10 things you need to do if you are bitten by a dog
Dog bites and dog attacks are on the rise and specialist solicitor James McNally deals with the legal fallout from these incidents on a daily basis. He is therefore ideally placed to advise on what to do if you are bitten by a dog and how to go about recovering compensation. Here is James’ checklist of the 10 most important things you should do if you are bitten by a dog:
1. Locate the owner of the dog
Find out who owns the dog that attacked you and make a careful note of their name and address.
2. Find out if the dog is insured
Pet insurance is now very common in the UK and if the dog that bit you is insured it significantly increases your prospects of recovering compensation. So, ask the owner if their dog is insured. If the attack took place on private property then ask for details of the owner’s insurance arrangements. If it is a private dwelling the incident could be covered by home insurance. If it’s commercial premises then it will be their public liability insurance. Request details of the insurance company and the policy number if it is available.
3. Obtain the details of any witnesses
Witnesses, especially independent ones, can provide invaluable evidence in legal cases. If anyone saw the incident then ask them for their name and address.
4. Make a written record of what occurred
To ensure that the facts of what happened remain clear in your mind it is advisable to make some written notes as soon as you feel well enough to do so. These can be called upon if the circumstances of the incident are challenged at a later date.
5. Call the police
Where a serious incident occurs that leaves you suffering injury then we would recommend that you call the police immediately. The police may be able to assist in obtaining information about insurance and contact any key witnesses.
6. Seek medical attention for your injuries
Don’t suffer in silence. Seek hospital treatment if required or consult your GP. Details of your injuries will then be included in your medical records and this evidence can later be made available to support any compensation claim you make.
7. Take photographs
Keeping a photographic record of your injuries can be very helpful when it comes to pursuing a claim for compensation. It is also not uncommon for dog owners to put up warnings signs on private property after the event and claim they were already in place when the attack occurred. This can be particularly important if you were bitten by a dog when making a delivery. A photograph of a door, gate or letterbox could prove vital to the success of your claim. As they say, a picture speaks a thousand words.
8. Keep accurate records
If you make a compensation claim you will be entitled to recover any expenses you incur, as well as compensation for the injuries you suffer. You can claim things like travelling expenses and recover the cost of medical treatment or medication. But you will be expected to prove that this expenditure has been incurred, so it’s important that you keep a careful note of what you spend and retain all receipts and invoices.
9. Make a note of any care you receive
If a loved one has to care for you or undertake tasks that you would otherwise have done yourself had it not been for your injuries then a claim can be made for the financial value of that care or the services provided. However, again its vitally important that you maintain a clear and accurate record of what people have done for you, including the dates and times.
10. Choose your solicitor wisely
The law relating to dog bite and dog attack claims is complex. Claims arising as a result of these incidents require highly specialised legal knowledge, so it’s important that when choosing a lawyer you select one who is experienced in this niche area and has an excellent track record of recovering compensation for people who have suffered like you.
Been bitten by a dog? We operate a FREE legal helpline. Call freephone 0808 139 1601. Alternatively, you can email specialist solicitor James McNally at [email protected]
James, known in the UK press as ‘the dog bite solicitor‘, is one of the country’s leading lawyers in this specialist area, often succeeding where other solicitors have tried and failed. He is therefore a true expert. James will assess your case free of charge and if he feels you have a good claim he will deal with it on a No Win – No Fee basis.