9 year old girl bitten on face by dog
In September 2012 our client was a little girl aged just 9 years old. She was playing with her friend, Harry. They both went to Harry’s home so that Harry could get his scooter. While at the house the girl was bitten on her face by a border collie dog.
When asked about the attack the young girl said that she had been standing in the porch and hadn’t entered the house when the dog, who she knew and had met on many occasions, bit her.
The dog’s owner maintained that the dog had been asleep on the stairs and that the girl had entered the property, flinging open the front door which hit against a radiator. Their view was that the noise of the door banging against the radiator startled the dog and induced the attack.
Her injuries were severe requiring surgery and numerous stitches. The scarring she was left with will be permanent. She also suffered psychological injuries.
The girl’s mother initially approached two different solicitors, both of whom undertook investigations but then abandoned the claim as they did not think they would win. In desperation the mother started Court proceedings herself and it was at this stage that she approached Slee Blackwell for assistance because of our national reputation in No Win No Fee dog attack claim cases.
Despite the negative assessments of the other solicitors we agreed to take it on under a No Win – No Fee agreement
Having agreed to proceed on a No Win – No Fee basis, we obtained expert reports from a Consultant Plastic Surgeon and a Child Psychologist. A report was also obtained from a cosmetic camouflage expert detailing make up and treatment available to the victim in covering up the scarring.
Despite our best efforts, including obtaining a supportive report from a Canine Behaviour Expert which cast doubt on the Defendant’s version of events, liability remained denied and therefore Court proceedings were issued and served.
Although they continued to deny liability the owner’s failed to serve their own witness or expert evidence.
Offers of compensation
Shortly before trial they made an offer of £17,500.00.
Because the dog bite victim was a child, a barrister was consulted to advise on the value of her claim. A case conference took place at the barrister’s chambers so he could meet with the girl and her parents. We discussed the claim in detail, including the impact which the incident had upon her and the ongoing problems she had been suffering from.
Following the barrister’ assessment, further negotiations resulted in the compensation offer rising to £26,000.00 and this was accepted in settlement of the claim.
The final outcome
However while waiting to hear from the Court with a date for the Approval Hearing changes were announced by the Government in relation to injury compensation rates. these changes were relevant to our client’s claim and it enabled us to return to the dog owner’s representatives and negotiate an increased figure of £36,000.00.
This was a case where a successful result was obtained because of our vast experience in dog bite and dog attack cases. It was a complex and difficult case to conduct in circumstances that were distressing and upsetting to the family. It was also a case that had been previously rejected by not just one, but two other firms of solicitors. We nevertheless took it on, funded it on a No Win – No Fee basis and secured an out of court settlement that our client’s family were very please with.
For a free assessment of your No Win No Fee dog attack claim, call our legal helpline on 0333 888 0408 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, check out our specialist dog bite claim website at www.dogbitesolicitors.co.uk