Case Studies

Bitten on the face resulting in scarring and adjustment disorder £23,000

Instructions were received from the client in relation to a dog bite that occurred as the client was a lawful visitor to the Defendant’s home. The client was acting in the course of her employment as a care worker and was walking between the Defendant’s kitchen and lounge where the Defendant’s dog was lying down on a footstool. As the client stroked the dog, it suddenly jumped up and attacked the client’s face.

Four Legs Law was instructed as the client suffered bite and scratching injuries to the face, bruising around the right eye, swelling to the right side of her face, tissue damage, and a consequential infection that required antibiotic treatment.

The client’s full claim was set out by Four Legs Law and liability was promptly admitted by the Defendant’s Insurers, albeit they considered that the client was contributory negligent in her actions in stroking the dog.

The client’s full medical records were obtained and considered, and medical evidence was obtained from a Consultant in Emergency Medicine, a Psychiatrist, a Plastic Surgeon, and a Camouflage Expert.

The medical evidence detailed the client’s injuries and confirmed that the client had sustained permanent scarring and an Adjustment Disorder, amongst other injuries. As the client had clearly been affected by the incident and therefore CBT treatment was arranged to facilitate her recovery.

The evidence was disclosed, and the Defendant’s Insurers made an offer to settle the whole of the claim in the sum of £23,000.00. Counsel was instructed to ensure that this was at the top end of what may be awarded at Court for the claim on a full basis (i.e not with the alleged contributory negligence applied as suggested by the Defendant at the outset).

Upon confirmation that the sum of £23,000.00 was fair Four Legs Law concluded the claim without the need for Court proceedings.

Bite to the hand requiring surgery £5000

Instructions were received from the client in relation to a dog bite. The client came to the Defendant’s door to deliver Christmas presents for the Defendant’s foster child. A friend of the family opened the front door and the Defendant’s dog ran out and bit the client on the left hand.

Four Legs Law Solicitors were instructed to recover the client’s losses as she suffered serious injuries to her left hand which required surgery and physiotherapy for 18 months. The full details of the client’s claim were set out against the Defendant. No response was initially received from the Defendant, so consideration was given to the appropriate steps.

As the Defendant was refusing to engage Court proceedings were issued which resulted in the Defendant promptly admitting liability.

Thereafter, an offer was made by the Defendant in the sum of £5,000.00 which was insufficient. The Defendant was notified of this and they made a further offer in the sum of £10,000.00 which again was too low and rejected.

Four Legs Law continued to progress the claim and obtained medical records, which were considered. Medical evidence was subsequently obtained from a Hand Surgeon who produced evidence in support of her claim and confirmed that the functionality of the client’s hand was reduced.

Meanwhile, the Court proceedings were progressing, and further details were sent to the Court detailing the full extent of the claim to include the client’s financial losses.

The Defendant made an offer of £25,000.00 to settle the claim and following confirmation from Counsel that this was a reasonable amount the claim settled in that amount and the Court proceedings were ended.

Injury sustained protecting dog from attack by another dog – award of £7,900.00

Four legs law received instructions from the client who had been the subject of a dog attack whilst out walking her Cavapoo. The circumstances of the incident were that, without warning, the client’s Cavapoo was attacked by the opponent’s Greyhound. As the opponent did not intervene, the client attempted to prise the opponent’s dog’s teeth away from her own using her hands and as the opponent’s dog released the client’s dog its teeth caught on the Claimant’s left leg.  As a result of the attack the client sustained injuries to the hand and left leg and her dog was also injured.

Investigations were made for the relevant documentation in relation to the claim to be obtained which included veterinary records and other documentation.

A Letter of Claim was prepared and sent to the opponent and was passed from the opponent to his insurers. The opponent’s insurers denied liability and maintained that the incident was caused as a direct result of the client’s actions.

Four Law Legs law continued to fight the case on behalf of the client and requested disclosure of documentation. This was not forthcoming and therefore a successful Pre-Action Disclosure Application was made. Full disclosure was subsequently provided, and the parties’ respective positions were analysed.

Counsel was involved by Four Legs Law to ensure that the client’s position was reasonable. Counsel confirmed that the client’s case was a reasonable one, with the opponent likely being liable.

Four Legs Law continued to investigate the claim and steps were made for the client’s medical records to be obtained and considered. These supported the client’s version of events in relation to her injuries to her left leg and hands. Additionally, the client had been psychologically affected as a result of the incident.

It was necessary for medical evidence to be obtained in support of the client’s claim and instructions were given to a Consultant in Emergency Medicine and a Clinical Psychologist. The medical experts confirmed that the client had sustained dog bite injuries and as a result had developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with CBT treatment being recommended.

On account of the opponent’s liability denial, it was necessary for proceedings to be issued. Court proceedings were therefore issued and served. The Defence maintained the pre-action position.

Following the service of the Defence, the opponent put forward an offer to settle the client’s claim in the sum of £7,900.00, which was accepted by Four Legs Law on behalf of the client.

The client was delighted with the outcome as the incident was traumatic for her and despite liability being denied by the opponent a reasonable settlement was achieved due to Four Legs Law work in support of her position.

Injury and scarring to the leg – £25,500

Instructions were received from the client in relation to an attack that occurred as she was walking her foster dog. The opponent’s dog, which was off its lead at the time, saw the client’s dog and chased after it. The client’s dog hid behind the client’s leg and the opponent’s dog attacked the client’s leg and began rag-dolling causing the client to scream in pain. The opponent’s dog then appeared to realise it had the wrong target and attacked the client’s dog biting its tail. The opponent then intervened and dragged his dog away. At the incident, the opponent notified the client that his dog had been involved in previous incidents and was supposed to be muzzled at all times.

The client instructed Four Legs Law who investigated the incident and obtained the client’s medical records and other relevant documentation. The locus of the incident was investigated to ensure the full facts were understood. A Letter of Claim was sent to the opponent asking that they admit responsibility for the incident. Liability was admitted shortly thereafter by the opponent’s insurers.

As a result of the incident, the client sustained nasty lacerations to her leg, which required surgery, and was left with scarring. She was also affected psychologically due to the attack on account of the traumatic circumstances. Due to the nature of the Claimant’s symptoms rehabilitation treatment was arranged by the Four Legs Law so that the client made the best recovery possible.

Medical evidence was obtained from a Plastic Surgeon who confirmed the injuries and scarring to the leg and from a psychiatrist who confirmed that the client had developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder due to the incident. The client had also experienced significant pain in the leg and deliberation was given to the effect of this on the client.

The claim was not capable of settlement, so Court proceedings were issued to protect the client’s position. During the course of this the client’s full losses, including her financial losses were detailed and set out for the Court.

Due to the severity of the client’s injuries Counsel was involved in the claim by Four Legs Law to assist in the client’s recovery. The matter progressed through the Court procedure which had the effect of adding pressure on the opponent’s legal team.

Deliberation was given to the value of the claim and Four Legs Law put forward an offer in the sum of £25,500.00, which was accepted by the opponent, thus concluding the claim.