Dog bite solicitors win compensation for the psychological injuries of the mother of a child who was attacked
Specialist dog bite solicitor James McNally has recovered compensation for a South Devon mother who witnessed a horrific dog attack on her young daughter while at the local park.
She had been sitting with her daughter and their dog when they were approached by another woman and her own dog, an Airedale Terrier. The woman said it was okay for our client’s daughter to stroke the dog and feed it some treats. However, without any warning the Airedale grabbed the little girl by her head effectively scalping her as a result.
Although she suffered no physical injuries herself the mother had to fight to get the dog off her daughter and then had to deal with the traumatic aftermath, using her daughter’s ripped dress to try and stem the large amounts of blood she was losing from the bite wound.
Soon after the accident she began to develop flashbacks and other symptoms which were diagnosed as PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder. She also found that the reaction she suffered when she saw blood meant that she was no longer able to work as a midwife, a career that she loved and enjoyed.
Dog bite solicitor James McNally was initially asked to deal with a claim on behalf of the daughter, but when it became apparent what a significant impact the incident had upon the mother he offered to make a compensation claim for her too on a No Win, No Fee basis.
The owner of the Airedale pleaded guilty to criminal charges at the magistrates court, but she argued that because her dog had shown no previous history of aggressive behaviour she should not have to compensate the victims of the attack.
We disagreed. As specialist dog bite solicitors we knew that a dog’s previous good history does not provide a defence for what happened.
Court proceedings were issued by us. This led to the dog owner’s solicitors telling us that they wished to enter into settlement negotiations and as a result a sum of compensation was agreed. The compensation covered the PTSD and also the impact that it had upon our client’s ability to work as a midwife in the foreseeable future.
Dog bite solicitor, James McNally, commented:
“This case raises some really interesting points that perhaps many people won’t be aware of. Firstly you don’t have to have suffered a physical injury to bring a claim for compensation nor do you have to have been the actual person who was attacked. You can bring a claim if you were a “secondary victim”. The case also shows that even where you have a seemingly straight forward incident with a guilty plea in the criminal courts a defendant can still refuse to pay compensation.
We at Slee Blackwell are specialist personal injury solicitors. This meant that when our client mentioned the problems she had suffered since her daughter was attacked we were able to advise her that she too had a potential claim. The fact that liability was denied did not put off us and we were able to gather the evidence we needed to bring this claim to its conclusion.”
Contact our dog bite solicitors for a free case assessment by calling 0333 888 0404 or emailing [email protected]