There are currently laws in place that are aimed at protecting the public from being the victims of dog attacks. In 1991 the Dangerous Dog Act was passed, which lists which breeds of dog are considered especially dangerous. If a dog is on the list then it must be registered and insured, tattooed and have an implant and be muzzled and on a lead when in public. If a dog owner does not follow these laws and their pet attacks then they face a fine and possibly even imprisonment, in addition to any accident claim brought by the victim.
Increase in dog related injuries
A study in 2009 detailed how despite the introduction of the Dangerous Dog Act, attacks by dogs has still increased by almost 40% since 1998 It has been established that over 100 people in the UK are hospitalised weekly due to dog related injuries.
A case to answer
Victims of dog attacks are able to pursue and accident claim to seek compensation for any physical and mental injuries that they have suffered. The amount of compensation awarded to the victim will depend upon of the severity of the attack, injuries sustained and the mental trauma that has been endured. Claims can be brought against the owner of any dog that causes injury; not just those on the list of dangerous dogs.
The number of dog insurance policies being taken out is increasing yearly, with owners seeking to protect themselves in the event their pet attacks someone. Where an owner doesn’t have separate third party insurance and their home insurance doesn’t cover their dog they become liable to pay any damages incurred. With most dog attack claims reaching into the thousands, this can prove very costly.
Having third party insurance is suggested for all dog owners and especially if your pet is considered of a dangerous breed. It is also essential that you follow the guidelines put forward with the aim of reducing the chance of your dog attacking anyone. Muzzling your dog is certainly the most important precaution you can take if you have a dangerous dog. Dog owners who choose to ignore this advice are leaving themselves open to criminal charges and also an accident claim.