Personal injuries from dog bites or attacks

Dog attack

Dog attack compensation claims

There is no doubt that most dog attacks result in trauma and expose the owners to liability.  Being bitten or attacked by a dog can be a confronting scenario and often results in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or long-lasting physical injuries, or both.

In our experience, the vast majority of owners are not aware of their obligations regarding responsible dog ownership and the consequences that could flow if their beloved pet attacks somebody else.

A claim for compensation is normally made on the dog’s owner who then makes a claim under and in accordance with his or her insurance policy.

What constitutes a dog attack?

Unless the owner establishes that the behaviour listed below was justified by a reasonable cause, it falls within the definition of “attack”:

  • aggressively rushing at or harassing any person or animal
  • biting, or otherwise causing physical injury to, a person or an animal
  • tearing clothing on, or otherwise causing damage to the property of, the person attacked
  • attempting to attack, or behaving in such manner toward a person as would cause a reasonable person to fear physical injury.

So, for example, if a dog runs into someone, causing that person to fall and sustain injury, compensation may be payable even though the dog did not bite or was otherwise aggressive towards the victim.

Types of injury

Injuries from dog attacks can present in various forms including:

  • broken bones – if the victim fell heavily or awkwardly onto the ground
  • piercing wounds
  • permanent muscle and/or nerve damage
  • psychological trauma (for example, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).

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    What can I claim?

    Compensation is not limited to general damages (pain and suffering) and can also include an amount for past and future incapacity for work, and medical treatment. If the injury sustained in the attack results in damages and losses, compensation can be claimed for:

    • pain and suffering and loss of amenities of life (subject to the threshold set out in the Civil Liability Act)
    • loss of income (if the injury results in incapacity for work)
    • medical treatment
    • damage to clothing and personal belongings
    • in the more severe cases, the cost of domestic assistance and services.

    Am I automatically entitled to compensation if I am the victim of a dog attack?

    Each case is different so your entitlement to compensation depends on many factors. Sometimes, even though compensation is payable, the owner of the dog is impecunious. Whatever the case, it is best to consult with RZ Injury Lawyers so that all possible options are thoroughly investigated.

    If you have been attacked by a dog, you should report it to the police immediately. Under the Dog Act 1976, the police have a wide range of powers to deal with such incidents.

    Contact RZ Injury Lawyers for an obligation-free initial consultation. The first consultation is always free.

    Not sure how much your claim is worth?

    RZ Injury Lawyers will value your claim and get you the compensation you deserve!


    0466 031 195

    1121 Hay Street, West Perth 6005 WA