Cyclist hit by dog awarded compensation after firm turns down case

Cyclist in the city

Our client, Ms J, was cycling along a main road when a dog suddenly ran towards her, struck her front tyre and propelled her off her bike.

She had to undergo surgery for ligament reconstruction, leaving her with significant scarring for the rest of her life. She was off work and unable to do everyday things she took for granted for several months.

You may be thinking, but it wasn’t the dog’s fault, it’s only a dog after all. And you would be right. However, by law, dog owners are responsible for a dog’s actions.

In this case, the dog was being walked by a young man but it was not on a lead. Because of this, the dog was able to run away onto a main road – where it could have been harmed itself - and knocked Ms J off her bike.

The owner is responsible for the dog’s actions as they failed to control it. Under common law, the defender (dog owner) owes the pursuer (Ms J) a duty of care and the defender can be liable where there is injury or damage caused by an animal.

Ms J initially approached another personal injury firm, and was advised they couldn’t help her, as it is unlikely the case would be successful.

She then came to Digby Brown Inverness for expert legal advice. They agreed to take on the case and lodged a claim against the dog owner’s pet insurers.

The insurers admitted liability for the accident and subsequent injuries and Ms J was awarded £20,500 in compensation.

Our team also acted for Mrs Katrina Urquhart after she was attacked by a dog. You can read more about the case at Compensation for injured dog attack victim.