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Dog Bite Lawyers

If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog and have suffered injury, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation against the owner of the dog.

The owner of the animal is strictly responsible for any damage the dog has caused in accordance with the Companion Animal Act NSW 1998.

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A dog attack claim can be made against the owner personally for compensation. Most dog owners would also be covered by insurance in the form of a home and contents insurance policy, which contains public liability cover.

Who will pay my dog bite compensation if I take legal action?

This insurance policy will usually cover the owner of the dog for the damage their dog has caused. If the owner does not have insurance they will be personally liable for the payment of your compensation.

The dog owner has two defences as to why they are not responsible for the damage caused by their dog:

  • If the attack occurred on privately held property and the person attacked was unlawfully on the property or;
  • The attack was wholly induced by the intentional provocation of the dog by the person who was subsequently attacked.

Otherwise, the owner of the dog will be found responsible for the injury caused by the dog.

What can I claim after a dog bite injury?

If you are successful in making a claim against a dog owner, you may be eligible to receive compensation for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical treatment
  • Damage to clothing and property
  • Loss of income both past and future
  • Care and assistance are required due to an injury

As dog attack claims are complex and depend on the facts and circumstances of your case, you should seek legal advice from an accredited specialist in personal injury law prior to commencing a claim.

Can I Make A Claim If The Dog’s Owner Can’t Be Found, Or If They’re Uninsured?

Section 25 of the Companion Animals Act 1998 (NSW) provides that the owner of the dog is liable in damages with respect to bodily injury to a person caused by the dog, this includes damage to clothing.

The owner of the dog is always responsible for the dog in a strict manner, meaning that regardless of whether the owner expected their dog to attack, they are liable anyway. A local council may also be liable if they failed to declare a dog which was known to them to be dangerous.

If the owner is uninsured, you are still able to make a claim. Instead of their insurer paying the compensation, they will be personally liable. If the owner cannot be found, unfortunately, you will not be able to claim compensation because there is no one to file a case against.

How much can I claim for my injuries following a dog bite injury?

As a rule, the more serious your injuries are, the greater compensation you will be able to claim. Typical types of compensation payable for claims include:

  • Loss of income for time off work both past and future
  • Payment for Medical expenses
  • Payment of a lump sum for Pain and Suffering

How long will a dog bite compensation claim take?

It is uncertain difficult to say exactly how long this type of claim will take. Time considerations can depend on several things, including:

  • Extent and severity of injuries
  • Cooperation from the opposing party
  • Circumstances of the case.
  • How long it will take your injuries to stabilise before assessment

Usually, dog bite claims resolve between 1 and 2 years after the injury.

Are there time limits when it comes to making a dog bite compensation claim?

Yes, there are strict time limits to commence a claim in Court for a dog bite.

The period is 3 years from the date of ‘discoverability’.

The  date of discoverability is the date from which the injured person knows that:

  • The fact that the injury or death concerned has occurred.
  • The fact that the injury or death was caused by the fault of the defendant
  • In the case of injury, the fact that the injury was sufficiently serious to justify the bringing of an action on the cause of action.

In most Dog Bite cases, the date of discoverability is usually the date the injury occurred and it’s best to make sure any claim is commenced within 3 years from the date of the injury.

How much will it cost me to make a dog bite claim with Garling&Co?

At Garling and Co we have a No Win No Fee guarantee.

A No Win No Fee guarantee means that if we do not win your case, you will not be required to pay us any legal costs.

If you are successful in your claim, then about 70% of the costs are paid by the Defendant and the remaining 30% is payable from any compensation you receive.

 

If you need assistance or are after more information about dog attacks, please do not hesitate to contact us as follows;

  1. Complete our FREE case assessment form HERE
  2. Email us at info@garlingandco.com.au
  3. Give us a call on (02) 8518 1120

Would you like assistance with your claim?

Complete our free, no obligation confidential case assessment form and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

Alternatively, we are available to talk through phone and email. Please contact our experienced workers compensation lawyers to find out how we can help.

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