The Personal Injury Blog

Beware of the Dog – Horse – Cow, or any animal!

Personal Injury Claims often arise from injuries caused by animals when it can be shown that the owner or keeper of the creature was legally negligent in failing to prevent it attacking and injuring someone. Fortunately, most animal owners carry insurance against such claims.

Several of our current cases arise from attacks by dogs.

I recently settled a case for a man who was attacked by a large dog that was not on a lead in a public park. It made an unprovoked lunge and bit him through his clothing. The claim was settled for a five figure sum.

We have also succeeded in a claim for a man in his 80s who was walking from his house to the local shop when he was injured by a neighbour’s dog which was being walked on an extendable lead. Our client was knocked to the floor and suffered head and shoulder injuries.

Some years ago we acted for a young woman who suffered nasty facial scarring when she was bitten by her employer’s pet and also for an unfortunate man who was attacked by the landlord’s dog whilst he was urinating in a pub toilet.

Its not just dogs…

Horses are capable of causing serious injuries if not controlled properly. One of our clients suffered a fractured shoulder when a horse, complete with rider, reared up at her on a public footpath, causing her to fall.  We succeeded with a claim against another horse owner after one in their ownership escaped from fields and collided with a motorcycle on a main road.

Cows are also dangerous, particularly in numbers and when they have calves with them. A female client of ours won damages of more than 20k after she was trampled by several cows whilst out walking with her husband. Another client was injured by cows that were startled by noise created by farm machinery. A lady from a Yorkshire farming community was badly injured when an escaped cow ran up her drive and knocked her down, leading to a claim against the owner.

Any person or organisation which owns any type of animal that they know is likely to cause bodily harm or has the potential to do so if kept uncontrolled may be liable for compensation if it does injure someone. So far, we are not aware of any claims arising against domestic cat owners but we would recommend that anyone who owns a dog, horse, cow, bull, tiger, boa constrictor or similar should make sure they have appropriate third party insurance.

If you would like advice about an injury caused by an animal, please call us on 0114 218 4000 or email to arrange a meeting which will be free of charge.

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