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Ask Buachaill Your Own Question
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10944
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I need soe guidance on a personal injury that happened

Customer Question

Hi there. I need soe guidance on a personal injury that happened recently.
Child bitten by a dog in public area on privately owned apartment block
The owner of the dog is a tenant in the apartment block.
Dog is restricted breed and was not on a leash or muzzled
Incident has been reported to the guards
Rules of the management company state that pets may be kept as long as they don't constitute a nuisance. There has been previous complaints about the dog (documentatry evidence and video evidence exists from 2 months ago)
Dog was also viewed off leash 4 days after the incident (by me)
Who should be named as a respondent on a personal injury claim. Can more than one respondent be named?
Owner of the dog / Management company of the apartment block /Owner of the house where the tenant resides?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 9 months ago.

1. Dear Di, the name given to the person sued for personal injury is a "Defendant" not a Respondent. Secondly, there can be more than one Defendant to a legal action for personal injury. Thirdly, you can sue both the owner of the dog and the management company, so long as you can show fault on their part. However, you cannot sue the owner of the house where the tenant resides as there is no fault on their part for the dog biting the child. Just because a tenant and a dog happen to live in a property you rent, this gives rise to no liability for what the dog does. I would advise you to see a solicitor here. Be aware that the Gardai may seek to prosecute the owner of the dog.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 9 months ago.

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Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks for your responseCustomer That makes sesnse regarding the owner of the house. My thoughts were what if the owner of the dog does not have house insurance that could be claimed on.
Could fault be attributed to the management company as they were previously warned about the behaviour of the dog? We have video footage from a credible witness from March showing the dog off the leash and emails he sent to the management company advising them of same.
They (Management company) advised me on the phone today that they have communicated to the owner of the property that the dog is now considered a nuisance.
With regard to your last comment - does any possible prosecution by the guards have any bearing on a civil case or can both strands (ie criminal and civil) run together? We are considering our options and will likely engage a solicitor as you recommend once my daughter is better. Is there a time limit (I think i read somewhere that you should lodge it with the injuriesboard within 2 months of the incident occurring?)
Expert:  Buachaill replied 9 months ago.

3. You are confusing two issues here. Insurance and liability are two different issues. A person can be held liable irrespective of whether they have insurance or not. You are focusing too much on insurance. It is a question of fact whether fault can be attributed to the management company. I cannot give you an answer unless I had the full facts before me and had the management contract of the management company. You should speak to your solicitor (and barrister) about this issue. Finally, the criminal and civil cases are different strands. However, if a prosecution of the owner is successful, liability for civil liability under the Animals Act would follow. However, it would only apply to the owner. Finally, you are correct about the time limit. However, here, you should speak to a solicitor as a matter of urgency. Don't delay.