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Dog Attack - - - Advice Needed, Please.

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Dog attack

 

Date – Spring 08

 

I was bitten on a finger of my right hand by a dog. I later went to my police station to report this and also visited hospital for treatment.

 

On the date in question I was delivering leaflets. I pushed a leaflet into the letterbox and the tip of my finger was instantly savaged by an unseen dog that refused to let go. I heard no warning noise before the attack and only heard a dog after the event. After several seconds I managed to pull my finger free from the dog and I was bleeding badly and in great pain. Clutching the wound I staggered out of the pathway and made my way towards my car.

 

As I reached my vehicle I sat down for a while to gather my thoughts. I had also wrapped a towel from my car around the wound in an attempt to halt the bleeding. I was angry, dizzy and in a lot of pain. I noticed what I thought was a piece of blooded wood or glass in my wound; I pulled it out and left it on the floor of the passenger foot well. I later discovered that it was a severed piece of the flesh off my finger.

 

I then got out of my car with the towel wrapped around my hand and went back to the owner’s house. I knocked on the door and the man opened it. I said to him “Just look what your dog has done to my hand”. He responded by saying “Oh they are b*****ds aren’t they” and garbled that he was “sorry” about it. He then closed the door on me. I went back to my car and drove as best I could. On reaching my area I stopped at the Police Station and reported the attack. The officer on the desk told me that it was not really a police matter and that the Council would be the ones to contact. He was however sympathetic to my injury, which was still bleeding badly.

 

I went home and my wife was shocked see the state I was in with blood on my hand, arm and clothing. I was then driven by her to hospital where I was treated by the staff. The dog owner also unexpectedly arrived at the hospital to see my injury and he enquired if I had reported him for this attack. I told him that I had to the police. He was obviously now worried about ramifications.

 

Since this event I have had to visit the hospital several times for treatment and X-ray and I also informed the Dog Warden – who has since spoken to the owner and I believe warned him to keep his dog under proper control. I still have some discomfort/numbness and my finger is a little misshaped and scared due to the attack.

 

The attack has left me most anxious about posting leaflets and entering driveways also. There were no warning signs in place to say that a dangerous animal was at this address.

 

I have graphic close – up pictures of the injury to my finger.

 

I later contacted a no win no fee company who sent the file to a solicitor. The solicitor finally wrote to say that he could not help me due to the fact the owner had no insurance.

 

He also stated that I could take private action against the owner but it may fail if the owner was skint.

 

I have three years to make a decision about this.

 

I still have odd sensation in my finger.

 

Any advice would be nice.

Edited by Rooster-UK

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Have you checked out your own household insurance policy Questioner to see if you have legal cover included??

 

Personally, I would be inclined to make a claim, regardless of the third party's financial status. What if this had been a child? Do you know if it was a legal breed of dog?

 

I'm surprised at the lack of interest shown by the Police as, at the end of the day, an assault has taken place and the owner is responsible for the dog. You might want to write to your local Chief Constable about this.


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ill jump in on this one, being my job and all that

 

you will find this an uphill strugle

 

the moment you entered the front gate, in law, you are trespassing as you did not get prior consent.

 

now if you had been bitten in the street, thats a different matter.

 

i read a thread a while ago about baliffs climbing over a back fence and getting there butt bitten and needing stitches.

 

nothing came of that either.

 

best route is the owners house insurance, if none, it realy is an uphill struggle

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ill jump in on this one, being my job and all that

 

you will find this an uphill strugle

 

the moment you entered the front gate, in law, you are trespassing as you did not get prior consent.

 

now if you had been bitten in the street, thats a different matter.

 

i read a thread a while ago about baliffs climbing over a back fence and getting there butt bitten and needing stitches.

 

nothing came of that either.

 

best route is the owners house insurance, if none, it realy is an uphill struggle

 

Mmm, interesting. But what happens if you are a postman/paper boy? I agree with welshman; the police should investigate, after all the dog may be an illegal breed.


Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

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i am a postman and

 

MY LEFT INDEX FINGER I MISSING

ENOUGH SAID

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i am a postman and

 

MY LEFT INDEX FINGER I MISSING

ENOUGH SAID

 

Then you should see my point; in circumstances which the OP describes, the police should investigate the matter. As I said, it may be a breed of dog which is illegal ect.


Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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Mmm, interesting. But what happens if you are a postman/paper boy?

 

These people have at least an implied consent to be on your property.

