Here’s our guide to get your compensation.
Dog attacks are far too common here in Western Australia. Suffering an injury from a dog bite or dog attack can be immensely stressful. You may be thinking of making a claim but navigating the compensation system can be confusing.
As experienced Perth injury lawyers we’re keen to share our expertise and ensure each victim receives the maximum compensation they deserve.
I’ve been injured by a dog, what now?
The first step with any dog attack is to get professional medical attention, regardless of the level of injury. Go and see your GP.
Next you should report the dog bite to your local authority through the Rangers office. The WA Police will not usually deal with dog bite complaints. You will be referred to your local shire office. Once you report the dog bite to your local Ranger you will be asked to make a statement. You should have a chat with Lian Hall Injury Law before giving your statement.
Once a report and a statement have been made the local shire will then investigate the bite by contacting the owner of the dog. They will get the name of the owner and the name of the dog and whether the dog has been involved in any other bites. In some cases the owner will then receive an infringement notice.
Once you’re safely looked after, with all medical records saved for future reference, consider a free consultation from the team at Lian Hall to discuss your rights and evaluate your claim.
Making a claim in WA
Regardless of whether it happened at a private property or in a public area such as a park or on the beach, the Dog Act of 1976 in Western Australia states that a victim of a dog attack may be entitled to compensation. The compensation to get will depend on the severity of your injuries.
Your damages claim should deal with all of your injuries such as wounds, cuts, abrasions, scratches, fractures, nerve damage, scarring, altered sensation, swelling, broken teeth if you fell over, and any psychological suffering. Perth dog bite injury claims are all different because your injuries are different to other people’s injuries.
Am I eligible for compensation?
To work out whether you have a good claim you should chat to expert Perth injury lawyers. Lian Hall Injury Lawwill review the facts of your case to see if you have a good claim. In Western Australia the Dog Act talks about a dog attack. An attack can mean many different things and not just a bite. For example it can include: if a dog rushes out of the property and causes you to fall; if a dog jumps up at you; if a dog attacks your dog and you are injured in the process of separating them. The owner may try to argue that the dog’s behavior was caused by you provoking the dog or your dog provoking their dog or you were training the dog. You might still have a claim, but your claim amount may be reduced to take account of contributory negligence. You should get expert legal advice so that your claim has the best chance of success.
Who pays my compensation and legal costs?
One of the hurdles that has to be overcome when making a claim against the owner of the dog that attacked you is whether they can afford to pay. In a lot of cases the dog owner may have public liability insurance included as part of their home and property insurance policy. In those cases the dog owner notifies their insurer of your claim against them and the insurer steps in and takes responsibility for paying your compensation and contributing to your legal costs.
If the dog owner does not have insurance, you might have to make the claim directly against their assets. This is achievable if the dog owner has valuable assets and then liquidates some of those assets or home equity to cover your damages and costs either by mutual agreement or by Court order.
If the dog owner does not have insurance, and does not have any assets, then you can potentially make a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
Successful dog bite injury claims
Potential payouts will vary depending on your particular injury, but rest assured as your experienced compensation lawyers in Perth we will do everything in our power to fight for the maximum amount. A successful dog bite claim depends on the factual circumstances: proving that the dog attacked you and proving your injuries. If this happens to you, then try to:
- record the date and time and the address where the dog bit happened, and if necessary take photos of the house;
- get the name and phone number of any witness to what happened – you don’t need a statement right away, just their name and phone number;
- see your GP as soon as possible;
- take photos of your injuries;
- report the attack to the local authority through the Rangers office;
- keep receipts for all treatment;
- if your personal property was damaged, such as damaged clothing, damaged glasses, damaged phone, take a photo of the damage;
- chat to a lawyer about your options.
Perth injury Lawyers
Injury law is a complicated field, with details varying from state to state. Working with local WA experts like Lian Hall means receiving relevant information and quality advice that comes from years working as leading compensation lawyers in Perth.
Professional guidance will clarify who to make the claim against which can help determine a successful outcome. Everyone who is responsible for the dog is liable should the animal chase or attack someone (or another animal) in WA, but the facts will clarify who to focus on.
On your behalf, our expert lawyers can lodge a claim against the home insurance policy of the dog’s owner, or public liability policy of a business involved. Our focus is always on the victim, and a passion for justice has resulted in numerous successful Perth dog bite injury claims.
Expert advice from Lian Hall
As a local specialist in dog bite injury and dog attack compensation claims, you can rest assured you’re in good hands with Lian Hall. Over 20 years of experience working as prominent injury lawyers in Perth means our understanding of local laws is second to none, and 100% confidentiality is guaranteed.
For a free consultation on your Perth dog bite injury claims, or to learn more about our no win no fee payment option, get in touch today and see how we can help you.