Dog attacks can be traumatic experiences, causing severe physical and emotional harm to victims. In New South Wales, the law provides avenues for victims of dog attacks to seek compensation for their injuries and losses.
Understanding Dog Attack Compensation Laws in NSW
The Companion Animals Act 1998 (the Act) imposes a “strict liability” on dog owners, meaning that they can be held responsible for the actions of their dogs without the need to prove negligence or fault. The law places a duty of care on dog owners to ensure that their pets do not cause harm or injury to others.
When a dog attack occurs, victims may be entitled to compensation for a range of damages, including medical expenses, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and psychological trauma.
Dog owners have limited defences available, such as the person being unlawfully on their property, provocation or inducement, or contributory negligence.
Responsibilities of Dog Owners
In NSW, dog owners have a legal obligation to take reasonable precautions to prevent their dogs from attacking or injuring others. This includes ensuring that their pets are properly restrained, securely enclosed within their property, and appropriately trained.
The Act holds the “owner” of a dog liable for any injuries caused by the dog. An owner may be the registered owner, the person who usually keeps and controls the dog, or an unregistered owner who has possession of the dog as personal property.
What Dog Attack Compensation Am I Entitled To?
Compensation entitlements vary depending on the circumstances and the extent of the injuries. You may be entitled to:
Non-economic loss: This covers pain and suffering, loss of amenities, disfigurement, loss of life expectancy, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Past and future personal care and domestic assistance: This includes personal care and domestic assistance needed as a result of the dog attack as well as compensation for any unpaid care provided by family members.
Past and future out-of-pocket expenses: This covers expenses for medical and rehabilitative treatment, medication, and travel to and from your appointments.
Past and future economic loss: Compensation for your loss of earnings, loss of bonuses, loss of opportunity and superannuation.
The Importance of Seeking Professional Legal Assistance
Navigating the legal complexities of dog attack compensation claims can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath of an attack. By engaging a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer, you can ensure that your rights are protected, and you receive the compensation you deserve.
Remember, if you or someone you know has been a victim of a dog attack, it is essential to act swiftly, document the incident, and consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to protect your rights and maximise your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Why Choose Stacks Goudkamp?
At Stacks Goudkamp, we have successfully helped victims of dog attacks obtain the compensation they deserve.
We understand that this can be a stressful time, and we want to assure you that we are here to support you. We understand that every client is unique, and we take the time to listen to your story and understand your individual circumstances.
Contact Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 25 1800 to discuss your entitlements today.
Written by Karina Goodall Karina Goodall
Karina Goodall is a Practice Group Leader and Director at Stacks Goudkamp specialising in motor vehicle accident claims and superannuation and TPD claims.