant and claimant share some responsibility are relatively common.

In our recent 2024 Public Liability Injury Claimant Survey, 17.45% of respondents thought they could be partially to blame for their accident.

When fault on both sides caused a claimant's injuries, this is called 'contributory negligence'. In these situations, compensation may still be payable on the basis of a split liability agreement.

Read more:

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

How long do I have to start a dog bite injury claim?

In most cases, you have 3 years from the date of your accident or injury.

If you were injured when you were under 18, a parent, guardian or adult 'litigation friend' can make a claim on your behalf. Once you turn 18, you have until your 21st birthday to start an injury claim.

How much compensation can I claim for a dog bite injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the seriousness of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

Dog bite injury compensation calculator

Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.

Updated June 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College (judiciary.uk) and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

Special damages

If it can be proved that your injury left you unable to work, special damages can be awarded for any lost earnings, loss of commission or bonuses, and loss of pension contributions. It may also be possible to claim for loss of future earnings, if the medical prognosis establishes that you won't be able to work for any period in the future.

These damages will also cover the cost of any medical procedures you might need to treat or recover from your dog bite injury such as wound care, antibiotics, rabies vaccination and pain medication.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

The impact of psychological injuries

Psychiatric harm is less obvious than physical injury, but the consequences can be just as difficult to deal with.

Our 2024 Public Place Injury Claimant Survey highlights that 29.03% of claimants reported they had suffered a psychological injury, 70.97% of which related to a physical injury.

A dog bite can lead to a long-term phobia of dogs (cynophobia) and anxiety in any situations where dogs might be present. This phobia can make it difficult to visit friends or family with dog, socialise in public, or even walk down the street.

Your solicitor will help ensure that any psychological harm you have suffered as the result of another party's negligence is recognised and included in the calculation of your compensation award or settlement. In addition, you can also claim for mental health treatment costs that may not be readily available on the NHS.

Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.

The Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA) 1991

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (DDA) introduced breed-specific legislation (BSL) - a ban on the ownership of certain breeds that were regarded as more dangerous than others (including Pit Bull Terriers and Japanese Tosas). However, the Act also recognised that any breed of dog (however usually placid and friendly) might attack a person.

Section 3 of the DDA 'Keeping dogs under proper control' makes it an offence for any dog to be dangerously out of control, anywhere, including its own home.

What if the dog attack happened on its owner's premises?

More than a third of all dog attacks are sustained by postal workers and delivery drivers in the course of their employment, with the Royal Mail reporting 2,600 attacks on its staff in the last year. Dog attacks on postal workers increase by around 10% during the summer months when dogs are loose in gardens.

As dogs are territorial animals, even the best-behaved may become aggressive if they feel they or their family are threatened by someone entering their property. However, this is no defence for an owner whose dog attacks someone on that property. Since May 2014, when the DDA was amended to extend the legislation, it has been an offence for a dog to be out of control on private property as well as in a public place. This includes front and back gardens and yards.

All homeowners have a duty of care to those who are lawfully visiting their property and are therefore liable for any injury to postal workers, delivery drivers or any other visitors, caused by their dog attacks. A successful claim will involve demonstrating the owner was negligent in that duty of care.

What if the dog's owner cannot be identified?

Anyone sustaining an injury through a dog attack has a right to claim compensation. If a dog is running loose, it may be impossible to establish who the dog belongs to or who is responsible for keeping the dog under control. Where there is no one to bring a claim against, it may be possible to make a claim from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

Read more:

How to make a claim through the CICA.

What happened?

The claims process for a dog bite injury will depend on where and how the accident happened. Click the icons below for more information:

No win, no fee dog bite injury compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim dog bite injury compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

Get expert advice now

Interested in talking to an injury specialist about your claim?

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Call 0800 376 1001

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Citations

Chris Salmon, Director

Author:
Chris Salmon, Director