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Accident compensation lawyers

Home > Personal Injury > Public Liability > Dog bite injuries

Dog bite injuries

Dog bites requiring hospital treatment

Many incidents of dog attacks go unreported each year, making it difficult to know the real number of people attacked by dogs. However, approximately 6,000 dog bites each year are serious enough to require hospital treatment. Of those, 20% are for children under 9, demonstrating that children are particularly at risk from being bitten by a dog.

The NHS estimates that around half of all children will receive a dog bite during their life. Tragically there have been a small number of deaths as a result of an attack by a dog in England & Wales.

Personal injury news

Clear Answers accident compensation solicitors represent thousands of clients each year who suffer personal injury in all types of accidents, including those that involve all types of animals.

Details of some of these compensation claims can be found in our personal injury news section, which is updated regularly.

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If you have suffered an injury through an attack by a dog, you may be able to claim compensation. For more information about how Clear Answers may be able to help you, please select one of the links below:

Breeds of dogs known to have attacked and injured humans

The majority of dog bite injuries are caused by a family pet attacking a member of the family, or a visitor, or even a neighbour. Most attacks involve a dog that has never bitten before.

The Dangerous Dogs Act, which came into force in 1991 and applies to England & Wales and Scotland, places a UK wide ban on the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brazileiro all of which were originally bred for their fighting abilities. Similarly, The Dangerous Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 applies there.

Rottweiler, German Shepherd and Alsatian are all breeds that may spring to mind when we hear of an attack by a dog. However, even family pets considered as more sedate such as collies, labradors and terriers, have all been known to attack humans, and on rare occasions the attack resulted in a death. More rare still are attacks by stray dogs, as they tend to keep their distance and be wary of humans.

The best advice is to never leave a child unsupervised with a dog, no matter what its breed or size, and regardless that its previous behaviour has given no cause for concern.

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Dog attacks on workers

Many jobs require workers to access homes and properties where there are dogs, whether family pets or working dogs such as on farms. There are many types of workers who may need to access a property, for example:

If you have received a dog bite injury at work, you may be able to claim personal injury compensation against the owner of the dog or even against your employer if they knew of the risk, could reasonably have done something about it and failed to do so and insisted that you went ahead with the visit despite that knowledge.

You should consider reporting any incident to the council or police. Even if your injuries are not too serious, a dog that has bitten once is more likely to attack again, with possibly much more serious injuries the next time.

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Claiming compensation for a dog bite injury

If you are considering making a claim for compensation, it is helpful to know who the owner of the dog is and where they live. Often the owner will have household insurance or pet insurance which may include cover for members of the public who are injured by the dog. Any information about the dog’s previous aggressive behaviour or previous attacks would also be helpful.

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Try to avoid a dog attack

If you find yourself in a situation with an aggressive dog, possibly barking, growling or showing its teeth, resist the temptation to run. Dogs like to chase and you may make matters worse. Try to stand still, hands by your sides and avoid eye contact. The dog may lose interest and either walk away, or allow you to slowly back away.

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Medical treatment if you have been bitten by a dog

Immediately wash the wound under warm running water, removing any dirt, hair, or other foreign matter. If not already bleeding, squeeze the wound to make it bleed as this will help clean and sterilise the wound. If the victim is a child, or the injury is to the face, neck or head, call the emergency services on 999.

Unless your wound is very minor, you should seek medical attention to limit the possibility of infection. You may need antibiotics and, if not already covered, may also need a tetanus injection. This is particularly important if your attack takes place abroad, as you may also be at risk of contracting rabies, a potentially fatal infection.

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Useful Contacts after suffering a Dog Bite

Below you will find links to other organisations which may be able to help you if you have suffered a dog bite.

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Making a claim for accident compensation

If you or a member of your family have been the victim of a dog attack, or any other personal injury, contact Clear Answers' solicitors on 0800 783 9019 and speak to one of our advisors. They will be happy to explain the claim process in plain English and answer any questions you may have. They will be able to assess whether or not you have a valid compensation claim.

Alternatively fill out one of our online compensation claim forms and a representative will contact you as soon as possible.

Please visit our section on information and advice for more details on making a personal injury compensation claim, or our gathering information and evidence section for details on what to do if you are involved in an accident.

If your claim has to be pursued outside the Courts of England and Wales, different cost rules may apply. Each case will be reviewed on its own merits and appropriate advice will be provided before any costs are incurred.

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