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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70188
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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In Dec 2012 I was knocked over by a loose dog running out of

Customer Question

In Dec 2012 I was knocked over by a loose dog running out of control in Windsor Great Park. On impact I sustained a serious knee injury resulting in 10 months off work an 2 operations. Windsor Great Park rules state dogs must be kept under strict control or on a lead. UK Gov. Law states that a dog is considered dangerously out of control if it injures someone . KC guidelines and park rules state that dogs must not be allowed to approach people unless that person says its ok. The owner of the dog that injured me has admitted liability at the time and is insured including public liability. She has admitted she allows her dog to approach people at speed. Insurers refusing to pay compensation and solicitor can't take it forward on a no win no fee basis as a barrister says rules and UK gov law is irrelevant as negligence on the part of the dogs owner has to be proved in court and Whippey versus Jones is quoted as the benchmark case. I am £10,000 in debt as a result of this incident and can't afford any legal costs. Can anyone advise what my next best course of action should be. Many thanks, ***** *****
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Please advise what I can consider as my next course of action
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, its not particularly good news really.

If this was from December 2012 then its quite unlikely the police would be interested. The aggravated offence under S3 is an either way offence so not time but its not an offence that is commonly prosecuted unless its reported fairly expeditiously.

the reason the insurance company are refusing to pay is that Whippey v Jones was overturned on appeal as it was always decided on an incorrect test. You will find quite a good summary here

http://www.bjinsurancelaw.com/resource/whippey-v-jonescourt-of-appeal-8th-april-2009/

The case of Chaun v Paul has relevance too. In a nutshell to show liability under the Animals Act 1971 you have to show either a previous incident or negligence. Usually its very hard to show a previous incidence so people drop down upon negligence. You do have to show some act of omission though sufficient to amount to negligence. The fact that this person was in control of a dog that went off on a frolic of its own is not enough.

If you are intent upon pursuing this then at least the insurance company can pay the award which is an improvement upon suing a dog owner. But you will have to fund the action. You do not have to use solicitors. You are absolutely free to self represent which would reduce costs but you do expose yourself to their costs.

On the other hand though, if you issue then they may make an offer to settle to get rid of the claim. That does happen sometimes.

I'm very sorry but I have to give you truthful information.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

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