No doubt everyone has seen the harrowing story of the 11-year-old girl in Birmingham being savaged by an XL bully dog, causing serious injury to her arm and shoulder.  The dog then went on to injure 2 other people before being secured by police.  This comes less than two years since a 10-year-old boy was killed by an American XL bully dog in Caerphilly in November 2021.  There are now calls for the breed to be banned in the UK as a result of these incidents.

As well as these types of attacks making the headlines, worrying figures have been released showing that there has been a huge 80% rise in surgeries taking place from dog bites.  More than 30,000 people have had to have treatment in the last year, with nearly 3,500 of them needing reconstructive surgery.

The Law

If you have been bitten by a dog and it has caused you physical harm, you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim.  Under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, the owner is guilty of an aggravated offence if their dog is dangerously out of control in any place and injures a person.  The maximum sentence for the owner if a person dies is 14 years, and 5 years if someone is injured.

How do I make a claim?

Firstly, we recommend you seek medical attention if you have been bitten by a dog.  For more minor bites, this often involves a tetanus injection and close inspection of the wounds with potentially dressings being applied.  These types of wounds can easily become infected, so it’s important to keep an eye on them in the days and weeks after the incident.  By seeking medical attention, this also creates a piece of supportive evidence in any claim you make.

To also help with pursuing a claim, it is helpful to have the following information:

  • Name & address of the dog owner

  • Details of the owner’s insurance

  • Police details (including crime reference number)

How much compensation will I get?

The amount of compensation you will receive depends on the severity of your injuries, the length of time it takes you to recover, any future costs you may incur and any other financial losses you suffer.

It’s important to keep a note of any financial losses you incur which can be added to your claim.  These can include:

  • Loss of earnings

  • Medication costs

  • Travel expenses (such as travelling to/from hospital or your GP)

  • Care and assistance that has been provided to you by a professional, or a family member/friend

Farleys have a dedicated team of personal injury solicitors who will do everything in their power to ensure that you are awarded the compensation you deserve. Wherever possible, we will pursue your claim on a ‘no win no fee’ basis, meaning that you will only pay on the successful completion of your claim.

If you or someone you know has been injured by a dog bite, contact our specialist team for a free, no obligation assessment of your claim. Call 0845 287 0939, complete our online contact form, or use the online chat below.