By Cat Grayson. Last Updated 19th January 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:
- Use our live webchat at the bottom of the screen
- Call 0161 696 9685
- Contact us online for a callback
Select A Section
- Dog Bite And Dog Attack Compensation – Who Do I Claim Against?
- Bitten By A Dog – Compensation Claim Time Limits
- Which Breeds Of Dog Are Banned In The UK?
- Gathering Evidence To Support Dog Bite Claims
- Dog Bite And Dog Attack Personal Injury Compensation Calculator
- Make Dog Bite Claims With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
- Dog Bite Law In The UK – More Help And Resources
If you’ve been injured in a dog attack, you might be wondering if you could be eligible to claim compensation for a dog bite, and if so, who you could claim against.
While a dog bite or a dog attack can cause significant injuries and have long-lasting consequences, you might not always be able to claim. This is because valid claims for dog bite compensation must be able to meet the following criteria:
- Another person owed you a duty of care
- They breached this duty
- As a result, you were injured
Under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and Part 7 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, dog owners and those in control of dogs, such as dog walkers or trainers, are responsible for their actions. They must remain in control of the dog, for example, ensuring it is on a leash or muzzled when necessary and appropriate.
If the person responsible for the dog fails to keep it under control, and you are injured as a result, this could be deemed negligence, and you may be able to make a dog bite claim. However, if the dog attack was provoked, or if the person in charge of the dog had reasonable control over it, then you may not be able to claim.
Our advisors are here to help. If you’d like to learn more or to make a dog bite claim in the UK, contact our team today.
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.
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.
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.
You might wondering how dog bite compensation is calculated and what it could consist of. Compensation for some successful claims may consist of two parts: general and special damages.
General damages compensate for the physical and psychological injuries you suffered due to being bitten by a dog. Those responsible for assigning value to this part of personal injury claims may refer to the compensation brackets found in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) for help. This document lists guideline figures for different types of injuries.
In our table below, we look at a few figures that could be relevant to a dog bite injury claim. They’re taken from the 16th edition of the JCG. However, the top row is not from the JCG, and all figures included are only guideline amounts.
|Type of Injury
|Multiple Very Serious Injuries and Expenses
|Up to £150,000+
|Settlements may include compensation for more than one injury of a serious nature and incurred costs, such as plastic surgery and lost earnings.
|Very Severe Scarring
|£29,780 to £97,330
|In relatively young claimants. The cosmetic effect is very disfiguring and the psychiatric reaction will be severe.
|Less Severe Scarring
|£17,960 to £48,420
|The disfigurement leads to a significant psychological reaction.
|£5,860 to £19,070
|There 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.
|Up to £13,740
|This could include ruptured ligaments, puncture wounds, metatarsal fractures and similar injuries.
|£5,720 to £13,280
|Including penetrating wound, lacerations and soft tissue damage and results in some sort of permanent disability.
|Less Serious (iii)
|Simple fracture of a femur with no articular surface damage.
Dog Bite Compensation – Special Damages
Suffering a dog bite and injuries related to a dog attack can have a significant effect on your finances as well as your physical and mental well-being. Special damages, the second head of claim, helps to restore your finances to the point they were at before you suffered your injuries, as well as accounting for any potential future costs.
For example, your injuries may be severe enough that you need time away from work while you recover, which results in a loss of earnings. In this case, the special damages head of your dog bite compensation payout could help you recoup these lost earnings.
If your claim for a dog bite succeeds, this heading could also help you recoup the cost of:
- Domestic help
- Mobility aids, such as a cane, prosthetic, or wheelchair
- Home adjustments, such as a stairlift
- Essential travel
- Prescriptions and over-the-counter medications
It’s important to note that you must provide evidence of your financial losses in order to claim under special damages. Because of this, retaining any receipts, bank statements, invoices, or other financial documents related to your injuries could be beneficial to your claim.
To find out if you could be eligible to claim or to learn more about making a dog bite claim, contact our team of advisors today.
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:
- Use our live webchat at the bottom of the screen.
- Call 0161 696 9685.
- Contact us online for a callback.
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
- Get Advice On Leg Injury Claims and claiming personal injury compensation with our helpful guide.
- Learn more about the Hand Injury Compensation Claims process and find out if you could be eligible to claim.
- Get more help claiming for Facial Scars caused by a dog bite or a different kind of accident through our guide.
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.