Swansea Injury Lawyers

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Dog Attacks in Swansea on the Rise

From local newspaper reports it would appear that dog attacks in the Swansea area are on the increase. This week, the South Wales Evening Post reported that a GP receptionist and her dog were walking close to Garden Village Football Club when they were both bitten by an Alsatian, resulting in scarring to the dog owner and a £650 vet bill while earlier in the year it was reported that over 200 post men had been bitten across Wales. Up in North Wales a freedom of information request to the police revealed that in the last year dogs attacked 56 people, including 16 children. In 15 of the incidents the owner of the dog responsible was never traced.

Police are often reluctant to pursue dog attacks because the law that they have to work with is very badly drafted. The Dangerous Dogs Act only relates to five specific breeds of dog or dogs which are out of control in a public place. This means that if an attack takers place on private property, such as to a post man delivering letters to a front door, then there is nothing they can do.

However dog attack victims who have suffered personal injury can get help via the civil courts.

If you have suffered injury because of a dog attack then an owner can be held responsible for what happened not only if they can be shown to be negligent (which can be tricky to prove) but also under something called the Animals Act.

Under the Animals Act there is a three stage test and if you can show that the damage caused by the dog was (1) Likely and (2) caused by a characteristic of the dog which was (3) known about by the dog owner, then you can make a claim and it is very difficult for the dog owner to defend.

Dog bite claims aren’t always straight forward and one of the biggest problems is not only finding the owners of a dog responsible for an attack but also whether or not they have insurance to pay compensation. However in cases where insured owners can be found there is always the possibility of making a claim against them.

The law is complicated and whether a dog attack victim wins of loses there claim can often turn on the solicitor they chose. We have solicitors who specialise in dog bite law and who have succeeded where many other law firms have told the client there’s no claim.

If you are the victim of a dog bite then we would advise the following:

  • Seek medical assistance straight away

  • Contact the police, take details of who you speak to and your crime reference number.

  • Do your best to get a name for the dog owner and their address.

  • Get details for any witnesses.

  • Get photos showing scars or injuries the dog has caused.

  • Ask around the area to see if the dog has attacked before.

  • Contact the local council and dog warden to see if they’ve had complaints before.

  • If the attack happened while you were at work tell your boss and get details in the accident book.

  • Collect evidence of all financial losses and expenses including wage slips, receipts, invoices and bus tickets.

  • Contact us for expert legal advice.

About Us

Legal 500Swansea Injury Lawyers is a specialist personal injury claims service brought to you by Slee Blackwell Solicitors.

We have strong connections with the Swansea, South Wales area, having represented numerous Swansea accident victims over the years.

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