Animal Injury Claims in Devon and Somerset
Being a West Country based firm of solicitors specialising in accident claims it might come as no surprise to learn we have a particular expertise where accidents involving animals are concerned.
In the past the majority of court decisions have suggested that judges favour the animal owner over the injured party. However, in recent years the courts have shown more sympathy towards the people who have suffered the injury. It has been decided that not only can the owner or keeper of an animal be held legally responsible because they have been negligent and failed to take proper care or responsibility for the animal, but also if they can be shown to be in breach of a piece of law called the Animals Act. In some cases the Courts have relied on a specific interpretation of the Animals Act to conclude that there is no excuse or defence for an animal's behaviour. This means that whatever the circumstances, the owner is responsible.
As a result you would expect animal injury claims to be relatively simple and straightforward.. However this isn’t so. Whilst the changes in the law may be in the victim's favour, it means that insurance companies are now doing all they can to defeat Animals Act claims. Formal denials of liability are on the increase and when this is combined with widespread misunderstandings about the law the result is that animal injury claims remain a complicated area of legal practice where specialist knowledge is a fundamental requirement.
We have taken over and succeeded in many animal claims that other solicitors up and down the country have already investigated and rejected because of their lack of expertise.
Most of the claims we handle involve dogs, horses, ponies and farm livestock such as cows. The characteristics and traits of each breed of animal need to be carefully considered, alongside the circumstances of the accident itself for a claim to succeed under the legislation.
If you suffer an animal related injury it's vitally important that the solicitor dealing with your claim is familiar with this specialist area of law. Our specialist animal injury team can call upon a huge amount of experience in dealing with these claims. Over the years we have successfully recovered very significant sums of compensation for numerous clients including:
- a painter and decorator, bitten by a client’s dog;
- a vet, charged and trampled by a cow;
- a couple whose car was hit by an out of control horse;
- a toddler, kicked in the head by a pony at a petting zoo;
Our specialist Animals Unit is headed by former Devon and Exeter Law Society Young Solicitor of the Year, James McNally. James is primarily based at our Exeter office but he handles animal claims throughout Devon, Somerset and the South West and can be seen at any of our offices including those in North Devon and Taunton.
For a free assessment of your animal injury claim contact us now.