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Attacked by a dog: Can you claim compensation?

Attacked by a dog: Can you claim compensation?

The number of people attacked by dogs is growing with more people than ever before being treated in hospital for their injuries.

Shockingly, there have also been 23 deaths since the start of 2021 with the now notorious XL bully breed ‘being disproportionally involved in this rise’, says the government.

Since the beginning of February (2024), it has been illegal to own an XL bully without an exemption certificate and registered dogs must be kept on a lead and muzzled in public.

Yet still the problems persist – just days after the ban came into force, a 68-year-old woman was mauled to death, reportedly by two out of control XL bully type dogs, and several people have been injured in individual incidents.

What does the law say about out of control dogs?

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, it is against the law for a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place like a park or the street, and in private places including the owner’s home or a neighbour’s home or garden.

In addition, it is against the law to own certain types of dog. These are the Pit Bull Terrier, the Japanese Tosa, the Dogo Argentino and the Fila Brasileiro.

XL Bully dogs have now been added to this list of banned breeds in England and Wales.

What legal action can you take if you’re attacked by a dog?

Being attacked by a dog is a terrifying experience which can leave deep emotional as well as physical scars.

Victims include not only members of the general public but delivery workers and trades people working in someone else’s home.

You may be able to claim compensation for your injuries – there is no set amount – but this area of the law is a complex one.

Taking early and specialist legal advice as close as possible to when the attack happened is important, particularly as time limits apply.

Get in touch

Wards Solicitors is endorsed as a South West leading firm in the independent Legal 500 list for 2024 having received overwhelmingly positive testimonials from clients.

Our Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Claimant team wins praise as a recommended service area with partner Helen Boyd, highly experienced in dog attack law, highlighted as a key lawyer for catastrophic injury work.

If you need expert legal advice in this area, please contact Helen Boyd.

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