Victim of a dog strike wins compensation claim
James McNally, a specialist animal law solicitor, has recovered compensation for a North Devon man injured by a dog while jogging along Woolacombe beach.
Mr H was enjoying his daily run when an Australian sheepdog ran into him, knocking him to the ground and injuring his ankle. A builder by trade, the injury meant he was unable to work for a number of months and was also unable to assist his partner in the running of their guesthouse.
The dog’s owner was a holidaymaker staying at a local caravan park. Mr H had seen him and his dog and was keeping his distance by running along the shoreline while the dog owner was almost 100 metres away. However the owner was using a ball thrower to exercise his dog and though he admitted he hadn’t seen Mr H before he threw the ball in his direction he denied liability. He even denied that his dog had knocked Mr H over.
Says James McNally:
“Dog strike cases are notoriously difficult to win because our courts expect the victim to prove that the dog owner is responsible. It isn’t enough to say that they should have just kept the dog under proper control. Luckily Mr H made the right choice in instructing solicitors who specialise in dog strike claims. We were able to use hospital records to prove that our client had been struck and we presented expert evidence on exactly why the dog had acted in the way it did.”
Responsibility for the accident was denied until just a couple of weeks before the case was due to go to trial at Exeter County Court when the owner’s solicitors contacted James to negotiate an out of court settlement.
“The final amount we settled for made sure that our client was compensated not just for the injury he suffered but also for the earnings he lost and the extra hours his partner had to spend running the guest house when he was unable to assist. It really was an excellent result.”