 

I agree with postggj that you'd have a big problem getting anything from the householder even if he did have money/insurance. As the dogs were inside the house you can't claim he didn't have them under proper control. The solicitor you contacted knows this which is why he wouldn't take your case. He might have tried it with an insurance company in the hope they would pay without a fight. An individual is more likely to defend any claim. Personal injury claims are claims in negligence. You'd have to show that the owner was negligent in allowing his dogs the run of his own house when there was no reasonable expectation of anyone coming to the door and sticking their hand through the letterbox.

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With all due respect...:p

 

I have never had the postman stick his hand through the letter box....the stiffness of the letters seems to allow them to just nudge through the letter box nicely and land on the floor.

 

What I have noticed however is that whenever we get one of these leaflets through the door for say these dodgy eastern european clothes "Charities" or offers for the local booze store or the local council propoganda paper, the leaflet guy has to push and fiddle them through the letter box and inevitably the hand comes through the door too and flaps the leaflet to the floor.

 

I personally am fed up with all this unwanted crap being deposited in my house (and so is the dog).

 

The guy said sorry.

 

Get over it.

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This is going to sound a bit harsh, but the reality is that the owner of the dog/property did nothing wrong. His dog was inside his property, it was under control and certainly not causing a nuisance. The OP was negligent (unintentionally yes, but negligent none the less) in putting his hand/finger through the letterbox in the first place, when attempting to deliver something, had they not done that then the dog would not have had the opportunity to bite. The OP is the author of their own misfortune.

 

As has already been stated, it is very unlikely that you will find a solicitor to take this on because they know the chances of winning are almost zero and any payment that an insurer would consider would be because of nuisance value as opposed to strict liability.

 

Mossy

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I agree with Kurva and Mossycat, wafting your hand inside someones letterbox is just asking for trouble!!

 

I would suggest you stop delivering turd that people just shove in the bin or next time be a bit more tactful when you're opening a letterbox!

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Thanks for your comments guys.

 

I had delivered thousands of leaflets that day and was nearly finished. The letterbox was one of those stiff ones and the leaflet had just got twisted. All I had done was push in the last inch of my finger to get it through and wham - the hound grabbed the very tip of my finger and would not let go. It was horrific as I had heard no sound and figured the house was possibly empty. If I had heard a dog perhaps I would not have been so eager to get in though the flap.

 

I saw no warning signs. The owner said that he had two dogs and that one was a rottie but that it had been another one than nailed me. He was very eager to blame his smaller dog but I never got to find out which one got me. I love dogs myself and told the cops that I

did not blame the dog but that the owner must have known that this animal was dangerous and could have bitten a paperboy etc.. It is ok being critical of people would have to deliver leaflets but this genuinely can happen to anyone and I have since spoken to several postmen who have also been bitten.

 

In light of the above comments it seems best to just write back to the solicitor who took on the case and finalise the issue. I still have trouble with my finger but I wont waste time chasing this if folks on here think its a no win issue.

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My postie opens it with his thumb an pushes the post through, he says they were told years ago NEVER put your hand in first.

 

As most dogs will protect their homes, burglar, intruder, posties fingers, all the same to a dog.


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I agree with Kurva and Mossycat, wafting your hand inside someones letterbox is just asking for trouble!!

 

I would suggest you stop delivering turd that people just shove in the bin or next time be a bit more tactful when you're opening a letterbox!

 

You know nothing about me and I find that comment very offensive. I was NOT wafting my hand inside the letterbox - it was juts an inch of my finger to push the twisted leaflet in.

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All I had done was push in the last inch of my finger to get it through

 

Unfortunately that was one inch too far

 

I saw no warning signs.

 

!!

 

You are not suggesting we plaster our homes in signs a la "Elf 'n' safety" are you.

 

As much as I sympathise with your error, you can't possibly think it was someone else's fault, can you?

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I saw no warning signs.

 

If a dog owner puts up a sign saying 'Beware Dangerous Dog' etc on his property then he is admitting to having and keeping a dangerous dog, it matters not if that dog is a poodle, a chihuahua or an attack trained doberman, the fact he displayed a warning sign means that he accepts he has a dangerous animal and should an incident occur it would be harder for him to suggest/prove that he wasn't aware that his dog would attack.

 

It sounds perverse, but by putting up a warning sign it makes it harder for the owner of the dog to defend the actions of the animal at a later date.

 

Mossy

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I'm not convinced solely by the tresspass argument to be honest as it's not that uncommon for even burglars to sue homeowners for personal injury.


