Get Help with Your Dog Bite Claim in VIC
Speaking to a dog bite lawyer is essential if you have been injured by a dog belonging to someone else. There are certain legal conditions you must meet to lodge a dog bite claim. Henry Carus + Associates can help you seek maximum compensation for a dog bite injury.
Dog bite compensation can help pay for the medical expenses associated with your injuries, lost wages if you are unable to work, and non-economic loss if you were seriously injured. Our lawyers can review your legal options and confidently pursue a favourable outcome.
For a FREE, no-obligation consultation with a dog bite lawyer, call Henry Carus + Associates at 03 9001 1318 today. We serve the victims of dog bite injury in Melbourne and throughout VIC.
Do I Have a Dog Bite Claim?
Multiple people are attacked by dogs every day in Melbourne. According to the Herald Sun, there were more than 2,800 reports of dog attacks in the last year alone. The suburbs of Cranbourne, Berwick, and Narre Warren are among those with the most reported incidents.
The best way to determine whether you have a viable dog bite claim is to speak with a dog bite personal injury lawyer straight away. Our team can assess your entitlement to compensation based on the following elements:
- The owner of the dog (or party in control of the dog) owed you a duty of care.
The duty of care varies depending on factors such as whether the dog attack occurred on premises occupied by the defendant, whether the animal is considered a ‘dangerous dog’ or a ‘restricted dog breed’, etc.
- The owner breached the duty of care.
Examples of a breach include failing to post warning signs or keep the dog contained, inadequate restraint of a dog in public, etc.
- You suffered injury as a result of negligence.
It must be shown that the owner’s failure to control or secure the dog led to your injuries.
- You suffered loss due to your injuries.
A dog bite lawyer Melbourne can evaluate the full extent of damages in your claim.
Dog bite personal injury matters in Victoria are governed by multiple statutes, including the Domestic Animals Act 1994 and the Wrongs Act 1958. The legislation can be difficult to understand on your own, so it is in your interest to consult a knowledgeable dog bite law group as soon as possible.
How Much Compensation Do You Get for a Dog Bite?
In Victoria, dog bite compensation is not ‘guaranteed’. As with other personal injury claims, you will need to prove that the dog attack injury was the fault of someone else to obtain fair compensation. This could be the individual who owns the dog, or an organisation in control of the dog at the time of the attack.
A dog bite lawyer can collect evidence of fault and seek to maximise recovery from the individual(s) responsible. You may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses to date
- The loss of earnings if a dog bite injury prevented you from working
- The cost of future medical care and attendant care services
- Loss of earnings capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Part VB of the Wrongs Act 1958 governs damages for non-economic loss. Your right to non-economic damages is contingent on proving that you suffered a ‘significant injury’ as a result of the negligence of another.
Our lawyers understand what is required for an injury to be considered significant under the Wrongs Act. We will collect the needed medical evidence to prepare a strong dog bite compensation claim on your behalf.
What Is Considered a Significant Dog Bite Injury?
A significant injury is an injury resulting in some degree of permanent impairment. Impairment is determined by a specialised medical practitioner who will issue a certificate of assessment stating whether the injury meets the threshold level found in Section 28LB of the Wrongs Act.
The following types of dog attack injury may meet the criteria:
- Spinal injuries
- Loss of one or more fingers
- Injuries necessitating the amputation of a limb
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Eye injuries (including the loss of an eye)
- Orthopaedic injuries, including complex bone fractures, joint injuries, severe soft tissue damage, etc.
- Permanent nerve injuries resulting in loss of sensation and/or function
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Infection resulting in permanent damage to organs or bodily systems
- Permanent psychiatric injury of 10% or more
An experienced dog bite lawyer will thoroughly review your medical records, consult with your doctors, and enlist additional medical experts as needed to prepare a strong claim on your behalf. You Deserve More, and Henry Carus + Associates are committed to uncovering any and all evidence of the losses you have suffered while seeking to maximise your dog bite compensation claim.
Can You Sue for a Dog Bite in Australia?
Each state in Australia provides some form of legal recourse to the victims of dog bite injury. Some states have specific statutes for personal injury proceedings, whilst others rely on common law principles. It is of crucial importance to consult a dog bite lawyer who is licensed in the state where the attack took place and experienced in the specific dog bite laws in that state.
At Henry Carus + Associates, we can handle a dog bite claim Melbourne or anywhere else in VIC from our offices throughout Greater Melbourne. We are well-versed in Victoria’s public liability law, including the right to sue for dog bite personal injury.
Public liability is the area of law concerned with the rights of individuals who come to harm in public spaces. A dog bite claim may be brought on the basis of public liability if the attack (a) occurred on premises occupied by someone else, and (b) was caused by the occupier’s negligence.
A dog bite complaint may be filed with the court and legal proceedings commenced for a dog attack injury sustained on premises including, but not limited to:
- Private residences
- Townhouses and apartment complexes
- Commercial premises, including car parks and outdoor areas
- Footpaths and bike lanes
- Public parks and playgrounds
- Government and council properties
It may be necessary to file a lawsuit and, ultimately, go to court if a dog bite injury settlement cannot be reached. However, the majority of personal injury claims (including dog bite claims) are resolved through settlement negotiations alone, prior to the need for a court appearance. Representation by a dog bite lawyer Australia is critical for maximising compensation in a settlement or in court proceedings.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bite Personal Injury
If you have been bitten by a dog, there are several steps you should take right away:
- Assess the wound.
