Dog attack compensation solicitors recover £45,000 for man bitten by dog while out running

The team of dog attack compensation solicitors at Slee Blackwell led by ‘‘The Dog Bite Solicitor James McNally have recovered £45,000 for a runner who was bitten in a park in Bishop’s Stortford.

He was out running when he saw approaching him an elderly lady with a dog off lead. The dog was some distance in front of her. The dog ran up to our client and bit him on the arm. Our client was very upset and asked the dog owner to come with him to the police station to report what had happened. Incredibly, as they were walking together she suddenly disappeared. Police later used CCTV to trace her and found that she had hidden in a shop when our client was looking the other way. She pleaded guilty to a charge under the Dangerous Dogs Act and we agreed to pursue a compensation claim against her, working on a no win, no fee basis.

Despite the guilty plea the owner and her insurers denied liability saying that the dog was well behaved and that the incident was our client’s fault for running at the dog. They also suggested that the client had made the bite look worse than it was. The owner said she only pleaded guilty at the criminal trial on the advice of her solicitor at the time.

We supported our client throughout and obtained evidence in support of his injuries and losses. The owner got her own medical evidence but continued to deny liability.

We visited the park and took measurements of the path and area to show there was no reason for our client to run at the dog or its owner as she alleged.

The owner obtained a report from a canine expert. We noted that it was nearly identical to a report we had seen prepared by the same expert on another case we had dealt with, apart from one crucial difference in her conclusion which had been changed in this instance to be more supportive to the owner. When we questioned the expert she said that this was a “typo” and produced an amended report which was far less supportive of the owner’s case.

Our client at the time of the dog attack was working for Fed Ex lifting heavy boxes. His injury meant he couldn’t work and he lost his job as a result. He resorted at one stage to busking on the street for money. The owner’s solicitors hired private investigators to follow him, filmed him playing the violin in the snow and then tried to argue that this showed that he was able to work.

The claim was listed for trial but just two days before the trial was due to start the dog owner’s solicitors admitted liability. Following further negotiations compensation was agreed at £45,000.

Says James McNally:

“Many dog bite victims would think that being bitten while out running and the owner then pleading guilty in a criminal court would mean that any compensation claim they bring would be completely straightforward. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case. As this case demonstrates, owners and their insurers and solicitors are often willing to fight to avoid compensation being paid. Our client’s life was turned upside down by what happened but the dog’s owner showed little sympathy and tried to argue he was dishonest. We believed in our client and we gathered the evidence needed to prove his case. In addition, our experience as specialist dog attack compensation solicitors meant that we were able to spot the “errors” in the Defendant’s dog behaviour report and ask the awkward questions which led to liability being admitted and an out of court settlement being agreed.”

If you are looking for experienced dog attack compensation solicitors then our expert team is here to help. Contact our free legal helpline for a review of your case. Call us on 0333 888 0435 or email [email protected]

Runner wins £45,000 compensation for dog attack