If you feel I've helped then by all means click my star to the left...a simple "thank you" costs nothing! ;)

 

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I'm not convinced solely by the tresspass argument to be honest as it's not that uncommon for even burglars to sue homeowners for personal injury.

 

You are confusing tresspass (tort) with assault (criminal act)

 

Mossy

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You are confusing tresspass (tort) with assault (criminal act)

 

Mossy

 

I do know the difference thanks having a GDL.

 

I'm sure there have been cases where injuries have been sustained such as falling from windows and the homeowners sued but I can't find any UK examples on the net only Californian.


If you feel I've helped then by all means click my star to the left...a simple "thank you" costs nothing! ;)

 

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I have had many kinds of large dogs and this includes Rotties and Dobbies . I have found that these allegedly dangerous breeds are wonderful with kids and the best when it comes to conduct.

I am not even convinced that it was a rottie that took a piece of my finger off. The letter box was one of those very low ones that was very stiff. I happened suddenly, savagely and without any warning. Yes, with hindsight one can say “oh, I should have left the leaflet stuck halfway out.” Life aint always that straightforward though at times (regardless of what some perfect letterbox experts claim) when you are tired, hungry, and just want to get the job finished.

If you find it amusing or comical entertainment that a person gets badly injured and requires several weeks of hospital attention by such an event then ok, fair enough. That is no bother to me. I simply wanted a little bit of constructive legal advice and nothing more.

I also was concerned that some other person such as a child would be attacked and possibly end up bleeding to death after such an incident.

Would you also find that so humorous?

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Well like I said in my earlier posts; the police should of at least investigated to check the dog concerned isn't an illegal breed. Remember the sad news about the little boy in Liverpool recently? The police well and truly screwed up on that one.

 

And I agree with the OP, he came on here for advice about an injury... hardly the thing to make fun of!


Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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A dog has to do what a dog has to do??

 

99% wolf and a pack animal seemingly defending it`s leader`s territory?

 

Much as I have sympathy with the original post dogs don`t think-they respond.

 

Had the dog been outside and any clear lack of control was missing I would support a case-but this is an example of both parties just making a mistake---don`t shove your fingers through a letter box--you never know what`s on the other side

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Ok, have found a 2007 Guardian article which may be of interest.

 

Contrary to what most people think, homeowners actually owe a duty of care to trespassers to ensure they do not come to any harm, which means if there is a hazard on your property you might reasonably be expected to offer some protection.

 

In this case, I think it probably would have been prudent for the homewoner to erect a sign warning of the danger and/or place a box guard over the letter box to catch the mail. Of course, this depends also on the forseeability of the injury and whether or not the dog had a habit of "snapping" when mail was pushed through.

 

Full article here...

 


If you feel I've helped then by all means click my star to the left...a simple "thank you" costs nothing! ;)

 

Restons MBNA -v- WelshMam

 

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If you find it amusing or comical entertainment that a person gets badly injured and requires several weeks of hospital attention by such an event then ok, fair enough. That is no bother to me. I simply wanted a little bit of constructive legal advice and nothing more.

 

What is the world coming to when innocent people are accused and held responsible for the errors (And I use the word "errors" generously here because idiocy is the word I would rather use) of others.

 

I find it difficult to believe many here would support your intention of interfering in someone else's life just because they have a pet (And probably a very small one at that)

 

What next...Signs on doors saying "May Contain Nuts"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I have had many kinds of large dogs and this includes Rotties and Dobbies . I have found that these allegedly dangerous breeds are wonderful with kids and the best when it comes to conduct.

 

And they are-they just need to know who is the boss -but what you may have done is to invade their territory without warning.

 

Of course I have sympathy for your injury but I just don`t think you have a case worth folowing up.

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Ok, have found a 2007 Guardian article which may be of interest.

 

 

 

In this case, I think it probably would have been prudent for the homewoner to erect a sign warning of the danger and/or place a box guard over the letter box to catch the mail. Of course, this depends also on the forseeability of the injury and whether or not the dog had a habit of "snapping" when mail was pushed through.

 

Full article here...

 

In this case it most certainly would not have been prudent for the dog owner to erect a sign warning of the danger, that sign would no nothing except strengthen any case against them should the dog cause an injury.

 

The dog owner has no duty to place either a box or a guard over the letterbox, unless of course they want to protect or safeguard the mail that is delivered. The reason for that is obvious, a person delivering mail or leaflets does not have to put any part of their body through the letterbox and it would therefore be unreasonable to be expected to have to provide a box, had the OP delivered the leaflet in a safe and reasonable way then the injury would not have occurred.

 

Mossy

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