Who let the dog out?

  • Posted

Posted 20/06/2012

With another dog bite case hitting the local headlines (click here to read the full story), it is perhaps as good a time as any to revisit this subject.Animal claims can be a bit of a minefield; not only is the Act itself rather tricky but there is also a wealth of case law and not all of it is open to (easy) interpretation!The Animals Act 1971 imposes liability upon owners of animals which belong to a “dangerous” species (one that is not commonly domesticated in the UK, eg a lion!) but also extends to those commonly found, horses, livestock and, of current interest, dogs.As with most cases, the “devil is in the detail” and the oft quoted “every dog is allowed one bite”, whilst strictly speaking misleading in isolation, broadly speaking, can serve as a useful starting point. The animal’s (previous) “characteristics” are one of the key considerations and evidence on this point is crucial.As well as pursuing a claim for damages under the Act, claims can also be brought in negligence – sometimes in tandem. Again, any decision here is very much fact sensitive and it is vital that you get it right.Our advice to you is that if you are unfortunate enough to be attacked by an animal and are looking to pursue a claim for injury compensation, do not compound your misery by “gambling” on a telephone number from an advert seen on TV – you only get one chance.Choose someone local, accountable and whom you can trust to look after your best interests. At Ashtons Legal, our personal injury lawyers offer the highest level of legal expertise and experience combined with excellence of service for each of our clients. Our aim is to get you the compensation you need to help you get better – and to get back on with your life.Tom Ranson of Ashtons Legal injury services says: “Unfortunately, animal injury claims are not quite as straightforward as perhaps one would hope or expect. It is vital that if you are injured by an animal that you choose an experienced, specialist personal injury lawyer.”


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