Dogbite Orthopaedic Injury Claims

While most dog bite claims result in a break to the skin, a more serious injury can lead to extensive muscle, tissue, and bone damage resulting in long-term disability and associated financial costs and losses.

Whilst the cause of the injury may vary, such injuries are valued in accordance with the extent of the injury and the impact it has upon the life and everyday activity of the claimant.

When it comes to valuing your claim, we review other cases which have been published in which awards of damages have been for similar injuries. We also review the Judicial College Guidelines which set out the bands of compensation that can be awarded in relation to particular injuries.

As one of the more common outcomes of a dog bite is an injury to the hand, we have a separate page in relation to such 

Injuries involving less serious injuries to the leg

(i) Fractures from which an Incomplete Recovery is Made or Serious Soft Tissue Injuries:

In the case of fracture injuries, the injured person will have made a reasonable recovery but will be left with a metal implant and/or defective gait, a limp, impaired mobility, sensory loss, discomfort, or an exacerbation of a pre-existing disability. This bracket will also involve serious soft tissue injuries to one or both legs causing a significant cosmetic deficit, functional restriction, and/or some nerve damage in the lower limbs.

£16,860 to £26,050

(ii) Simple Fracture of a Femur with No Damage to Articular Surfaces:

£8550 to £13210

(iii) Simple Fractures to Tibia or Fibula or Soft Tissue Injuries:

Towards the top of the bracket, there will come simple fractures of the tibia or fibula where there are some ongoing minor symptoms such as dull aching and/or modest restriction of movement. Where there has been a simple fracture of the tibia or fibula with a complete recovery, an award of less than £7,770 (£8,550 accounting for 10% uplift) is likely to be justified.

The level of award will be influenced by time spent in plaster and the length of the recovery period. Below this level fall a wide variety of soft tissue injuries, lacerations, cuts, bruising, or contusions, all of which have recovered completely or almost so, and any residual disability is cosmetic or of a minor nature. Where these modest injuries have fully resolved within a few months an award of less than is likely to be justified.


The level of award will be determined by the type and extent of treatment together with any residual disability in the form of instability or limitations on walking ability. Within the brackets stated the level of award will take account of the risk of future disabling conditions, impact on work and life in general together with any scarring or need for orthopaedic/specialist footwear

£29,380 to £46,980


Less serious injuries such as fractures, ligamentous tears etc. that can impact on the claimant’s ability to walk over uneven ground or to stand or walk for long-periods of time, etc, and those with a risk of future conditions such as osteoarthritis will fall into this bracket.

£12,900 to £24,950

Modest Injuries

With less serious injuries such as minor or undisplaced fractures, sprains, and ligamentous injuries. The level of the award within the bracket will be determined by whether or not a complete recovery has been made and, if recovery is incomplete, whether there is any tendency for the ankle to give way, and whether there is scarring, aching or discomfort, loss of movement, or the possibility of long-term osteoarthritis.

Where recovery is complete without any ongoing symptoms or scarring, the award is unlikely to exceed £7,220. If recovery is complete within a year, the award is unlikely to exceed £5,160. Modest injuries that resolve within a short space of time will attract lower awards.

Up to £12,900

Arm Injuries

(a) Severe Injuries

Injuries that fall short of amputation, but that are extremely serious and leave the injured person little better off than if the arm had been lost; for example, a serious brachial plexus injury.

£90,250 to £122,860

(b) Injuries Resulting in Permanent and Substantial Disablement

Serious fractures of one or both forearms where there is significant permanent residual disability whether functional or cosmetic.

£36,770 to £56,180

(c) Less Severe Injury

While there will have been significant disabilities, a substantial degree of recovery will have taken place or will be expected.

£18,020 to £36,770

(d) Simple Fractures of the Forearm

£6,190 to £18,020

Injuries to the Elbow

(a) A Severely Disabling Injury

£36,770 to £51,460

(b) Less Severe Injuries

Injuries causing impairment of function but not involving major surgery or significant disability.

£14,690 to £30,050

(c) Moderate or Minor Injury

Most elbow injuries fall into this category. They comprise simple fractures, tennis elbow syndrome, and lacerations, ie those injuries which cause no permanent damage and do not result in any permanent impairment of function.

  • Injuries fully resolving after about one year will usually attract an award in the region of £3,310
  • Injuries with the majority of symptoms resolving within 18 to 24 months but with nuisance level symptoms persisting after that would attract an award of £5,890
  • Injuries recovering after three years with nuisance symptoms thereafter and/or requiring surgery will attract awards towards the top of the bracket of up to £11,820

Wrist injuries

  • Injuries resulting in complete loss of function in the wrist, for example, where an arthrodesis has been performed.

£44,690 to £56,180

  • Injury resulting in significant permanent disability, but where some useful movement remains.

£22,990 to £36,770

  • Less severe injuries where these still result in some permanent disability as, for example, a degree of persisting pain and stiffness.

£11,820 to £22,990

  • Where recovery from fracture or soft tissue injury takes longer but is complete, the award will rarely exceed £9,620
  • An uncomplicated Colles’ fracture.

In the region of £6,970

  • Very minor undisplaced or minimally displaced fractures and soft tissue injuries necessitating the application of plaster or bandage for a matter of weeks and a full or virtual recovery within up to 12 months or so.

£3,310 to £4,450