In the UK compensation claims for injuries caused by animals are filed when an animal causes bodily injury to a person other than their rightful owner. This happens more frequently than you would think, and when an animal attacks it can often cause serious bodily injuries, and in extreme cases fatalities.
The type of injuries caused by animals that you are eligible to file will depend in part on the type of animal that caused the injury. There are laws governing domestic animals, like cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, chickens, and cows, and there are laws governing animals that are considered to be a part of a dangerous species like tigers, or animals that when they are adults could cause severe harm to a human being. This type of animal injury is governed by the Animals Act 1971.
The following acts also pertain to injuries that you may receive from an animal.
- The Animals Act of 1971
- The Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991
- The Guard Dogs Act of 1975
- The Occupiers Liability Act of 1984
- The Dangerous Wild Animals Act of 1976
- The Dangerous Dogs Amendment Act of 1997
- Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981
What kinds of injuries caused by animals are filed most often?
There are many different ways that animals can cause injury to people. You can be bitten by an animal such as a dog, or a pet snake, and you can strike an animal with your car causing injury to your vehicle and possibly to your person.
The most frequent injuries by animals that claims are filed on are:
- Dog bites.
- Striking a dog with a car causing injury like whiplash.
- Striking a farm animal such as a horse with a car causing injury.
- Striking a farm animal such as a horse with a car causing bodily injury to individual.
- Snake bites.
- Injuries caused by animals on exhibit.
What to do if you suffer an injury caused by an animal
The first thing that you should do if you, or someone you know, are injured by an animal is to call the authorities and report the incident. You should also seek medical treatment for the injury. Be sure that you get documentation of the medical treatment you receive.
Get the names and phone numbers of anyone that witnessed the incident. Get the name and contact information of the owner or keeper of the animal that caused the injury.
Save all receipts for doctor visits, and medical supplies you have to purchase to treat the injury.
What to do if the animal keeper does not accept responsibility
Most of the time when an animal causes an injury the keeper will pay for any damages their animal caused. There are times when a keeper will refuse to make restitution for the damages their animal has caused, and when this happens you should not argue with them, and do not threaten them or their animal. You should find a solicitor that is experienced in handling injuries caused by animal claims.
A solicitor that has experience in handling these types of claims will know all of the laws that are applicable in your situation. They will be able to contact the keeper and request compensation, and if the keeper refuses they will be able to start the legal proceedings necessary to force the keeper to pay for your injuries.
It is imperative that you remain cool, calm, and collected, and allow the solicitor to handle the uncooperative animal keeper.
How much will hiring a solicitor cost?
The cost of the solicitor will be determined by the difficulties they will have filing the claim, but in all probability the claim will be handled on a “No Win No Fee” basis. The solicitor will likely offer a free consultation where you will be told what compensation they feel that you are entitled to. Be sure that you bring all receipts to this consultation.
The solicitor may offer to not charge you anything unless they win the case against the animal keeper. If they make this type of offer to you they will likely tell you that if you win they will charge you a percentage of the amount you receive as compensation.