How Much Compensation For A Dog Bite Claim?

Being attacked by a dog can be a shocking and traumatic experience that causes serious injuries and has a significant long-term impact on your quality of life. Our guide discusses how you can make a dog bite claim and seek compensation for the effects of a dog attack.

We explain how legislation covers a dog owner’s responsibility and when it is possible to claim compensation for the actions of a dangerous dog. You can also get advice on the next steps you can take, whether you or a child you care for has been bitten.

Further on in the guide, we look at dog bite compensation, giving you an idea of how you could be awarded damages for pain, suffering and financial losses. Additionally, this guide features insight on how an expert solicitor from our panel could help you achieve a settlement on a No Win No Fee basis.

Our advisors are on hand to provide round-the-clock advice and guidance. Discuss dog bite claims or have your potential case assessed at no cost by going down any of these routes:

A Rottweiler dog biting the leg of a person wearing protective padding.

Select A Section

  1. How To Make A Dog Bite Claim For Compensation
  2. Are You Eligible To Make A Dog Bite Claim?
  3. What Should You Do If You Get Bitten By A Dog?
  4. What Should You Do If A Child Gets Bitten By A Dog?
  5. What Could Your Dog Bite Claim Be Worth?
  6. Legal Helpline Can Provide Free Claims Advice If You Were Bitten By A Dog

How To Make A Dog Bite Claim For Compensation

If you’re bitten by a dog, it’s reasonable to assume that making a claim is not at the forefront of your mind. However, once you’ve received any urgent attention you need, it is worth considering how the attack happened and whether you have a right to take legal action. For example, you might ask:

  • Did the dog’s owner have the necessary protections in place, such as a muzzle or a suitable lead?
  • Was the dog being deliberately antagonised or fighting with other dogs before the incident?
  • Was the dog banned under the law? Pit bull terriers, Japanese Tosas and XL bullies are examples of dogs that are banned except when the owner has an exemption certificate.
  • Am I able to collect evidence to help my case? Doing so will help the claims process run more smoothly, as we cover later in the guide.

After this consideration, the next step is to figure out if you have a valid personal injury compensation claim. To do this, we can look at the legal duty dog owners have to prevent attacks to the best of their ability.

Are You Eligible To Make A Dog Bite Claim?

When deciding to get a dog, all dog owners take on a legal responsibility for them. To comply with Section 3 of The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, an owner or anyone responsible for the dog has to make sure the dog is kept under proper control. They are guilty of an offence if the dog is dangerously out of control.

You could make a dog bite claim if:

  • A dog owner had a legal duty under the Dangerous Dogs Act to maintain public safety.
  • They failed to uphold their duty. For example, they did not have control of their dog, which was dangerously out of control in a park where the safety of others was at risk. 
  • This led to an attack which caused you to suffer dog bite injuries.

A black dog snarling with its head lifted.

What Limitation Periods Could Apply To Dog Bite Claims?

If you decide to make a dog bite compensation claim, you have to ensure it is submitted within the time limit set out for personal injury claims. The Limitation Act 1980 establishes a limit of three years from the incident date to start a claim.

Only a few exceptions to the general limitation period exist. An alternative time limit might be applied if the dog bite victim does not have the mental capacity to claim. This also could be the case if minors are victims of dog attacks, as we discuss further on in the guide.

Just call the number above if you have any questions about claiming compensation for a dog bite injury and how long you have to begin legal action.

What Should You Do If You Get Bitten By A Dog?

The first recommended step after dog attacks is to seek medical attention and have the dog bites seen to by a medical professional. The wounds left by a dog bite can become infected, so getting medical treatment should always be the priority.

However, it is worth collecting any relevant information you can get before leaving the scene. Proof of the dog owner’s negligence and the effect of the dog attack could include:

  • The owner’s information.
  • Information about the dog, such as if the dog bit someone else previously.
  • CCTV footage or photos of the incident and your injuries.
  • Medical records showing the extent of harm and the treatment required.
  • A police report if a police officer was called to the scene.

What Should You Do If A Child Gets Bitten By A Dog?

You might be wondering what to do if you want to make a claim for a child under your care, rather than making your own claim. Seeing a child get injured can be even more stressful and worrying than if it happened to you, but it is also something our panel of personal injury solicitors can help with.

