Dog attacks can lead to public liability injury claims

Date: Jun 29, 2016

The world is populated by a huge variety of different dog breeds. In fact, Live Science reports that the Federation Cynologique Internationale, the world governing body for dogs, recognises 340 different breeds. From the smallest pooch to the largest hound, dogs come in all shapes and sizes.

In Australia, like many countries around the world, dog owners are responsible for the actions and behaviours of their pets. If a dog bites or injures another person, the owner could face a public liability injury claim. 

In general terms, this means that an owner has the responsibility to ensure that a dog is securely confined on their premise or is governed when in a public space. In other words, a dog must not be able to get under a fence or access public areas without supervision. 

Attacks can and do happen

In a recent incident, a two-year-old boy was attacked by a Bull Arab on the New South Wales South Coast. The child suffered injuries to a number of areas including, head, chest, back and legs.

Melissa Lyons, the boy's mother, spoke to the South Coast Register and said that he was being dragged around by the dog.

"It was horrible," she said. "It was crazy. I'm just glad I was there and moved so quickly. If I didn't get those jaws apart I don't know."

In cases such as this, a victim of dog attack can sue for negligence if the owner fails to:

  • reasonably restrain the dog.
  • maintain adequate control of the dog.
  • construct satisfactory fencing.
  • use a lead, collar or muzzle.
  • exercise appropriate care when the dog was in public spaces.
  • have any regard for the safety of the public.

What can happen?

If a person is attacked and injured by a dog, there are a number of possible scenarios that can eventuate. Serious penalties can be imposed on dog owners, such as fines and compensation.

If a victim seeks a public liability injury claim through a compensation lawyer, the owner may be forced to pay for any economic loss that the victim sustained as well as damages for any pain or suffering. 

If you would like to know more about seeking compensation following a dog attack, contact a representative of Gerard Malouf and Partners. Ask about their no win no fee guarantee to ensure money is not an obstacle to your claim. 

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.