37 year old woman arrested after a dog attacked 11 children.

A 37-year-old woman has been arrested after a Staffordshire bull terrier bit 11 children playing in a Northumberland park.  Police report that a woman was arrested on suspicion of being responsible for a dog which was dangerously out of control.  The terrier was taken to secure kennels after its capture as police attempted to find the owner. Nine of the children required hospital treatment after the attack in Northumberland, with three of them detained overnight.

The Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko said dog owners should “always ensure that children and dogs are supervised when together and that dogs are kept under proper control at all times.

“Any dog breed can be a wonderful pet or potentially dangerous in the wrong hands, which is why it is critical to have the correct training and socialisation.”

Extra officers are in the area following the incident, according to a spokesperson.

Many people are attacked in the UK each year by animals which are kept as pets. An owner of an animal has a responsibility regarding the behavior of the animal concerned and, if the animal attacks somebody, the owner may be liable for any damage done.

There are many different legal avenues through which you may be able to claim compensation for damage caused by an animal.

We have a number of cases where clients have been bitten by a dog either during the course of their employment or socially.

As a rule, if the dog has a history of aggressive behaviour or the dog is dangerous then the owner is often liable for failing to safeguard members of the public, and for failing to control the animal.

To succeed in the case, it is always advantageous to the claimant if the defendant/owner has insurance in place, be it pet insurance or legal expenses cover on any home insurance.

If no insurance in place, we would need to pursue a claim against the defendant/owner personally, and this can prove to be difficult depending on what assets the defendant/owner has.

However, if the incident occurred at work, the claimant has the opportunity to pursue a claim against his employer as he was injured “during the course of his employment”, and the employer may deal with the claim under their Employer Liability insurance.

Claims against animals can be a murky area and the more you can do to prove your claim the better.

  • If the attack took place during the course of your employment, report the accident to your employer and complete an Accident Report form;
  • Were there any independent witnesses?
  • Report the incident to the Council.
  • Report the incident to the Police.

It would also be helpful to find out if the dog has ever acted aggressively or bitten anyone in the past.

If there is no insurance in force, there is always an option to claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).  However, to succeed with a claim via the CICA you would have to show that there was intent on the part of the defendant/dog owner to injure you.

With this in mind, it is always best to visit a solicitor before taking any action in order to find out which avenue provides the most likely success.

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