My son was bitten by a dog on his uncle’s farm. I would like to make a claim for a farm animal bite but I am worried about the financial implications it may have for my brother-in-law. What should I do?
It can be quite an emotional experience making a claim for a farm animal bite against a relative however it is important to be aware that it is your brother-in-law’s public liability insurance company that will provide compensation if you successfully make a claim and not your brother-in-law.
Compensation claims for dog bites are quite common in the USA and the procedure followed is similar to any other personal injury claim with one exception in this instance. In accordance with the USA Statute of Limitations a ‘litigation friend’ must be appointed to act on behalf of the child as they cannot legally appoint a lawyer or make a claim until they reach the age of 18.
For a claim for a farm animal bite to be successful, you must prove that the owner of the dog knew he/she was dangerous and therefore likely to attack if not controlled or restrained sufficiently. Under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 certain breeds of dog are required to be muzzled thus your son may be entitled to compensation if this is the case.
Evidence will be required to substantiate a potential claim for a farm animal bite, relevant evidence can vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the injury therefore you should speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible as they will be able to advise about evidence worth gathering.
For example it may be worthwhile gathering contact details of any witnesses of the incident and taking photographs of the injuries the dog caused; it may also be worthwhile asking around the area to see if the dog has attacked anyone before. Once you have carried out those tasks, contact the local council and dog warden to notify them about the incident, you should also keep the receipts of any costs you incurred as a direct result of the attack to ensure you receive compensation for them.
Once you have completed these tasks your lawyer will initiate the compensation claim for a farm animal bite assuming no offer of compensation is made by the negligent party.