Accident in a Public Place*

Dog Bite Injury Claims*

According to data from the Health Service Executive, there were nearly 460 hospitalizations due to dog bites in 2022. Out of these incidents, there were 144 cases involving children, and 315 cases involving adults.

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Injured By Someone Else’s Dog?

If you have been injured by someone’s dog, our personal injury team will assist you to recover compensation for your losses. In Ireland, dog bite injury compensation falls under Section 21 of the Control of Dogs Act 1986. In summary, dog owners are strictly liable for injuries caused by their dogs during an attack.

Only a small percentage, approximately 3%, of personal injury cases go to trial as the majority are settled before reaching the courtroom. However, court involvement typically occurs when there is disagreement over-compensation or when the defendant denies liability due to disputes over the facts of the incident.

Dangerous Dog Breeds To Be Aware Of

Effective control must be maintained over all dogs. Furthermore, specific breeds, including the following are subject to additional regulations under the Control of Dogs Regulations 1998.

  • American Pit Bull Terrier,
  • English Bull Terrier,
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier,
  • Bull Mastiff,
  • Doberman Pinscher,
  • German Shepherd (Alsatian),
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback,
  • Rottweiler,
  • Japanese Akita,
  • Japanese Tosa,
  • Any dog commonly referred to as a Ban Dog (or Bandog),

In public places, these dogs must be kept on a sturdy leash that that does not exceed 2 meters in length. The person responsible for the dog must be at least 16 years old and capable of handling it. Additionally, each dog must be securely muzzled and controlled.

Who Is Liable?

Dog owners play a vital role in preventing incidents and ensuring the safety of others. Important preventive measures include socialization and training. Dog owners must comprehend their dog’s strength and ensure their pet is well-trained, and manageable before taking them into public spaces. If they fail to control their dog properly, it can result in serious injuries that can have both physical and psychological effects on the individuals involved, potentially posing life-threatening risks.

Dog owners can be held legally responsible for injuries caused by their dogs, with consequences such as financial compensation and legal penalties. By taking these measures and understanding their responsibilities, dog owners promote safer interactions and enhance their own and their pet’s well-being and reputation.

If You Experience A Dog Bite, What Actions Should You Take?

Dog bites can have significant physical, psychological, and emotional impacts on the victim, influencing the compensation claim. Injuries can range from minor wounds to severe damage, requiring medical treatment and possibly leading to scarring. Victims may experience trauma, PTSD, anxiety, and depression, impacting their daily life and relationships.

Compensation may cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of income, and necessary life adjustments. Consulting one of our specialized personal injury lawyers is crucial to build a strong claim considering the full extent of physical, psychological, and emotional harm endured.

In order to pursue compensation through a dog bite lawsuit, it is necessary to establish two key elements: Firstly, you must demonstrate that you suffered an injury as a result of a dog bite, and secondly, you must establish that the owner of the dog should be held responsible for the harm you experienced.

To bring a claim after being bitten by a dog, it is important to follow these steps:

  • Seek medical attention promptly.
  • Report the incident to the Gardai.
  • Identify the dog owner and ensure they have owners’ insurance or be covered by a household policy.
  • Take immediate photos of your injury.
  • Document the healing process with photos.
  • Keep any clothing worn during the attack (preferably unwashed).
  • Maintain a written record of the attack’s specific details.
  • Collect contact information from available witnesses.
  • Obtain a formal medical record from your doctor or the treating hospital.

However, the typical dog owner is often a private individual without sufficient insurance coverage. If the plaintiff succeeds in their case, the dog owner may be personally responsible for paying the compensation.  This can prove to be challenging as the individual may lack the financial resources to fulfil their legal obligation, leading to what is known as the “Man of Straw” doctrine.

After these steps have been followed advanced procedures may include:

  • An initial consultation with a solicitor, lodging the claim,
  • Gathering the evidence noted in the steps above,
  • Negotiation with the dog owner or their insurance company,
  • A potential trial if a settlement cannot be reached.

The solicitor assesses the claim’s viability, helps file legal documents, collects evidence, negotiates for fair compensation, and represents the victim in court if necessary. The specific details and duration may vary, but a skilled solicitor supports the victim throughout, providing guidance and advocating for their rights.

