Animal injury claims cover a wide range of circumstances wherein an individual has been injured directly by an animal or indirectly as a result of an animal’s actions. While dog bites are one of the most common animal injury claims, other accidents involving horses, cattle and other animals do sometimes occur and can lead to fairly serious injuries. In this guide, we’ll consider when you could claim compensation for animal-related injuries and what any settlement could cover.
If you’ve been injured by an animal our claims advisors are available to answer any questions on lodging a compensation claim and look at your chances of being compensated after reviewing how your accident happened during a free consultation. If there’s a fair chance you’ll win your claim, one of our personal injury solicitors may act on your behalf. If they do, you’ll receive legal representation on a No Win, No Fee basis. As a result, your financial risk will be greatly reduced which should make the claims process much less stressful.
To talk to us about an animal injury claim right away, please call us on 0800 652 1345. To learn more about claiming before contacting us, please read on.
Can I claim compensation for being injured by an animal?
Several laws may place a duty of care on animal owners when it comes to personal injury claims relating to animals. They include:
As a result, you may be entitled to compensation if:
- The animal’s owner was negligent in some way; and
- You were attacked or involved in an accident with the animal; and
- You sustained injuries.
In some cases, you may not have to prove that the animal’s owner did anything wrong as Section 2(1) of the Animals Act places strict liability on owners of any ‘dangerous species’ for any harm caused by their animal.
To check if you might be entitled to compensation for injuries caused by animals, speak to us today. If your claim is suitable, one of our specialist personal injury lawyers will verify which law applies to your case.
Common animal-related accidents
Our solicitors could help to claim animal accident compensation in various situations including:
- Dog bites (and attacks).
- Being thrown off of a horse.
- Being kicked or bitten by a horse.
- Crushing and trampling.
- Zoo and wildlife park accidents.
- Illnesses contracted from an animal.
- Road traffic collisions involving animals i.e cows, horses, dogs, and sheep.
- Injuries on holiday abroad caused by animals i.e. whilst on safari.
Generally, if you are the owner of the animal that caused your injuries, it is unlikely that you’d be able to claim compensation. However, animal injury claims may be possible if the animal was owned by somebody else.
Common injuries caused by animals
Effectively, if your claim meets the criteria set out above, you could claim compensation for any type of injury. Some of the most common animal-related injuries include:
No matter what type of injury you’ve sustained, please speak to one of our specialists to see if you could be entitled to make an animal injury claim.
Examples of negligence that can lead to animal injury claims
In this section, we’ve listed a few scenarios that could lead to an animal injury claim. They include:
- If you were bitten by a dog whilst delivering a parcel.
- Where your child was injured by an animal at a petting farm because staff could not control the animal safely.
- If you had a cycling accident after an animal escaped its farm due to inadequate fencing.
- Where you were attacked by an animal in a zoo because it had escaped from its enclosure.
- If you were thrown from a temperamental horse while having a riding lesson.
- If you were injured on a farm by livestock trampling you because of poor segregation.
Our solicitors can help with these and other types of animal-related accidents if you were injured through no fault of your own. For a free consultation about your chances of being compensated, please get in touch.
Employees attacked by animals
Many employees work with animals on a daily basis. Some examples include:
- Security guards who work with guard dogs.
- Farm workers.
- Police who work with dogs and horses.
- Stable workers.
- Zoo workers.
As with any other aspect of your job, your employer has a duty of care to try and make sure you are as safe as possible. As such, if you were injured at work by an animal, it may be possible to claim compensation from your employer’s liability insurance.
You could make an animal injury claim for accidents caused by:
- Poor safety training.
- Inadequate safety checks.
- Working with dangerous animals alone.
- Insufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- Tiredness after being forced to work too long without rest breaks.
- A lack of regular risk analysis of dangerous tasks.
You needn’t be afraid of suing your employer if they were to blame for your injuries. That’s because it is illegal for them to fire you or take action against you for making a claim. If your animal injury claim is taken on, your solicitor will deal directly with your employer’s insurer so you won’t need to discuss the claim yourself.
How much compensation for animal-related injuries can I claim?
When you make an animal injury claim, you’ll need to think about how you’ve suffered physically, financially and psychologically. This is important as once you’ve been paid out you won’t be able to ask for a higher amount if you didn’t get your sums right. As such, if you do decide to claim with one of our solicitors, they could secure damages to cover:
- The pain and suffering caused by physical injuries.
- Any psychiatric issues (flashbacks, distress, PTSD etc).
- Loss of amenity – the impact of your injuries on your hobbies and normal activities.
- Replacing items damaged because of the animal.
- Lost income (future losses could also be considered).
