My dog has been attacked by another dog. What are my legal rights?
Dog-on-dog incidents are common.
If your dog has been attacked by another dog and suffered injury then you should take a note of the owner’s details and consider reporting the incident to the police or your local council.
If a dog is “dangerously out of control” then its owner can face criminal prosecution. Although prosecutions are rare they can result in a fine of up to £5,000 and a ban on future dog ownership. The dog may also be euthanised and in extreme cases the owner can be sent to prison. This law applies wherever the incident took place. It doesn’t just apply to incidents on public land.
The civil law allows you to recover your financial losses and out of pocket expenses from the owner of the dog that attacked your dog. This includes the cost of veterinary treatment.
Injury to dog owners can also occur when one dog is attacked by another dog. This often occurs when the terrified owner steps in to separate the animals and save their own dog from being mauled.
If injury is sustained then the owner of the aggressive dog who bit you can be sued for compensation. Because sums of compensation can be considerable we recommend that you ask whether the owner of the dog has insurance that would cover them for the incident. If they do, then take full details of that policy. If the owner refuses to cooperate then call the police.
It is rarely economic to retain solicitors to pursue a legal claim in respect of an injury to your dog. Such a claim would only be viable if your financial losses resulting from the attack were to exceed £10,000.
However, where human injury occurs then solicitors are usually able to assist in recovering compensation. The law is very complex so it is important to consult specialist solicitors who are experienced in dealing with dog bite cases. We receive a large number of calls from dog bite victims who have taken legal advice from inexperienced lawyers and been told they cannot make a claim, when in fact they can.
It is also worth bearing in mind that compensation claims can also be made where the owner doesn’t suffer physical injury but is so terrified by the incident that they suffer serious psychological trauma.
We are dealing with many such cases on behalf of dog owners and are always happy to have an initial chat.
If your dog has been attacked by another dog and you have been physically or psychologically injured in the incident then give us a call about claiming compensation on a No Win, No Fee basis on our free helpline 0808 139 1606 or send an email to [email protected]