Once you’ve ensured that they get medical attention, you can consider applying to be a litigation friend in order to pursue legal action on the child’s behalf. A minor under the age of 18 cannot claim for themselves, so if you do not do this, they would have three years from their 18th birthday to start a personal injury claim.

Our panel’s solicitors are well equipped to handle both adult and child injury claims, and can provide effective help with submitting documents, gathering evidence and much more. Call us today and you can get more information about how a personal injury solicitor can help a dog bite claim succeed.

What Could Your Dog Bite Claim Be Worth?

In the event that you make a successful dog bite injury claim, you would be awarded compensation. How much compensation the victim of a dog attack receives can vary between dog bite compensation claims.

Your compensation could consist of up to two forms of damages:

  • General damages form the main head of loss, accounting for physical pain and psychological injury caused by a dog bite. For example, you could seek compensation for a permanent scar and anxiety caused by a dangerous dog biting you after being let off their lead.
  • Special damages cover financial losses that occur due to your injuries. This includes medical expenses, the cost of travel to and from medical appointments, and a loss of earnings if you cannot work because you were attacked.

Those involved in calculating damages in dog bite cases could use medical evidence. They may also seek guidance from projected compensation brackets found in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), a document we have used to create the table below.

Compensation Table

Our table is made up entirely of notes and figures from the JCG, except for the top line. This should only be used as a guide or an alternative to a dog bite claim calculator.

Numerous Very Serious Injuries Plus Multiple Costs Or Financial LossesVery SeriousUp to £500,000+Compensation addressing the physical and psychological effects of a dog bite. Additionally, the payout accounts for financial damage including lost earnings, medical bills and travel costs.
HandTotal Or Effective Loss Of One Hand£117,360 to £133,810Includes cases where all fingers and most of the palm are traumatically amputated.
Serious Hand Injuries£35,390 to £75,550Injuries could, for example, reduce the hand's capacity by half.
Moderate Hand Injury£6,910 to £16,200For example, penetrating wounds or deep lacerations. The top of the bracket applies where surgery has failed.
Facial DisfigurementVery Severe Scarring£36,340 to £118,790Scarring causes a very disfiguring cosmetic effect and a severe psychological reaction in a young person.
LegSevere Leg Injuries (ii)£66,920 to £109,290Very serious injuries. It includes cases where crutches or mobility aids are needed for the rest of the affected person's life.
Less Serious Leg Injuries (i)£21,920 to £33,880Fractures from which recovery is incomplete.
Psychiatric HarmModerately Severe£23,270 to £66,920There are significant problems linked to factors like coping with life, work and education. However, the prognosis is optimistic compared to severe cases.
ArmLess Severe£23,430 to £47,810Injuries that cause significant disability but where substantial recovery is completed or expected.
Scarring To Other Parts Of The BodyA Number Of Noticeable Laceration Scars£9,560 to £27,740The bracket also covers a single disfiguring scar. The leg(a), arm(s), hand(s), back or chest are affected.

Legal Helpline Can Provide Free Claims Advice If You Were Bitten By A Dog?

An expert solicitor from our panel is the ideal person to help you make a dog bite claim. Their in-depth knowledge of the dog bite claims process means they can help you every step of the way and push for the best settlement possible. The benefits of making a compensation claim with our panel are:

  • Get a free claim evaluation.
  • The Conditional Fee Agreement our panel’s solicitors offer means no upfront or running fee for their work.
  • You pay no solicitor fee at all if the case fails.
  • The solicitor takes a small percentage of the compensation as their success fee in winning dog bite cases. A legal cap put in place by The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 assures you of the majority of the payout.

If you’ve been injured by someone else’s dog, you might have the right to be compensated for the harm it caused. Whether you have questions about personal injury compensation claims or want to start your claim for a dog bite with professional help, reach out today for useful and free advice by:

  • Giving us a call on 0161 696 9685.
  • Going online to contact us today.
  • Starting a conversation now through the live chat pop-up.

A dog bite claim solicitor sitting at a desk and writing in a book.

Further Information On Making A Compensation Claim

Read further guidance from us here:

  • If a dog was used as a weapon, you could then claim for criminal injuries through a government organisation called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). Learn more about criminal injury claims here.
  • How to claim for injuries suffered in a public park accident.
  • Guidance on claiming for road traffic accidents caused by animals with the help of a No Win No Fee solicitor.

Also check out these resources for information:

Please call today if you would like to discuss making a dog bite claim.