James McNally, AKA the dog bite solicitor
The Guardian newspaper has recently published an article on dog-bite Britain. It features our own James McNally, referred to in the piece as “the dog bite solicitor” in recognition of his nationally acclaimed expertise in animal law.
The Guardian article focusses on incidents resulting from the pandemic puppy explosion. Since the first lockdown was imposed dog ownership in the UK has surged, but inadequate training and socialisation is leading to a sharp rise in dog attacks. One recent study concluded that there has been a threefold increase in dog bites requiring hospital treatment since the pandemic hit.
The article highlights the experiences of one of our clients, Jenna Foxton. Jenna’s dog was attacked by a greyhound while out for a walk. She intervened to save her dog, as most owners instinctively do in these circumstances, but a tendon in her finger was severed in the melee. She approached James for legal advice and he has taken her compensation claim on, working on a no win, no fee basis. James, who was interviewed by the Guardian, told the newspaper that his inbox had gone crazy during the pandemic, such was the correlation between life in lockdown and the rise in dog attacks. The number of cases that James and his team are handing has increased significantly over the last year.
One sector that is particularly at risk is self-employed delivery drivers, who make up a large part of our dog-bite caseload. This is hardly surprising given the rise in popularity of online shipping, coupled with the increase in dog ownership. Another explanation highlighted by James is the fact that in lockdown we have all been out walking our dogs and exercising in the parks at the same time. The greater proximity of humans and dogs inevitably leads to more incidents occurring. And he told the paper that he predicts a further rise in dog bite cases as pandemic dogs begin to adjust to eased restrictions.
James’ advice to anyone who is unlucky enough to be bitten by a dog is to exchange details with the owner, call the police and get medical attention as soon as possible, as any break in the skin can become infected. And he advises delivery drivers to take photos of the house at the time of the attack as he has known of ‘beware of the dog’ signs to appear after an incident has already taken place.
Commenting on the Guardian article James said that the dangers posed by dogs are very real, particularly at the present time, and the piece in the newspaper did an excellent job of drawing the problem to the attention of the wider public and highlighting some of the social factors at play.
“I have real concerns given the number of people who have decided to get dogs during lockdown who haven’t really thought things through and now have an animal which may not receive proper training and is completely unsuitable for their lifestyle; all reasons why a dog might bite or cause injury.”
You can read the full Guardian article on dog-bite Britain and the thoughts of “the dog bite solicitor”, James McNally, here.
If you have been bitten by a dog and would like to know if you can claim compensation then you can give James, the dog bite solicitor, a call on 0333 888 0404 or email him at [email protected]