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Incidents involving animals are unfortunately quite common, ranging from simple dog bites, to a kick from a horse or deer running in front of a car.

Particularly here, the law recognizes that the innocent party should be compensated. Whilst it might help your case to prove that the animal owner or keeper is to blame for your injury, it is not absolutely necessary.

If an animal has caused an injury by just behaving normally, then usually the keeper is liable. Only if the injured person was 'wholly' at fault, will his claim fail.

Dog bite injuries involving children and couriers are one of the most common claims solicitors are asked to advise on. Dogs are territorial or may feel intimidated when approached. If they bite, they are probably behaving normally and their keepers liable to pay compensation.

The Animals Act 1971 recognizes this and provides for compensation to be paid without any great investigation into 'blame'. There does not need to be any council or police involvement in the case for the compensation claim to succeed. The Occupiers Liability Act 1957 can also be helpful here.

Horses can cause very significant injury. Do get advice if you have been injured by a horse.

The sort of questions that we might ask you know regarding the animal include if it had it behaved in the way that caused the injury previously? What is known about it's temperament? Who was looking after it? Were there any witnesses?

Most animal owners and keepers are insured for such eventualities, whether they be householders, farmers or otherwise working the animal.

If the owner of the animal is not known or the animal is wild, there may be problems however.

If you are considering whether you can bring such a claim, we suggest you seek advise from a specialist solicitor on a true no win, no fee* basis.

Author : Andrew Bowen
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