Each year, many people are left intimidated, injured and occasionally killed by animals whilst exercising their right to use a public right of way over the UK countryside. So, as the sun comes out and people take to the countryside, what legal protection is available for those who have been injured by a dangerous animal?
The Law – What protection is offered to those injured by dangerous animals?
The keeping of a dangerous animal is subject to restrictions and limitations imposed by the Animals Act 1971. These animals can include, cows, bulls and horses to name but a few.
If the animal is of a species which is known to be dangerous or if the owner of the animal is aware that an animal harbours aggressive tendencies and may be a danger to those who come into contact with it, then the animal must be kept in a secure environment.
To succeed with a claim, the owner must be aware of the above factors before injury is caused by the animal, and it must be the kind of injury which could be anticipated or was likely to be severe.
What to do if you are injured?
Once you have sought medical attention, we would recommend that if you are injured by a ‘dangerous’ animal, then it should be reported to your Local Authority at your earliest opportunity so that the owner can not allege that he/she does not have knowledge of the incident.
It will also be useful for you to take a photograph of the entrance to a field particularly if there are no warning signs or notices to warn of the ‘dangerous’ animals presence. In theory, owners of ‘dangerous’ animals should display signs to warn the user of the field or right of way that may be dangerous.
How we can help
We have successfully won compensation for our clients injured by dangerous animals whilst exercising their right to use a public right of way.
If you or a family member have been the victim of an animal attack then contact us on 0800 213214 or complete our simple on line enquiry form to discuss claiming compensation.