When A was 9 years old she was playing with her friend, Harry, the son of the Defendant. A went to Harry’s home and while there was bitten by the Defendant’s border collie dog. She suffered significant scarring as a result.
A said that she was on the porch when the dog, who she knew and had met on many occasions when visiting the property with Harry came up to her and attacked her. The Defendant’s maintained that the dog had been asleep on the stairs and that A entered the property flinging open the door which hit against a radiator. Their position was that the noise of the door banging against the radiator startled the dog and induced the attack.
Before instructing Dog Bite Solicitors Slee Blackwell A's mum approached two different firms of solicitors both of whom told her that there was no claim. In desperation she even started Court proceedings herself. It was at this stage that she asked Slee Blackwell if they could help. We instructed her to discontinue the proceedings she had started in her own name and gathered the evidence we needed to prove her case.
Reports were obtained from a Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Psychiatrist as well as a Cosmetic Camouflage expert. As liability we instructed a Canine Behaviourist who provided a report where he considered the two different versions of events and decided that A's seemed more likely. He saw no reason why a sleeping dog would wake and run towards a loud noise as the Defendant had suggested.
A meeting was arranged between A and her family and a specialist Personal Injury barrister who could talk to A about what happned and also about the impact the injuries had on her. He was able to look at all of the evidence and give advice on the likely value of A's claim.
Liability remained denied and Court proceedings were therefore issued and served. Although a defence was filed things then went very quiet and the Defendant failed to provide witness statements or expert evidence in accordance with the Court timetable. They did however make an offer of £17,500.00. After negotiations the sum of £26,000.00 was agreed in settlement of the claim. However just after the documentation was served upon the Court requesting an Infant Approval Hearing there were changes in the discount rate and it became apparent that the new calculations meant the agreed figure was too low. Negotiations began again and settlement was reached and agreed by the Court for the sum of £36,000.
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