The number of people being admitted to hospital in Scotland as a result of dog bite injuries in the last 10 years has been in excess of 50,000 with one in six being a child under the age of 10. The number of admissions has increased by over 50% in the last decade showing the risk of injury is greater now than it has ever been. Those most at risk are children.
It is a frequent feature in the media of incidents where babies and young children have been subjected to vicious attacks by dogs and have sustained horrific, or even fatal, injuries as a result. The most recent incident reported in the press has been the case of a thirteen year old girl who was repeatedly bitten by an American Akita when she was playing in her back garden in Methil, Fife with her eight year old cousin. It has been reported that the Akita chewed through a neighbouring fence to gain access to the garden before carrying out a frenzied attack on the child. The dog had to be pulled from the girl by another neighbour to prevent further injury. As a result of the incident, the girl was taken to hospital where she had to undergo two operations to have her wounds cleaned. The girl will likely be left with scarring as a result of the attack.
Under Scots law, a person who is injured by a dog bite can make a claim for compensation against the owner of the animal for the injuries sustained. When a person sustains an injury as a result of a dog bite, the owner of the dog is responsible in terms of the Animals (Scotland) Act 1987. This Act imposes strict liability on the owner which means that the injured person does not have to prove negligence, they have to prove that the person a claim is being brought against is the owner of the dog and that the dog has caused an injury by biting. The injured person can be compensation for the injuries they have sustained as well as any damage to property.
If you, or your child, have sustained an injury as a result of a dog bite injury, contact our specialist team for advice on 0800 0891331.
For further information on dog bite compensation claims click here.
Blog by Eilish Lindsay, Accident Lawyer Glasgow