Minor injuries may be cleaned and treated with first aid. Serious injuries, however, require professional attention.
- Seek medical care.
If the injury is serious, dial 000 or go to hospital for treatment.
- Get any necessary shots.
If you are unaware of the dog’s vaccination status, medical personnel may recommend getting vaccinations for tetanus.
- Report the incident.
Notify the police and/or animal management services of the attack. For example, you can report dog attacks to the City of Melbourne online or by calling 03 9658 9658.
- Identify the owner.
When seeking dog bite compensation, the owner of the dog must be identified. Ideally, you will be able to get the owner’s name and contact information, the dog’s vaccination history, and insurance cover information.
- Document the attack.
Take photos of the bite and any other injuries you sustained. Also make note of when and where the attack took place.
- Speak to witnesses.
If anyone saw the dog bite you, get their name, contact information, and ask them to describe what they saw.
- Follow medical advice.
Be sure to follow any recommendations concerning treatment and recovery.
- Stay organised.
Keep medical records, communications with your employer, letters from insurance companies, and other paperwork or digital correspondence connected to your dog bite claim.
- Seek legal advice from a state-based dog bite personal injury lawyer.
A dog bite lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and pursue a compensation claim.
A dog bite claim Melbourne or in any other area of Victoria is subject to a very strict time limit. Generally speaking, personal injury claims must be brought no more than 3 years from the date the injury is discovered. In the case of dog bite injuries, this is usually the date of the attack.
There is no time to waste if you were injured by a dog in VIC. A dog bite personal injury lawyer can ensure that your claim is lodged in a timely fashion and handle all aspects of the legal proceedings on your behalf while you focus on your recovery and well-being.
The registered owner of the dog is usually the party responsible for a dog bite or dog attack injury. If the dog was under the control of another party (such as a dog walker, a groomer, a boarding centre, etc.), then liability may extend to the party in control of the dog when you were bitten.
Depending on the circumstances, you may have additional options for claiming compensation. For example, if you were bitten by a dog in the course of your duties for work, you may be able to claim WorkCover for your injuries. An experienced dog bite lawyer can discuss potential claims in detail.
We strongly recommend speaking to a dog bite personal injury lawyer if the attack left you with serious injuries, substantial medical expenses, and loss of income. The same is true if a member of your family tragically died as a result of injuries in a dog attack. It can be difficult to know where to turn in these situations, but our lawyers can help.
Although you have the option to represent yourself, most people lack the knowledge and understanding of the legal system to handle a dog bite claim effectively. The difficulties are further compounded by insurance companies, who will be looking to pay as little as possible. By hiring a dog bite lawyer, you can rest easy knowing that a proven advocate is protecting your rights and advancing your interests.
The dog bite law group you choose should be dedicated to your specific needs and goals. No two dog bite claims are exactly alike, making a personalised, client-focussed approach such as that offered by Henry Carus + Associates essential for obtaining a favourable result.
The assistance of a dog bite lawyer is essential for securing the necessary evidence for your claim, including photos, eyewitness statements, medical records, and more. Ultimately, the evidence needs to show negligence on the part of the owner or person in control of the dog. Potential examples of negligence include:
- Failure to restrain or control the dog when out in public
- Not securely confining the dog on the premises
- Failure to use appropriate restraints, such as a lead, muzzle, harness, etc.
- Improper supervision of the dog in a public space
- Failure to post signs on the premises warning visitors of the dog’s presence
- Training a dog to attack and/or urging a dog to attack (both criminal offences in VIC)
Liability for damages generally rests with the dog owner’s insurance company, with compensation being paid through home and contents or renters insurance. Public liability insurance will pay if a business, council, or government entity is found liable in a dog bite claim Australia.
Read More: How Do Public Liability Claims Work?
Some states in Australia do not impose liability on the dog’s owner for the first time the dog bites someone. This is sometimes called the ‘one free bite’ rule.
Victoria does not follow this rule. Owners are responsible for protecting others from dog bite injury regardless of whether the dog has exhibited aggressive behaviour or bitten someone in the past. This is known as ‘strict liability’.
Furthermore, local councils may declare a dog dangerous if it attacks and causes serious injury to a person or animal. In addition to facing civil liability for any subsequent dog attack injury, the owner of a dangerous dog may be charged with a criminal offence.
If you or someone you love has been bitten by a dog, it is important to speak with an experienced dog bite lawyer at once. Henry Carus + Associates will explore all legal options for obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer in Melbourne Today
Our lawyers have an unparalleled understanding of public liability and common law claims. With our 98% win rate, we have a long history of success across multiple areas of personal injury litigation.
At Henry Carus + Associates, we know what it takes to obtain maximum dog bite compensation for our clients. We are of the mindset that you are more than just an injury. This philosophy informs our personalised client service and relentless pursuit of a just outcome.
Call Henry Carus + Associates at 03 9001 1318 for a FREE, no-obligation consultation with a dog bite lawyer. Our Public Liability Practice Group serves clients injured by dogs in and around Melbourne and all of Victoria.