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Personal Injury Claims

Animal Injury Claims

At Bolt Burdon Kemp we specialise in serious accidents involving horses and other animals. Our lawyers can help you seek compensation whether you’re enquiring about a horse-riding accident, a dog attack or other animal compensation claims.

Contact us to speak with one of our legal experts informally and get more information.
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Can I make a claim for injuries caused by animals?

If you have been injured due to an accident involving an animal, you may be able to make a personal injury claim if it can be established that a third party has been negligent and that negligence caused the accident.

Although it is possible to pursue a personal injury claim for injuries caused by animals without needing to prove negligence if you can satisfy the conditions under the Animals Act 1971. Typically, these claims will occur if an animal has displayed behaviour or characteristics not normally found in that animal, and where the keeper of that animal was aware of those behaviours or characteristics.

If these criteria are met, then it is not necessary to prove fault. However, there are several exceptions within the Act that may provide a defence. Your solicitor will advise you further when pursuing claims under the Animals Act 1971.

What are the main causes of animal accident claims?

Accidents involving animals can arise in many ways. Here are some of the most common examples:

Horse-riding accident claims

Horse riding is a popular hobby and sport in the UK but there are risks involved, irrespective of a rider’s experience.

Horse-riding and equestrian accidents can occur in a variety of circumstances, whether in a horse-riding school or out on the road. The injuries sustained can be serious and life-changing.

Examples of the way in which accidents can occur are:

  • Rider error
  • Inadequate supervision or instruction
  • Faulty or ill-fitted tack or other riding equipment
  • Incorrect fastening of the girth
  • Being provided with an unsuitable horse for your level of experience
  • Being bitten, kicked, stood on or crushed
  • Riding on an unsuitable surface
  • A road traffic accident involving a motorised vehicle

Even if you don’t ride or work with horses, you may be able to make a horse-riding or equestrian accident claim if you have been injured as a spectator at a horse-related event or as a road user who has been involved in an accident with a horse.

Accidents involving livestock

Several risk factors can lead to an accident involving large animals such as cattle and other livestock. These might include:

  • When you are working alone with livestock
  • During or after calving when cows can become unpredictable
  • When walking through a field of cows with a dog, as cows can attack if they perceive your dog as a threat
  • When they are handled by unfamiliar people, placed in new surroundings, separated from their usual group or being transported, they can become stressed and act unpredictably
  • When in contact with bulls

Incidents involving livestock can result in serious injury or even fatal accidents. Those involved in cattle-related incidents have often been trampled or crushed.

Dog attack claims

Dog attacks can occur when a dog is off its lead or is out of control. They can also happen when someone approaches an unfamiliar dog. Common injuries include dog bites, which can be very serious and sometimes result in dog attack claims.

Horse, livestock and dog animal injury claims are by no means a complete list. Any animal kept as a pet or living outside on private land could be involved in incidents leading to injuries.

Accidents involving animals and children

The safety of children is crucial when they interact with animals or livestock. They should always be supervised, even if they have been around animals all their life. Children are particularly at risk when interacting with unfamiliar animals, learning to ride horses or visiting animals at farms or petting zoos.

Fascination and excitement when interacting with animals can cause children to become distracted and more impulsive, which can lead to them failing to recognise potential dangers.

At petting zoos, children are often allowed to handle small animals under supervision. Even seemingly docile animals can become distressed when a child isn’t calm, which can put both the animal and child at risk. Injuries caused by animals in this setting might include being bitten, scratched or even picking up an infection and becoming ill.

Owners and employees of premises such as horse riding schools, farms or petting zoos need to have adequate protection and prevention measures to stop accidents, and resulting animal accident claims, from occurring.

Why choose Bolt Burdon Kemp for your animal injury claims?

Our animal accident claims lawyers can help you secure the compensation you deserve. Here’s why you can place your trust in us:

  • Experience: We can draw on over 35 years of experience, having handled multiple animal accident claims during that time.
  • ‘No win no fee’: We can take cases on a ‘no win no fee’ basis, which means that unless you win your case, you won’t have to pay anything.
  • Real people: Although we are highly professional, we act with empathy and help to support you through this tricky time.
  • Awards: We are recognised as one of the leading firms in personal injury by the independent Chambers and Partnersand The Legal 500.
  • Accredited: Every year, we’re assessed in line with the Lexcel practice management standards and we’re also members of The Law Society’s Personal Injury Accreditation scheme.
  • Testimonials: We have reviews from hundreds of clients that we’ve helped in the past.

Contacting us

If you have been involved in an accident, that wasn’t your fault, involving a horse, livestock or another animal then get legal advice from a qualified animal accident claims solicitor. They can assess whether you are likely to bring a successful personal injury claim.

We can talk to you about the various funding options available in bringing a claim. The vast majority of claims are funded by Conditional Fee Agreements (otherwise known as ‘no win no fee’ agreements) so there are no upfront fees to pay.

For further free legal advice following an animal accident, please contact one of Bolt Burdon Kemp’s expert solicitors by contacting us online.

Man involved in collision with horse awarded over £100,000 in compensation

Our client was cycling on a country lane when a horse jumped over a field gate and into collision with him. He sustained serious pelvic fractures after which he experienced surgical complications leading to vascular injuries requiring fasciotomies to be performed. Our client has undergone multiple further vascular and plastic surgeries. He is likely to require a full hip replacement in the future and is on lifelong anticoagulation medication.

A claim was made against the owner of the horse under the Animals Act 1971 which was initially denied in full. Following the instruction of both an animal behaviour expert and an equestrian expert we were able to negotiate a liability split of 65%/35% in our client’s favour. We thereafter successfully negotiated a settlement of over £100,000 in compensation.

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Joshua Hughes
Head of Complex Injury
Ben Pepper
Senior Associate – Part of the Personal Injury Claims Team
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Partner – Part of the Child Brain Injury Team
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