Dogs are fantastic creatures, providing companionship and entertainment for millions of Australians, and most dog owners are caring and responsible people. Despite this, on occasion dogs will attack people for no apparent reason. Because of this, legislation exists in both the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales that requires dog owners to assume particular responsibilities, and to provide injured parties with avenues for compensation.
If you’ve been attacked or injured by a dog that has escaped from a home, or have been attacked when you have been invited onto a private property, then you should contact BDN Lawyers to find out whether a claim for personal injury can be made.
If a dog has caused injury after escaping from a family home, or has attacked visitors at a home, then it is likely that the home and/or contents insurance policy of the home/dog owner will provide insurance coverage. If this is the case, then the home/dog owner will not personally suffer financial penalty as a result of the personal injury claim.
Compensation can be obtained for medical expenses, wage loss, pain and suffering and domestic assistance.
As with most personal injury claims, the court proceedings must be commenced within 3 years of the date of accident, otherwise your entitlement to claim can cease.
It is also a good idea to ensure that notice of the claim is provided to the insurer as soon as possible to ensure that the circumstances of the incident can be investigated.
In the Australian Capital Territory, it is necessary to prove that the home/dog owner was negligent in failing to protect the injured person from suffering harm.
In New South Wales, it is only necessary to prove that you have been attacked by a dog – it is not actually necessary to prove that the home/dog owner has been negligent.
Making a personal injury claim following a dog attack has absolutely no bearing on whether the dog is destroyed. That decision is made independently by the applicable government body.
If you would like to consider making a claim as a result of a dog attack, you should contact BDN Lawyers as soon as possible to discuss the process and your entitlements.
The first step in the process is to find out whether the home/dog owner holds appropriate insurance. If they do, then notice of the claim needs to be provided to the insurer as soon as possible.