- Medical costs such as remedial plastic surgery.
- Travel expenses.
- The time somebody else spent caring for you whilst you were injured.
- Changes to your vehicle or home to improve your quality of life if you’ve suffered a permanent disability.
Our team of solicitors has been representing our clients for decades. If your animal injury claim is accepted, your solicitor will investigate how you’ve suffered in detail to try and make sure that any compensation payment is paid at the highest level possible.
Can I claim compensation if my child was injured by an animal?
Legally, a child cannot make a personal injury claim on their own until their 18th birthday. However, they may need to be compensated for injuries caused by an animal before then.
For this reason, parents, friends or guardians can help the child by becoming their litigation friend. This is something our team can help you with and, once approved, you could work with one of our solicitors on your child’s behalf.
If there is a successful outcome to the claim, your child’s compensation will be held in trust by the court until they turn 18 years old. However, as a litigation friend, you’ll be able to ask the court for funds before then as and when needed by your child.
Providing proof for animal injury compensation claims
In any type of personal injury claim, you will always have to prove how you were injured, who caused your accident and how you’ve suffered as a result. That means that if you are injured by an animal, you should try to secure solid proof in case you decide to claim compensation.
Some examples of proof that could help you to win your claim include:
- Photographs. If you’re able to do so safely, you should take pictures of the animal in question. Try to ensure that any distinguishing marks are captured in your pictures.
- Owner information. If you were attacked by a dog and the owner was present, you should ask for their contact details.
- Witness details. Your solicitor may need to take statements from anybody who saw you get injured. As such, you should write down the names and contact details of anybody else who was present.
- Medical evidence. If your injuries were treated in a hospital (or by your doctor), the medical notes from your appointment along with any x-rays could be requested to confirm the severity of your injuries.
- Accident report forms. If you were injured by an animal at work, in a public place, or on a business’s property you should report the incident as soon as you’re able to. This will create a written record of the incident which could be used to support your claim.
- CCTV footage. If the animal attack or incident was recorded you could therefore ask for a copy of any footage of the incident.
- Financial evidence. As you may be entitled to claim back any expenses linked to your injuries, you should provide your solicitor with copies of any relevant receipts or bank statements.
If you’d like us to review any proof you’ve collected or need advice on how to secure further information please get in touch. Even if you don’t have all of the proof listed here, we could still help you to start the claims process.
No Win, No Fee claims
The vast majority of animal injury claims will be handled by the defendant’s insurers. In most cases, they are likely to deny liability for your injuries so you’ll need to prove why their client was to blame and why you should be compensated. We believe you’ve got a better chance of doing so if your claim is handled by a personal injury solicitor.
If your claim is accepted by one of our solicitors, they’ll process it on a No Win, No Fee basis. As a result:
- There won’t be any legal fees payable upfront.
- If the animal injury claim fails, you don’t need to pay for your solicitor’s work.
- A success fee will be deducted from any settlement amount to pay for your solicitor’s expenses.
With the type of No Win, No Fee agreement our solicitors use, the maximum success fee you’ll pay is 25 per cent of your compensation.
Once your claim begins, your solicitor’s main goals will be to:
- Find out more about how you’ve suffered because of your injuries.
- Collect the proof needed to substantiate your claim.
- Send the claim to the defendant or their legal representatives.
- Communicate with the defendant on your behalf.
- Make sure you’re kept up to date about how your claim is moving along.
In all animal injury claims, your solicitor will only settle the claim if they believe any compensation offer fully covers your suffering.
Animal injury claim time limits
If you have been injured by an animal and would like to claim compensation, you’ll need to do so within the permitted time limit. For most claims, claimants have 3 years from the date they were injured. However, there are some exceptions so please get in touch to check whether or not you still have time.
If your child was bitten or injured by an animal, their time limit will not start until they turn 18 years of age. As such, parents can claim on behalf of their children at any point before then.
As it can take time to collect medical records and proof to support your claim, it’s usually to begin the claims process as quickly as possible. Additionally, an early start to your claim might lead to the defendant making an interim payment to cover private medical costs or other immediate expenses.
Start an animal injury claim today
We’re here to help if you’ve got any questions about animal injury compensation claims. If you call us on 0800 652 1345, a specialist will discuss your claim with you and explain your options. We’ll try to answer any questions you might have if you’ve been injured by an animal and we could connect you with one of our personal injury lawyers.
If your claim is accepted, your solicitor will manage the whole claims process on your behalf. What’s more, you won’t need to pay any legal fees upfront because of their No Win, No Fee service.
Our team is also available via live chat if you’d like to discuss animal injury claims online so please feel free to get in touch.