Learn How To Claim Compensation For A Dog Bite Or Dog Attack

By Cat Grayson. Last Updated 30th May 2024. In this guide, we will be discussing how to claim compensation for a dog bite or dog attack. According to findings from the BBC, dog attacks have risen 34% over the past five years. These injuries can have severe and long-lasting consequences, and some can even prove fatal. 

Our guide will discuss who you can claim against following a dog attack, as well as the criteria that your case must meet in order to form a valid dog bite claim. In the UK, there is legislation in place that dictates the responsibilities of dog owners and those in control of dogs in public spaces, as well as what breeds are legal to buy, sell, own and breed. We discuss this legislation, and detail how it helps outline liability in personal injury claims.

Following this, we will discuss how legal professionals establish compensation in personal injury claims. We also touch on the evidence that you could collect to help support your claim, and how long you have to start proceedings. 

Finally, we will explain how a No Win No Fee solicitor from our expert panel could help you with your dog bite compensation claim. Our advisors are on hand to answer any questions you may have about the claims process, and may be able to connect you with a solicitor from our panel. To find out if you could be eligible to claim dog bite compensation:

a dog baring its teeth about to attack

Select A Section

  1. Compensation For A Dog Bite And Dog Attack – Who Do I Claim Against?
  2. Bitten By A Dog – Compensation Claim Time Limits
  3. Which Breeds Of Dog Are Banned In The UK?
  4. Gathering Evidence To Support Dog Bite Claims
  5. Dog Bite Compensation Calculator
  6. Claim Compensation For A Dog Bite Or Dog Attack With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
  7. Dog Bite Law In The UK – More Help And Resources

Compensation For A Dog Bite And Dog Attack – Who Do I Claim Against?

The person responsible for a dog, be they that dog’s owner or a dog walker, has a legal duty of care to ensure that the dog is not dangerously out of control. Under Section 3 of The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, the person responsible for the dog has committed an offence if their failure to control the animal results in another being injured.

Dog bite claims are generally made through the owner’s insurance. If they have no insurance and the dog has been used as a weapon in a violent attack against you, a claim could instead be made through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA are an executive agencey of the UK that can compensate those injured in violent crimes.

Common Dog Bite Causes

A dog bite can occur in a few different circumstances. Possible examples include:

  • The dog being off the lead.
  • Inadequate training.
  • A breed banned by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 where no safety measures have been taken by the owner.
  • No muzzle.

To learn more about the eligibility criteria for dog attack claims, or for a free consultation regarding the validity of your potential claim, talk to our team today.

The Words Personal Injury Law Written On A Black Book Next To Glasses And Gavel On Table.

Bitten By A Dog – Compensation Claim Time Limits

If you have been bitten by a dog, a compensation claim should be started within three years from the date you were injured. The limitation period for making a personal injury claim is outlined in the Limitation Act 1980.

However, there are exceptions to the time limit to make a dog bite claim. For example:

  • Minors have three years from their 18th birthday to take action. Before this point, the time limit is paused.
  • The time limit is suspended for someone who lacks the capacity to make their own claim. If they regain their mental capacity, the time limit will start from the date of recovery.

A litigation friend may claim on behalf of a minor or someone who does not have the mental capacity to claim themselves while the time limit is paused. These are usually appointed by the courts after an application has been made.

Speak to our advisors at any time and they can clarify if you are within the limitation period to take action following a dog bite injury.

Which Breeds Of Dog Are Banned In The UK?

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 outlines dog bite law in the UK. This piece of legislation was brought into practice to try and curtail illegal sports such as dog fighting and to reduce the number of dog attack injuries.

Under this legislation, certain dog breeds are banned, making them illegal to own or breed in the UK. These breeds include:

  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Dogo Argentino 
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • XL Bully

Even if the dog is not acting dangerously or has not been reported, the police or local council can still remove a banned breed from its owner. However, if the court decides that the dog is not a danger to the public, then it may be registered in the Index of Exempt Dogs and returned to the owner. In this case, the owner will receive a Certificate of Exemption.

Making a note of the breed can be relevant if you’ve been bitten by a dog. Compensation claims involving banned breeds of dogs depend heavily on evidence. Photographs, video footage or any testimonies from witnesses can really help. 

To learn more about how to claim for a dog bite after being bitten by a banned breed of dog, contact our team of advisors today.

Gathering Evidence To Support Dog Bite Claims

An important step in the dog bite claims process is collecting evidence to help support your case. Evidence can benefit many different areas of your claim, and can help show who was liable for your dog attack injuries, how they occurred, their severity, and how they’ll affect your life going forward.

Some examples of evidence that you could collect to make your claim stronger include:

  • Medical records: Your medical records can offer more information on your injuries. This can include their severity, the treatment you will need, and the way this treatment will affect you. If you choose to work with a solicitor on your claim, they may arrange for you to undergo an independent medical assessment.
  • CCTV footage: If the dog attack was caught on CCTV, then you may be able to request the footage. This can then be used as evidence of how the attack occurred.
  • Witness statements: While you cannot take witness statements yourself, taking the contact details of witnesses means that their statements can be taken at a later date by a solicitor or another professional.
  • Financial records: Keeping any records of financial losses caused by your injuries can help a claim for special damages.

