Dog Attack Claims: What should I do, and could I be entitled to compensation?

Dog Attack Claims: What should I do, and could I be entitled to compensation?

If you are injured in a dog attack, you may be entitled to compensation. The specialist lawyers at Maliganis Edwards Johnson (MEJ) can advise you of your rights and ensure you get the maximum compensation you deserve.

Whether you sustain a dog bite injury visiting someone’s home, or you are attacked in the open by an uncontained dog, MEJ has the experience to ensure you are properly looked after.

In the ACT, the Domestic Animals Act 2000 (ACT) (DA Act) makes it an offence for a person to be a keeper or carer of a dog if that dog attacks another person and the attack causes serious injury.

The DA Act also makes the keeper of a dog liable to compensate a person for any loss or expense because of personal injury or property damage done to a person or the death or injury of an animal. Such compensation may be recovered whether or not a prosecution for an offence against the Act has been brought and may be recovered even if the keeper has been acquitted of any charge.  

I was injured in a dog attack. What should I do?

If you or someone in your family is injured in a dog attack, phone Domestic Animal Services (DAS) via the Access Canberra Contact Centre (13 22 81) to immediately report the incident. 

A dog attack is a traumatic experience for everyone involved. Often, physical and mental injuries can arise from an unprovoked attack that can lead to significant medical bills and time off work. There are several options open to you after a dog attack. You can:

  • Request that DAS issue a warning to the dog owner
  • Request that the dog owner be fined by DAS
  • Seek to have the dog owner prosecuted

For more information on how DAS handles dog attacks including the support services available for people involved, please head to: What happens after a dog attack? – City Services (act.gov.au)

When am I entitled to compensation?

This will depend on the circumstances of the case.   However, under the DA Act the registered ‘keeper’ of a dog that attacks or harasses a person in a way that causes injury will be liable to pay compensation even if the keeper was not negligent (for example: if the dog was not under the care of the keeper at the time).

Call MEJ and one of our experienced lawyers can take you through the process and advise you of your rights.   

If I can make a claim, what compensation may I be entitled to?

If you are successful in bringing a dog attack claim, the law does its best to put you back in the position had you not been involved in the attack. 

You may be entitled to compensation for your past and future medical, rehabilitation and medication costs, loss of wages and assistance needs. You will also be compensated for your pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

I wasn’t physically injured, can I still claim compensation?

A dog attack is a traumatic experience for everyone involved, including your own four-legged friends. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as every claim is different. At MEJ we are experienced in running claims for compensation arising from dog attacks. It may be that you are still entitled to compensation, even if you aren’t physically injured.  

I didn’t know I could make a claim! I experienced a dog attack some time ago—can I still make a claim?

As with every compensation claim, the legislation provides strict deadlines you must adhere to. If you are unsure if can still make claim, call us as soon as possible and we will take you through your options and advise you of your rights.

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