Dog Bite Claims for Compensation
Dogs are the most popular pets kept in UK households as a percentage (source) with 8.5 million of them in 2013. These numbers alone would suggest that unfortunately some people will get bitten by a dog, be it in the park, on the street or any other public or residential place.
Does this sound familiar? Have you been the victim of a dog bite? Was the owner of the dog responsible? If so, you could be entitled to claim for compensation.
Many dog owners take care and appropriate measures when walking their dogs in the UK. They have leads and some are well trained to control the dogs’ behaviour out in public.
Unfortunately there are dog owners out there that do not take the appropriate measures to avoid any incidents where their dog bites another person. Children in particular are at risk from being bitten by a dog with 20% of people needing hospital treatment after a dog bite are children aged under 9.
Dog bites and the workplace
There are several professions that involve carrying out work duties in the street and near our homes. This increases the odds of being bitten by a dog.
- Are you a post man who was delivering mail/packages and got bit by a dog?
- Are you a utility meter reader who entered a property to do your job, only to be faced with and bitten by a dog?
- Are you a home carer/helper or a salesman who was at the property and suffered a dog bite due to the negligence of the owner?
- Are you a council worker/maintenance worker who was doing his job and suffered an injury due to a dog bite?
People who work in these type of professions are in contact with our homes on a daily basis which means that they may come into contact with a dog who does not know them, feels they are a threat and is more likely to bite.
If you have been the victim of a dog bite whilst at work, contact us by calling 0161 82 11 229 or fill out the form provided to see if you are entitled to make a personal injury claim for compensation against the owner of the dog that bit you.
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How to avoid being bitten by a dog
“Prevention is better than cure” as they say so in case of dog bites, this is very important as a bite can leave you scarred for life or even worse and no amount of compensation can change that.
Dogs cannot speak and so use their barks and body language to communicate with us, so to avoid being bitten by a dog, here are some points that should help:
- Be polite and respect the dog’s personal space.
- Before petting a dog, let the dog see and smell you so that you don’t scare them and they become familiar with you.
- Don’t disturb a dog when it is sleeping, eating, chewing a toy or caring for its puppies.
- If a dog doesn’t know you, always assume that they may see you as a threat or intruder, so treat with caution.
Tips on dog behaviour and dog bites
Dogs do not speak our language and cannot understand if we are friend or foe. They use their bodies and barks to try and communicate with us so here are a few tips on interpreting what the movements by a dog who might be about to bite mean and what to do:
- Body Language – If you are in the presence of a dog and spot any of the signs that the dog is distressed, such as: tensed body, stiff tail, intense stare, pulled back head and/or ears, you should put a safe distance between you and dog. Make sure you do not turn your back to the dog or scream and run away as a dog’s natural instinct is to chase moving objects and catch them.
- Potential dog bite – If you think that a dog is threatened and is about to bite you, you should firstly resist the urge to scream and run away and remain motionless with your hands at the side and try and avoid making eye contact with the dog. Once the dog has lost interest in you, you should slowly back away until out of sight. If the dog attacks, try and “feed” him an object such as your coat, purse, bike or anything you can put in between you and the dog. If you fall or are knocked down, try not to scream and roll around. Instead try and curl into a ball like shape placing your hands over your ears and remain still. Hopefully the dog will lose interest in you this way.
What to do if you have been bitten by a dog
A dog bite is a serious matter, so you should report the incident to the police and your local council. Even if your injury wasn’t severe or serious, if a dog bites once, it is very likely to bite again and maybe cause a lot of damage to somebody else, like an innocent child.
Seek Medical Attention/Treatment
If you have been bitten by a dog you should firstly wash the wound with warm water and soap in order to remove any dirt or hair that is in the wound. If you can, cover the wound up to avoid any further risk from infection. You should then see your GP or for more serious injuries go to A&E immediately.
GPs usually prescribe antibiotics and a tetanus shot (depending on the severity of the injury). If abroad, make sure that you seek medical attention in regards to rabies, a potentially fatal disease.
If you, your child or anyone that you know have suffered due to a dog bite injury, contact us on 0161 82 11 229 or fill out the form provided. We will assess whether you can claim for compensation and take care of the hassle for you whilst you relax and recover.