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Mental Trauma From Dog Bites

Mental trauma from dog bites. When we think of dog bites, our minds often go first to the physical harm they cause: the puncture wounds, the risk of infection, and the potential for lasting scars. However, the impact of a dog bite extends far beyond the visible injuries. Victims of dog bites, whether adults or children, can experience profound emotional and psychological effects that may linger long after the physical wounds have healed. Understanding these impacts is crucial, not only for the well-being of the victims but also for ensuring they receive fair compensation and the comprehensive care they need.

The Psychological Aftermath of a Dog Bite

The immediate response to a dog bite can involve more than just physical pain; it can trigger a shock and a deep sense of vulnerability. In the days and weeks that follow, victims often report a range of emotional responses, including heightened anxiety, fear of dogs (cynophobia), nightmares, and in some cases, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For children, these responses can be even more pronounced, affecting their behaviour and social interactions.

These psychological effects can disrupt daily life, making it difficult for victims to engage in activities they once enjoyed or to interact with pets and animals in the same way they did before the incident. The fear of encountering dogs can limit a person’s ability to enjoy outdoor activities, visit friends or family who own pets, or simply walk in areas where dogs might be present.

Recognising the Signs of Emotional Distress

It’s important for victims and their families to recognise the signs of emotional distress following a dog bite. Symptoms might include excessive worry or fear when thinking about dogs, avoiding places where dogs are likely to be, experiencing flashbacks or nightmares about the incident, or showing signs of depression. Early recognition of these symptoms is key to seeking timely and appropriate mental health support.

Incorporating Emotional Injuries into Compensation Claims

When pursuing a compensation claim for a dog bite, it’s vital to consider not only the costs associated with physical recovery but also the emotional and psychological impact. This can include compensation for therapy and counseling, medication for anxiety or depression, and even damages for pain and suffering. Working with a solicitor who understands the full scope of the impact can ensure that these factors are adequately considered in the claim.

The legal system in England and Wales recognises the importance of compensating victims for psychological injuries, but proving the extent of these injuries can be challenging. Detailed medical reports from psychologists or psychiatrists, along with a thorough documentation of the victim’s emotional and mental health journey following the incident, are crucial pieces of evidence.

The Importance of Seeking Help

Recovery from a dog bite is not just about healing physical wounds; it’s about addressing the emotional scars as well. Victims should be encouraged to seek professional mental health support to navigate the complex feelings and reactions that can follow such a traumatic event. Therapy can provide a safe space to process the trauma, develop coping strategies, and gradually reduce fear and anxiety related to dogs.

Final Thoughts

The emotional toll of a dog bite can be as debilitating as the physical injuries, but with the right support and legal guidance, recovery, and healing are possible. By recognising and addressing the psychological effects, victims can take important steps towards regaining their sense of security and well-being. At Cohen Cramer it’s our role to ensure that these aspects are not overlooked in compensation claims, advocating for a holistic approach to recovery that considers both the physical and emotional impacts of dog bites.

Claim for Mental Trauma From Dog Bites

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

Mental Trauma From Dog Bites

Claiming for a Dog Bite

Claiming for a Dog Bite.A conversation I have on a regular basis when dealing with enquiries from people who have been bitten by a dog often goes along the following lines:

Me: ‘Do you have the details of the dog owner or the party who had control of the dog at the time of the incident?’

Caller: ‘No, I don’t know who owns the dog; I just want to claim compensation’.

Me: I’m sorry but in the absence of the details of the responsible owner you are not able to make a claim’.

Caller: ‘But I’ve been bitten …’

I’m always sympathetic towards anyone who has been bitten by an untraced dog. They can receive an injury that can be both physically and mentally debilitating but without any opportunity to claim compensation to offset such.

Alternative causes of action when claiming for a dog bite

If you have been bitten by a dog for whom there is no known owner there are steps, you can take which may assist.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)

If the dog was deliberately set upon you and used as a weapon then, if you have reported the matter to the police, you may be able to obtain an award from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (the “CICA”).

The CICA is a government-funded body that makes payments to the victims of violent crime. The keywords here are violent crime. If somebody’s dog is just running feral and bites you, then while they may have committed a criminal offence in relation to the handling of their animal, they have not committed a crime of violence and therefore you are not entitled to an award of compensation from the CICA.

Social media

If you can obtain a photograph of the dog in question it may be worthwhile placing such on local social media pages and asking if anyone who has information on the animal to DM you. In such a case be as specific as possible, make no threats, nor indicate that you are planning a personal injury claim. Remember that social media is publication for the purposes of libel, and you don’t want to only find out the details of the dog owner when you receive a letter from their solicitors claiming damages for the comments you have made.

Report to the police

Regardless of whether you can obtain a photograph or not, you should report the matter to the police. If the police feel that the extent of the injury is severe enough to warrant further investigation, they can make enquiries with regards to any local CCTV that may be of assistance in determining the owner. You should also report the matter to the local dog warden who may be able to assist in tracing the animal if the animal has previously bitten or caused issues.

How we can help when claiming for a dog bite

Unfortunately, dog insurance is not compulsory so even if you are able to locate the home address of the animal, there is no guarantee that pet insurance will be in place. However, a household insurance policy may cover for third-party liability claims such as this. It does not matter that the bite did not occur on the insured property.

If you have been bitten by a dog, and would like to discuss the possibility of claiming compensation for your injuries then please get in touch with us today.


Claiming for a Dog Bite

£2800 for bite to arm

Instructions were received on behalf of the Claimant in relation to a claim for damages arising out of a dog bite incident.

The background of the claim was that the Claimant attended at the Defendant’s property during the course of his employment as a delivery driver for Amazon. The Claimant left the parcel at the door and was walking back to the van when the dog escaped and bit him on the right shin.

The Claimant returned to his vehicle and telephoned his employees for advice who recommended that he attend hospital. The Claimant attended the Accident and Emergency department at the North Middlesex University Hospital. It was confirmed that the Claimant had sustained a graze to his right shin and surrounding soft tissue swelling. The Claimant was prescribed antibiotics and given a tetanus booster. The Claimant was unable to work for four days and upon his return, he was apprehensive when delivering parcels after what had happened. The Claimant’s injuries healed with three small areas of localised discolouration remaining. He experienced localised pain for two weeks following the accident.

Careful consideration was given to the background of the claim and the treatment provided. Steps were taken to obtain the Claimant’s medical records. Upon receipt of the relevant documentation, it clearly supported the Claimant’s version of events.

The Letter of Claim was prepared and forwarded to the Defendant on the 7th January 2021. In the interim, further investigations were undertaken and outstanding information was obtained. The Letter of Claim was acknowledged by the Third Party Insurers on the 25th January 2021 who confirmed they were making enquiries into the issue of liability. On the 20th April 2021 the Defendant admitted primary liability.

Steps were taken to obtain the Claimant’s full medical records from his GP and the hospital. The Claimant was examined by an A&E Consultant who confirmed the Claimant’s injuries.

Discussions took place between the parties in relation to potential settlement and on the 3rd January 2022 the Claimant put forward a Part 36 offer of £3500. The Defendant responded with a Part 36 counteroffer of £2800 on the 27th January 2022. On the 9th February 2022 the Claimant accepted the Defendant’s Part 36 offer of £2800 thus concluding the matter save as to costs.

The matter was funded by a CFA with the Claimant. No additional liabilities are claimed from the paying party.

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: