It is estimated there are around nine million pet dogs in the UK. But what remedy do you have if you are bitten by someone else’s dog?
Dogs are potentially dangerous animals, and there is, therefore, legislation in place to ensure that dog owners are held to account if their dog bites or attacks a member of the public.
The Animals (Scotland) Act 1987 introduces strict liability for dog bites. If the Act applies, you do not have to prove the dog owner was negligent or that the dog had an aggressive nature prior to biting you - the dog owner will be liable to pay you compensation.
The claim is brought against the “keeper” of the animal, who is usually the:
It is worth bearing in mind that there are circumstances in which damages may be refused or reduced, for example, if you provoked the dog and sustained injury as a result or if you are deemed to have accepted the risk of the dog attacking you.
If you are bitten by a dog, it is important that you try and find out who owns the dog, so that a claim can be submitted. Most dog owners have home insurance, which should cover them for the claim. You should also obtain details of any witnesses to the dog attack, as it is not unusual for the dog owner to dispute the circumstances of the attack.
Attacks by dogs can result in long term injuries, both physical and mental. We have acted successfully in a number of dog bite claims and can help you secure compensation from the dog owner if you are attacked.