J was employed as a Healthcare Worker and was on her way to work. She was on the nightshift that day. J lived at number 76 and Defendant lived at 78. In order for J to access the main footpath she was required to walk past number 78 and down a flight of stone steps. As J exited her house with her husband walking behind her she noted the Defendant's father outside number 78 with her neighbour's staffordshire bull terrier. The dog was on a lead but was not muzzled and J had no option but to walk past the dog. As she approached J greeted the dog and put her hand down for the dog to sniff. The dog sniffed J’s hand and then suddenly and without warning jumped up and bit her face. J suffered a dog bite to her face causing a permanent and disfiguring scar to her lip. The Defendant's father accepted a police caution in relation to the incident.
The Claimant originally instructed local solitictors but they were unable to progress the claim and didn't have the required expertise in relation to Dog bite claims and in particular the Animals Act 1971. Luckily she theninstructed Dog bite solicitors Slee Blackwell.
The scar J was left with was immediately obvious to the casual observer at a conventional distance. Further revision surgery was been recommended. J also suffered post traumatic stress disorder and a major depression of mild to moderate severity as well as significant psychological concerns regarding her appearance. We instructed a leading Consultant Plastic Surgeon to prepare a report as well as a Consultant Psychiatrist. Both Experts reported and copies of their reports were served upon the Defendants.
The case had a number of issues in relation to the Defendants and which were the relevant insurers who should take responsibility for the incident. The insurers themselves had significant difficulties in ascertaining who had indemnity and to try and progress the claim the decision was made to issue proceedings.
In negotiations with the insurers it became apparent that they were considering withdrawing indemnity from the Defendant. This would mean that in all likelihood J would not receive any compensation at all as while she would still have a claim it would be the Defendant himself who would be personally liable for paying her any compensation. After thinking about the matter very carefully J made an offer for the sum of £40,000.00 which was accepted by the Defendant insurers bringing J's claim to an end.
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