If you have been injured by a pet, a farm animal or any other animal in captivity, then you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation from the person who owned the animal.
Animal owners have certain rights and responsibilities, and if they fail to meet these responsibilities then they can be held responsible for the actions of their animals. Here are a few of the types of injuries caused by animals that people are able to make a successful claims for:
There are millions of domestic dogs in the United Kingdom, and every year thousands of people are injured by a dog. Many injuries occur because the owner of the animal has failed to take sufficient steps to prevent the dog from interacting with the victim. This can include cases where the owner has not kept their dog safely contained (i.e. it has escaped from a garden or yard), or the dog has been allowed to run around without being on a lead. In some cases, the dog will become aggressive because it is scared about being in an unknown situation.
Dog injuries include bites and scratches. When assessing a claim, the courts will consider whether the incident could have been prevented, and in many circumstances the owner of the animal can be held responsible, even if they are not directly to blame. Depending on the nature of the claim, sanctions may need to be taken against the dog as well as the animal owner.
Horse-related injuries mainly occur to people who ride horses regularly or who work with horses on a regular basis. As well as standard claims which may be made against the owner of a horse which has injured you, you may also be able to make a claim against a member of the public, if it can be shown that their actions caused your horse to become spooked, rear up or bolt. For example, if a careless motorist causes your horse to throw you off whilst they are trying to get past, you may be able to take them to a civil claims court.
Farmers have a responsibility to prevent their livestock becoming a threat to the public. This includes making sure that all of their animals are penned in properly, to prevent animals straying out onto roads or public highways. They must also ensure that dangerous animals are not kept in fields where there is a public right of way, or these animals may pose a threat to walkers.
Most farmers have special insurance to help to cover them if any of their animals cause injuries to the public. Farm workers and people who work in the slaughter industry may also receive injuries from livestock. These workers may also be able to file a claim for accidents in the workplace.
Zoo or Wildlife Park accidents
Many zoos or safari parks contain animals which can be very vicious as part of their nature. It is important that zoos take proper precautions to prevent animals from getting out of their enclosures, and to prevent unauthorised persons from getting in to their enclosures. In the event that an animal is able to harm a worker or a visitor, it is important that the park also has a proper plan in place to deal with the situation. In the event that a dangerous animal is on the loose, all employees must know how to act to protect people, and if this plan is not realised, then there could be fatal consequences. If you have been injured by an animal at a tourist attraction such as a circus or zoo, then you may be able to make a claim.
In most animal related injuries, the burden of responsibility will fall on the owner, unless it can be shown that the animal acted unnaturally because of the actions of a third party. If you speak to a specialist who is used to dealing with “injuries caused by animals” claims, then they will be able to guide you through all of the options that are available to you and they will be able to help you to target the claim correctly, so that you have the best chance of success.