Common Dog Attack Claims And General Information

If you’ve suffered injuries from a dog attack, our specialized solicitors can assist you in making a claim. Whether the dog was aggressive, untrained, dangerous, uncontrolled, invited for interaction, or unaccompanied during the attack, we are here to help you seek compensation for your injuries. Here are some examples of previous claims that have been made.

Bite injuries

Claims for physical harm caused by a dog’s bite, resulting in wounds, scarring, and disfigurement.

Knockdown injuries

Claims arising from a person being knocked down or jumped on by a dog, leading to injuries like fractures, sprains, or concussions. These can include incidents involving cyclists being attacked by dogs on the road.

Injuries on private property

Claims for injuries resulting from dog bites on private property, involving tradespeople, delivery workers, care workers, postal workers, and others.

Claims generally have a two-year time limit from the incident date. However, for child injuries, the claim can be made any time before they turn 18, and an additional two-year period begins when they reach 18 years old.

For more information about the eligibility of your claim, contact one of personal injury experts by calling +353 1 649 9900, our emailing your query to: ask@traceysolicitors.ie.

Visit; Compensation Claims Estimator | Tracey Solicitors LLP for an estimation on the claim you could receive for your loss.


What to do after an accident in a public place*?

Following an accident in a public place, there are a number of steps you should follow:

  1. Seek medical attention

    Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after a public place accident, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries and seek the relevant medical attention. If you have sustained a serious injury ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene.

    For minor injuries, you must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to a more serious injury in the future. In this case it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.

  2. Report the accident

    If you have an accident in a public place it is important to report it to the persons who are in charge of the upkeep of property.

    Examples of such are:

  3. Identify any witnesses

    If possible, try to collect the contact details of anybody that witnessed the accident. This may be of good use if you do decide to pursue a public place accident claim. It is also useful to find out if there is any CCTV in the area where the accident happened.

  4. Document the incident

    It is important that you collect all the relevant information in connection with your accident:

    • How the accident happened
    • Details of any witnesses
    • If there are any CCTV recordings of the accident
    • Take pictures of where the accident happened and what caused you to slip, trip or fall
  5. Speak to a public place accident solicitor

    If you are considering moving forward with a public place accident claim for any personal injuries sustained it is advisable that you speak with a public place accident claims solicitor as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment. A public place accident solicitor can help you in preparing your application to the Injuries Board and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without unnecessary delays.

    It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or incident report forms where possible as you will need them when making a claim.

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How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist public place accident solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Prepare information for a solicitor

    When you decide you want to move forward with your public place accident claim it is important to have all the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Important information to have on hand at this point is:

    • Date of the accident
    • Location of the accident
    • Details of who/what caused the accident
    • Specifics of what happened
    • Who did you report the accident to?
    • Is there CCTV that may have captured the accident?
    • Details of your injuries
    • Details of hospital or GP attended
    • Any pictures you may have taken of the scene of the accident and/or your injuries
    • Try to retain any clothing and footwear in case it has some evidential value
  2. Solicitor becomes your trusted advisor

    As a solicitor is aware of the public place accident claim process they can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you did this yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.

  3. Solicitor obtains a medical report

    One of the most important documents in your case is a medical report. Your solicitor will ask for your doctor’s or Hospital details so they can obtain a report on your injuries. This report will then be used to allow us to progress your case.

  4. Solicitor prepares the Injuries Board application

    As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your public place accident claim will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. Your solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim, they will revert with a suggested settlement amount to your solicitor. At this stage, you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move to the next steps.

    At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:

    a. If both you and the party at fault accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the party at fault will be ordered to pay settlement to you.

    b. If either you or the party at fault reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.

  5. Possible case outcomes

    Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.

    Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point without ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and to let you focus of your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.

At Tracey Solicitors LLP, we make law accessible to all — regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your public place accident, phone 01 649 9900 where you can speak with a member of our team straight away, or email ask@traceysolicitors.ie to tell us about your case.

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What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Learn more about Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors LLP

We draw on more than 35 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

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