I was recently bitten by a dog in an unprovoked attack. Can I make a claim for compensation?
A dog attack can be a frightening and traumatic ordeal, with an injured person often suffering both physical and psychological injuries.
Unfortunately, these dog attacks are an all-too-frequent occurrence in our community resulting in hundreds of hospitalisations in South Australia each year. The injuries can result in not only pain and suffering, but also costly medical expenses, possible loss of income and an inability to perform domestic tasks inside and outside of the home.
The law in this area is regulated by the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 (SA). In this legislation, the dog owner is referred to as the “keeper of the dog” and as such is liable for injury, damage or loss caused by the dog.
An injured person does not need to establish negligence or have knowledge of the dog’s vicious, dangerous or mischievous propensity.
Accordingly, other than in limited circumstances, the keeper of the dog is likely to be liable for the injuries and losses sustained by the dog attack.
Initially, it is important for victims to obtain the personal details of the dog owner so that they can be contacted in due course. In many cases, dog owners will be covered under the public liability component of their household and contents insurance.
Local Councils have the responsibility under the Act for the management of both dogs and cats. Following any dog attack it is also very important that the incident is reported to the local Council as soon as possible . The Council will then investigate the matter and take whatever steps are necessary in relation to the dog in question.
If you are a victim of a dog attack it is vital that you obtain prompt legal advice so that proper steps can be taken to gather the appropriate evidence. At Scammell & Co, we have significant experience in making these claims on behalf of our clients.
Personal Injury | Public Liabilty | Negligence Claims