Dec 14

Can Trespassers Can Claim for Dog Bite Compensation?

At the Accident Claims Web we are specialist in helping claimants with dog bite injury compensation.  Our dog bite solicitors have years of experience in helping people to get the money that they deserve for injuries sustained in a dog attack.  You can read more about how we work when it comes to compensation for dog bites, but today we thought we would post a quick blog about how people trespassing can also use the legal process to claim for compensation.

The legal definition of trespassing on land states:

In English law, trespass to land involves the “unjustifiable interference with land which is in the immediate and exclusive possession of another”. Accidental trespass also incurs liability, with an exception for entering land adjoining a road unintentionally (such as in a car accident), as in River Wear Commissioners v Adamson.  Although previously a pure tort, the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 created some circumstances in which trespass to land can also be a crime.

In English law, trespass to land involves the “unjustifiable interference with land which is in the immediate and exclusive possession of another”. Accidental trespass also incurs liability, with an exception for entering land adjoining a road unintentionally (such as in a car accident), as in River Wear Commissioners v Adamson.  Although previously a pure tort, the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 created some circumstances in which trespass to land can also be a crime.
Wikipedia Website

You can read more about this on Wikipedia.

What this means in more simple terms is that if you enter a person’s property of land without their permission then you are legally trespassing.  This doesn’t apply for workers such as postmen who are said to have implied permission to enter property.  But, there is a subtle difference when it comes to people who are delivering leaflets unannounced, or sales people.  They can be viewed on as trespassing, which means when trespassers get bitten by dogs, and seek personal injury compensation the law can become quite muddled.

Thankfully our personal injury solicitors are experts in accident claims advice and can give you a very quick synopsis over the telephone if you have been bitten by a dog whilst trespassing and wish to discuss a dog bite injury claim.

If you are viewed by the law to be a trespasser whilst bitten by a dog, then it can complicate matters as we previously stated.  This is because the land or property owner can put up a legal defence in line with the Animals Act of 1971.  However, our solicitors can sometimes look at the detail of the case, because if it’s found that the dogs were on the property in order to protect the land owner then it can be viewed that the purpose of the dog was unreasonable which can have an effect on any dog bite compensation claim for a trespasser.

The Law on Trespassing

Even if you are found to be trespassing by law, you are still due a level of protection and care under common law which is stated in the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 which states;

“An occupier of premises owes a duty to another (not being his visitor) in respect of any such risk as is referred to in subsection (1) above if — (a) he is aware of the danger or has reasonable grounds to believe that it exists; (b) he knows or has reasonable grounds to believe that the other is in the vicinity of the danger concerned or that he may come into the vicinity of the danger (in either case, whether the other has lawful authority for being in that vicinity or not); and (c) the risk is one against which, in all the circumstances of the case, he may reasonably be expected to offer the other some protection. (4) Where, by virtue of this section, an occupier of premises owes a duty to another in respect of such a risk, the duty is to take such care as is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case to see that he does not suffer injury on the premises by reason of the danger concerned. (5) Any duty owed by virtue of this section in respect of a risk may, in an appropriate case, be discharged by taking such steps as are reasonable in all the circumstances of the case to give warning of the danger concerned or to discourage persons from incurring the risk.”
Occupiers Liability Act 1984

Our dog bite solicitors have handled cases recently where sales people have been bitten by dogs, found to be trespassing by law, yet still been able to pursue and win personal injury compensation.  This was because we were able to prove a number of key factors in the case including the fact that the dog owner was negligent in care.

What we find is that many dog owners involved in animal personal injury claims had previous history when it came to their dog behaving badly and attacking people.  Many times this will have been logged with the local council and so it becomes a lot easier to process compensation claims for dog attacks on trespassers.

Contact Us Today About a Claim

As you can probably tell, it’s never an easy case to pursue, but with the specialist knowledge and case histories that our solicitors have, you are in the right hands.  So if you have been attacked by a dog whilst trespassing and want to discuss how we can help you with a dog bite compensation claim please get in touch with us today.  As experts in dog bite law we should be your first port of call.

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