James McNally has negotiated a £260,000 dog bite payout for a decorated ex-soldier who was left physically and psychologically scarred following a dog attack.
James’ client had been invited to his friend’s new house to have a look around and also meet his Dogue de Bordeaux, which he had just collected from the Dogue de Bordeaux Welfare.
He mentioned to our client that the dog had been aggressive towards his daughter’s boyfriend a few days before, but that the DDB Welfare had told him it was probably because he was wearing a hat and hoodie.
As our client walked through the front door of the house the dog approached him and without any warning bit and held onto his upper arm. This was a shocking attack that left our client bleeding and in severe pain. The injury to his bicep required several operations and caused a large and permanent scar.
James, who is one of the country’s leading dog bite solicitors, agreed to take on the case, working on a no win, no fee basis. He quickly secured an admission of liability from the dog owner’s insurance company, who also made an offer of settlement of £15,000. However, James advised his client that the offer was inadequate, particularly as it was becoming apparent that while the physical injuries were significant, the major impact was caused by the psychological symptoms.
Our client had a long distinguished history in the military, after which he had built a reputation working on construction projects in high risk areas of the world, such as Iraq. He had been back working in the UK for a number of years, but just prior to the dog attack he had accepted a job in the Middle East which would have resulted in him being paid a large tax free wage.
His psychological injuries meant that he was no longer suited to undertake such high stress, high risk work, which could involve having to make life or death decisions in extremely dangerous situations.
The insurance company put our client to strict proof regarding not just the job offer but his actual and projected earnings, and his entire career in the military. They also argued that previous references to mental health issues in his army and medical records were relevant and would have prevented him from carrying out such work in any event.
The case was further complicated when the solicitors acting for the dog owner decided to join the Dogue de Bordeaux Welfare into court proceedings on the basis that they had failed to properly assess the dog and the risk before it was handed over.
Not only did James ensure expert evidence was obtained to support our client’s claim, but statements were taken from former colleagues in the UK, US and Iraq regarding his character, abilities and nature of his work.
Shortly before trial we met for informal discussions with the dog owner’s legal team. This resulted in James negotiating a £260,000 dog bite payout. This sum included compensation for the injury and lost earnings, as well as an award for being handicapped on the open labour market.
Says James :
“While this was a relatively straightforward claim in terms of legal liability for the attack, the acceptance of the job offer just before the incident meant that there was an element of speculation about the overall value of the claim. The dog owner’s solicitors tried to use this to argue for a reduced amount of compensation, but I am pleased to say that our experience in dealing with personal injury cases meant that we were able to counter their arguments with evidence that in the end they weren’t able to refute.”
If you are looking for a dog bite payout and want an experienced solicitor fighting your corner then give us a call on 0333 888 0404 or email us at [email protected].