Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries: what you could receive?



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Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries: what you could receive?

This is a guide to assist people, who have been injured by dogs, to obtain monetary compensation.

Dogs are “a man’s best friend”, and presumably a female’s, also.  However, dogs on the loose can cause dreadful injuries, both physical and psychological or even death.

Ferocious attack dogs are particularly terrifying.

Compensation claims arising from dog attacks are made against the owner of the dog which has caused the injuries, by a ferocious attack and biting, by bowling someone over. Dogs roaming unrestrained on roads can result in serious injuries if they collide with cars, bicycles, motorcycles, or where the drivers and riders are forced into taking sudden evasive action.

Most compensation cases involve dogs who are unrestrained on public property.

Unlike other areas of personal injury law, there is no need for the injured person to prove that the dog owner was careless, reckless or in any other way negligent in allowing their dog to get out of the owner’s property.  The mere fact that the dog caused injuries on public land is generally enough, in other words, strict liability is opposed on the dog owner.

Therefore, dog owners have a very strict and onerous obligation to prevent their dogs to roam outside, unrestrained.

Most household contents insurance policies include insurance cover for injuries caused by dogs.

Of course, many dog owners do not have any insurance cover, and are unlikely to be able to pay any compensation which may be awarded against them.

Therefore, compensation claims are generally only pursued where the dog owner is covered by an insurance policy.  Otherwise, the injured person is likely to end up with an empty verdict, ie for a sum of money which cannot be recovered from the dog owner, unless the dog owner is wealthy and/or has valuable assets.

Whilst under the Companion Animals Act strict liability applies, it can still be difficult to succeed in a claim for compensation/damages for injuries caused by dogs for a number of reasons. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to identify the dog and/or the dog’s owner, where the dog is a stray or simply runs away from the scene, or if the dog has no identification collar.

Injuries inflicted by dogs can be extremely serious, both physically and psychologically.  Being attacked by a dog is extremely frightening and often causes severe post-traumatic stress disorder.  Sadly, on occasions dogs inflict fatal injuries on their victims, both young and old.

This guide will arm you with the knowledge you need to determine whether or not you are likely to receive dog attack compensation in NSW for any physical and/or mental injuries that you have suffered.

What to Do If You Have Been Attacked or Bitten by a Dog?

Whilst it may be very difficult, particularly if you have been attacked by a dog and are physically injured and/or mentally traumatised, for you to identify the name and breed of the dog, the identity of the dog’s owner and other details such as the owner’s address, and the names and addresses and contact details of any persons who may have witnessed what happened.  That’s perfectly understandable.

It is always wise to report the dog attack to the local police and local council, so that there is a written record of the attack.

In cases involving a violent/vicious attack, the police or council may decide to put the dog down.

If you have been injured by a dog’s behaviour, you should definitely seek expert legal advice from a lawyer who specialises in   cases, and in particular, injuries caused by dogs.

Dog Bite Compensation Australia?

Dog bites Australia. There are various types of dog bit wounds and attacks, but the compensation available to the victims of dog attacks is similar to the compensation available in other areas of personal injury compensation law, ie  compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of amenities, medical expenses and therapy costs, loss of income and income earning potential, the cost of domestic assistance, etc.

Compensation is paid in a single lump sum, on a “once and for all” basis.

In the vast majority of cases the compensation is paid by the insurer of the dog owner, not by the dog owner.

Court proceedings must be commenced within three years of the date of the dog attack.

Anyone injured by a dog should make an enquiry with a personal injury lawyer who is expert in dog attack cases, to obtain advice to ensure that claims are properly investigated and prosecuted and are not defeated because of the three-year time limit.

Who Is Liable in the Case of a Dog Attack?

Proving liability is generally the easiest part of a dog attack case, because of the strict liability rule.  There is no need to prove that the dog owner was in any way careless, reckless or negligent.  It is enough to prove that the dog, somehow, escaped from the dog owner’s premises and was in the public domain.

Ensuring That You Receive The Dog Attack Compensation You Deserve

The best way of ensuring success in a compensation claim arising from injuries suffered at the hands of a dog is to seek expert legal advice as soon after the event as possible, before memories fade and the trial goers cold. That will allow proper investigations to take place asap to establish the identity of the dog, its owner and to ascertain whether the owner has insurance cover.

Expert public liability lawyers also know how to gather the evidence needed to prove the extent of your injuries and losses, both past and in the future.

An expert dog attack lawyer will also be able to use his or her skills, knowledge and experience to negotiate the best possible settlement with the lawyers for the insurance company or, if a claim is not settled, to obtain the best possible verdict in your favour by a judge in the Supreme or District Court.

It is important to remember that psychological and psychiatric injuries caused by ferocious dog attacks are just as compensable as serious physical injuries, if not greater.

Stacks Goudkamp are the experts in Dog Bite cases in NSW 

Stacks Goudkamp has lawyers who are expert in handling dog attack compensation cases.  They have achieved some remarkable dog bite insurance claims settlements.

At Stacks Goudkamp, our brilliant lawyers specialise in helping injured people understand their legal rights in a friendly and professional manner.

Cases are taken on by Stacks Goudkamp on a “ no win no fee basis.  So that if, in the highly unlikely circumstances you lose your case, Stacks Goudkamp will not charge any fees.

Contact us  Stacks Goudkamp as soon as possible for a free consultation and advice by obtaining all the facts of the type of dog bite or the dog attack event, to act quickly to identify the dog, the dog’s owner and any insurance cover, to obtain relevant reports from the police and/or council and to obtain full details of how the dog attack has changed your life.

The sooner you act after a dog attack event the greater the prospects that you will receive the advice on dog bite injury compensation amounts and the  monetary compensation you deserve.



I could write a book as to how the last 4 years would have been different if not for Tom and his team.
The support, assistance, advice from the first conversation till even after the settlement was second to none from the team at Stacks Goudkamp.
Four years on and after many downs, my children and I have our lives back.
We are unable to THANK YOU enough, but know that you have changed our lives for the better in so many ways since the accident.