How to Legally Handle Being Attacked by Someone’s Dog

A dog attack is, sadly, an increasingly common occurrence throughout the UK. If you’re attacked by a dog, you do have some legal recourse, and that may lead to the awarding of damaging. In this article, we’re going to show you where you stand legally if you’re attacked by a neighbour’s dog.

The End of an Attack

We’re going to start immediately after the attack. Your first port of call is to seek medical attention. A dog attack can lead to permanent damage if your wounds are left untreated. If the animal was diseased, it can even lead to death.

But there’s an important legal angle to this. The fact you went to seek professional medical help can serve as evidence should you find yourself in court fighting for damages.

Who was the Owner?

A stray dog attack is difficult to handle legally because there’s no owner. In the event the owner can’t be traced, you won’t be able to receive any damages. The police will likely report the incident to the RSPCA and the dog will be taken off the streets, though.

If the owner can be identified, you can seek legal help.

Finding Legal Advice

Legal advice does cost. If you find you can’t afford it, it’s always worth consulting a company like for help. If your claim for damages is successful, you will be able to pay back the money immediately. And the important thing is you’ll have justice.

Seek out sound legal advice from an expert in animal attacks. Most legal professionals provide free consultations so they can review your case and decide if you have a realistic chance of winning any damages.

The Crux of the Matter

In most dog attacks, the judge will attempt to ascertain whether the owner was negligent. If the dog roamed free in the garden and you were bitten because you climbed over the fence, this would not count as negligence. This would count as an irresponsible act on your part, and the owner could even prosecute you for trespassing.

On the other hand, if you were walking in the park and the owner’s dog didn’t have a lead this would constitute negligence.

Must Read: Dog Bites and Personal Injury Claims: What Happens Next?

How Much Can You Expect?

The amount awarded in damages can vary from hundreds to thousands. It depends entirely on the extent of the injuries and what impact the attack has had on your quality of life.

You shouldn’t have any expectations on the amount to be awarded because it varies in every scenario. For example, someone who’s been physically disabled will get more than someone who was off work for a week whilst their hand was in a cast.

But this isn’t on a linear scale. It can vary simply based on what judge you happen to encounter on the day.


You won’t necessarily have to attend a court hearing. Many owners, when faced with a legal claim, would rather settle than spend a lot of money on fighting the case. Speak to a professional for more information on your specific case.