Author Archives: Mike Massen

Valuing a Dogbite Claim

Valuing a Dogbite Claim. The aim behind a dog bite claim, just like any personal injury claim, is to put you back in the position you were in prior to the incident. Obviously, it is not possible to turn back time to prevent the incident from happening nor is it possible to simply wave a cheque-book over your injuries and take away your pain and suffering.

The purpose of a claim for compensation is to put a monetary value on your pain and suffering and your associated losses.

So how do we put a price on pain and the reduction in your overall health and well-being?

Any claim for personal injury will seek to recover compensation for pain, suffering, and loss of amenity (PSLA). Loss of amenity is effectively the loss of enjoyment of life during your period of recovery.

Valuing a Dogbite Claim

To determine the full extent of your injuries your solicitor will, either upon receipt of an admission of liability or in the run-up to the issue of proceedings, obtain a medical report. This will be provided by an independent medical expert.

The expert will produce a report based upon a review of your medical records and an examination of your injuries to include any scarring and/or mental trauma arising from the incident.  Additional reports will be obtained from other experts as required.

Once all necessary reports have been obtained, your solicitor will use these to value your injuries with reference to case law involving Claimants with similar injuries and also the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG sets out injuries with differing severity with an indication of the band of compensation into which an injury may fall.  This guide is used by both solicitors for both claimants and defendants, and also by judges

Financial losses

In addition to the claim for your PSLA, your solicitor will also look to recover all and any financial losses or costs that have been incurred as a result of the incident. This can include lost income, damage to clothing, as well as the need for any form of treatment required as a result of the injury. In addition, if there is obvious scarring, the cost of cover-up cream and if so required, plastic restorative surgery.

The valuation of a dog bite can be particularly complex as it is more likely to result in some form of psychological trauma that would occur if the injuries had been sustained by for example tripping over a raised paving stone. Again, the occupation of the claimant can have a bearing: a delivery person is more likely to encounter dogs than an office worker, and therefore mental trauma brought about by a dog bite is likely to impact to a greater level.

To ensure that you receive the maximum and appropriate level of compensation you should instruct Solicitors who have the knowledge, experience, and expertise to not only prove that the incident was caused by the negligence of the dog owner but also, to ensure that you receive every penny to which you are entitled.

Get the help you need

For the expert help and advice you need, contact Mike Massen at Cohen Cramer Solicitors:

 

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CICA and dog bite claims

CICA and dog bite claims. Frequently, I receive enquiries from victims of dog bite attacks whereby the owner of the dog cannot be traced or, if they can be traced, they do not have any appropriate insurance. In the absence of the owner or a lack of insurance, it is very difficult to pursue a personal injury claim.

Quite often such victims ask if they can make an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (“CICA”).

The CICA is a government-funded organisation that makes payment to the victims of crimes of violence. It is this last definition that prevents an award of compensation being made by the CICA to dog bite victims, except in very limited circumstances.

Applications to the CICA following a dog bite

The essential element is an intention by the dog owner/party with control of the dog, to cause you harm. In the absence of evidence of such, your application is likely to fail.

Whilst you may have sustained an injury because of the actions of the dog owner who has been charged with a criminal offence, it does not automatically mean that you were the victim of a crime of violence. By way of example, you may come home and find your house has been burgled and suffer an extreme shock reaction. You have suffered an injury – that is not in doubt – but it was not sustained as a result of a crime of violence and as such, no award will be made.

The CICA will only make payment in relation to the dog attack if it can be shown that the dog was used as a weapon in so much as it was deliberately set upon you, or a situation was orchestrated by the dog owner so that the attack upon you was inevitable. It is only within these narrow boundaries that a claim will be recognised and an award made.

Qualifying for an award

To qualify for an award, you will need to show, in addition to sustaining an injury that:

  • the incident happened in the United Kingdom
  • it happened within the past two years (or within two years of your 18th birthday)
  • the matter was reported to the police in a prompt manner (within a maximum of 72 hours)
  • you have co-operated fully with the police in their investigations.

Get the legal help you need

If you have been bitten by a dog and have any questions in relation to making a claim either against the owner or, in appropriate circumstances, an application to the CICA, then get in touch today.

Our specialist teams can advise you on the issues relevant to your claim.

While based in Leeds, we offer a nationwide service.

We are able to offer a number of funding options to suit your needs including no win no fee and fixed fee work. Do not hesitate to contact us to discuss which funding options apply.

 

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No Win No Fee Dog Bite Claims

No Win No Fee Dog Bite Claims. If you have sustained an injury as a result of a dog bite we can help you recover compensation on a No Win No Fee basis.

A No Win No Fee agreement is otherwise known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) and is one of the most common methods of pursuing a civil claim. It is often linked to a suitable insurance policy that protects you if your claim is unsuccessful.

A CFA provides a method of funding for your personal injury claim whereby you only ever pay anything if you win your claim. If your claim is unsuccessful then you do not have to pay anything providing that you have complied with your responsibilities under the CFA. As long as you provide us with instructions, cooperate with us, attend any medical or expert examination, or court hearing and do not deliberately mislead us or exaggerate any part of your claim then you will not have to pay anything if you lose your claim.

If your claim is successful then your opponent will pay the majority of your legal costs. Any legal costs which are not recovered from your opponent will be deducted from your compensation. This will include the cost of your “no win no fee” insurance policy, our success fee for winning your case, and any costs which cannot be recovered from your opponent.

If you have any questions regarding bringing your dog bite claim and how to pursue this on a No Win No Fee agreement, please call us to discuss further.

Start your claim today

For a review and assessment of your dog bite claim get in touch with us today: