Dog Causes Personal Injury And £16,000 Settlement For Postal Worker

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The Law Of... ensuring your property is safe for visitors

We should all be able to perform the daily tasks associated with our jobs without fear of being injured, but what happens when another person's negligence causes us injury and inhibits our ability to work?

The Law Of... ensuring your property is safe for visitors

Reviewing a recent case, Ruth Magee – Associate Solicitor on Simpson Millar's Personal Injury team – explains how a householder's negligence caused an injury and resulted in a £16,000 settlement for a postal worker.

Dangerous Dog Causes Fall

During their course of employment as a postal worker, one of our clients entered the front garden of a property to make a delivery. While walking down the garden path towards the property, our client was confronted by the householder's dog, which was snarling and bearing its teeth.

The postal worker attempted to turn and flee the property for their own safety; however they subsequently tripped and fell into the householder's metal gate.

As a result of their fall our client suffered multiple injuries, the most severe of which resulted in frequent headaches, which are expected to cause continued daily discomfort.

Other injuries sustained as a result of the fall included:

  • Severe pain and immediate bleeding above one eye
  • Multiple minor soft tissue injuries, particularly to one elbow and both knees
  • Severe headaches for 3 months
  • Psychological damage, which lasted for up to a year and continues to make our client wary of dogs

These injuries caused our client severe discomfort and affected their ability to work in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

Householder Liability

As soon as Ruth had established the details of the case, she moved to establish liability for our client's injuries.

Ruth was able to argue that the home owners were negligent. Ruth alleged, amongst other things, that there was a foreseeable risk that their dog would challenge any persons entering their property and making a delivery.

The defendants failed to ensure that our client was kept reasonably safe whilst they were a lawful visitor to their premises; as such the householder's insurance admitted liability.

Aiding Recovery

As the householder's insurance company admitted liability, we were able to negotiate a settlement.

Ruth ensured that both special and general damages were considered and settled the client's claim at £16,000, which went some way to compensate the loss and pain caused by the injury.

Discussing the case, Ruth comments:

"This case highlights the fact that dogs do not actually need to bite to cause harm, as our client suffered significant injuries because a householder failed in their duty of care"

"Our client was performing an everyday task associated with his job and suffered a completely avoidable injury; this situation could have been avoided had the householders recognised the danger associated with allowing their dog to roam free on their property."


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