Our advisors can offer more information on proving a dog bite compensation claim when you get in touch.

The Word Evidence On A Folder On Top Of Computer Keyboard.

Dog Bite Compensation Calculator

If you’re wondering how much compensation you could claim, you might be tempted to use a dog bite compensation calculator. Tools such as these can be helpful, but they aren’t always accurate. 

This is because compensation in personal injury claims is awarded depending on the individual circumstances of each claim. Since a dog bite claim calculator can’t take these specifics into account, they may not be able to provide an accurate estimate. 

What Compensation Could I Receive?

While we can’t tell you exactly how much you could receive, we can provide more information on what your compensation could be made up of. Generally, when you make a personal injury claim, you could receive up to two heads of claim; the first of these is general damages.

General damages cover the pain and suffering that you endure as a result of the dog bite. They also cover loss of amenity, which means loss of enjoyment in things like hobbies or work. 

When this head of claim is calculated, the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) can be used to help. The JCG presents those who value this head of claim with guideline amounts for different kinds of injuries, as you can see below. 

Please note that these amounts are only guidelines, and the first entry has not been taken from the JCG.

Type of InjuryHow SevereCompensationNotes
Multiple Very Serious Injuries and ExpensesVery SevereUp to £250,000+Settlements may include compensation for more than one injury of a serious nature and incurred costs, such as plastic surgery and lost earnings.
Facial DisfigurementVery Severe Scarring (a)£36,340 to £118,790In relatively young claimants. The cosmetic effect is very disfiguring and the psychiatric reaction will be severe.
Facial DisfigurementLess Severe Scarring (b)£21,920 to £59,090The disfigurement leads to a significant psychological reaction.
Psychiatric Damage Moderate (c)£7,150 to £23,270There may be issues with work, education and social life but there will have been a marked improvement by the trial date and the prognosis will be positive.
FootModest (g)Up to £16,770This could include ruptured ligaments, puncture wounds, metatarsal fractures and similar injuries.
HandModerate (h)£6,910 to £16,200Including penetrating wound, lacerations and soft tissue damage and results in some sort of permanent disability.
LegLess Serious (c)(ii)Up to £11,120 to £17,180
Simple fracture of a femur with no articular surface damage.

Special Damages

The second head of compensation that you could pursue is special damages. This heading covers the financial losses caused by the dog attack. For example, if you need to take time off work to recover, this could cause lost earnings. 

This is one example of a financial loss that you could claim back through special damages, alongside the cost of:

  • Travel.
  • Childcare.
  • Medical bills and prescriptions.
  • Counselling.
  • Help with housekeeping.
  • Mobility aids.
  • Cosmetic aids.

However, in order to claim under this heading, you must be able to prove the losses that you’ve suffered. For example, you may be able to prove your losses with receipts, invoices, or bank statements. 

To learn more about claiming compensation after a dog attack, contact our team of friendly advisors today.

Claim Compensation For A Dog Bite Or Dog Attack With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

A solicitor with experience handling dog bite claims could help you.  If you contact us about your case and we determine it’s valid, we could potentially connect you with an experienced solicitor from our panel. The solicitors on our panel can guide claimants through the steps to making a claim for a dog bite. They can also offer to support you on a No Win No Fee basis.

If you begin a dog bite claim with the help of a No Win No Fee solicitor, you may be offered to sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is a type of No Win No Fee agreement. Under such an agreement, you won’t need to pay any upfront legal fees. You also normally won’t have to pay your solicitor for their work if your case fails.

Instead, a success fee is paid should your claim prove successful. To cover this success fee, a legally capped percentage is subtracted from the compensation awarded to you.

If you have any questions about making a claim for a dog bite, or the compensation you could receive for your injuries, get in touch with our advisors. They could advise you whether you have an eligible case as well as offer free advice. If they think you might be eligible to make a claim, you could be connected to one of the lawyers on our panel.

To speak to an advisor:

Two Men Discuss No Win No Fee Claims At A Desk With Scales And Gavel.

Dog Bite Law In The UK – More Help And Resources

Hopefully, this guide has provided you with all of the information you require to decide if you’ll begin a claim or not.  For further information, here are some more relevant guides to help you:

  • NHS Animal Bites – An NHS guide on what to do in the event of a bite from animals.
  • Damaged Nerve Injury Claims – If you’ve suffered from a damaged nerve due to the negligence of another, read our guide to find out how to claim.
  • Statutory Sick Pay – Information on claiming SSP if you’re too sick to work.

Other Guides You May Find Useful

We hope you now know enough about dog bite law in the UK to tell whether you could claim dog bite compensation. If you’re still wondering how much you can claim for a dog bite, or want to begin your dog bite claims with our help, contact our team today.