16 May 2021

Dog bites can be severe and traumatic events, which is why it is often best for everyone to pursue a compensation claim if the owner of the dog was at fault.

Dog bites can be severe and traumatic events, which is why it is often best for everyone to pursue a compensation claim if the owner of the dog was at fault. This normally ensures that such an attack is less likely to happen in the future and that the victim is properly compensated for their injuries. To help you decide if you should pursue a public liability case here are 5 things you should know about dog bite compensation claims:

What to do if you have been bitten by a dog?

If you’ve been bitten by a dog it is vital for you to seek the appropriate medical attention to minimise the risk of infection and complications. In the meantime you may also want to consider lodging a dog bite compensation claim for the damage and injury caused. If this is something that you wish to pursue then you should begin to gather evidence around the event including:

  • Photographs on the injury and dog.
  • Contact details of the parties involved, including the owner of the dog and witnesses.
  • Witness statements and a description of the event.
  • Medical records of the treatment of the bite.
  • Financial records and reports indicating loss of earnings.

Am I eligible to make a compensation claim for a dog attack?

Your eligibility to make a public liability claim for a dog bite in New South Wales is dependent on the circumstances surrounding the attack. Generally you will be able to lodge a claim if you were attacked by a dog that wasn’t secured or contained correctly or if they were loose.

The two main reasons that a dog bite compensation claim may be refuted are: (1) if the victim was illegally on the property or in the vehicle of the owner when they were bitten and (2) if the person had intentionally provoked the dog when they were bitten. To be eligible for a compensation claim ensure that neither of these arguments are true.

Should I use a lawyer to handle my dog bite compensation claim?

Dog bite compensation claims can be difficult to pursue without a deep understanding of the law surrounding public liability in New South Wales. This becomes doubly true as the owners of the dog often seek legal advice and assistance in refuting the compensation claim. This means that having a professional who understands the ins and outs of the law, and who can guide you in building a rock solid case can often be the difference between winning or losing your compensation claim.

If you choose to use a lawyer to handle your dog bite compensation claim, make sure that you choose a dedicated public liability lawyer that has a No Win No Fee guarantee. This means that if you lose your case you will not need to pay for your legal fees.

How much can I claim for a dog bite injury?

A dog’s owner is legally responsible for any physical harm incurred by someone or any damage to the victim’s personal property incurred during the attack. This means that you can claim compensation for medical costs, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life and assistance required as a result of the injury. The amount of compensation for cases will vary depending on the impact the attack has had on the victim’s life.

How long does the process take?

No two compensation claims are exactly alike, which is why it is difficult to estimate exactly how long the process takes for a dog bite compensation claim. The length of the public liability case will depend on the complexity of the issues, severity of the dog bite and your required treatment. To get a better understanding of the length of the process it is best to talk to a lawyer who can give you a more accurate estimation.

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