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Dog Attack Injury Claims in Perth, Western Australia

Dog attacks can result in serious physical and emotional injuries, and in some cases, can even be fatal. In Perth, Western Australia, individuals who have been injured by a dog may be entitled to compensation for their losses.


This article provides an in-depth guide to dog attack claims in Western Australia, including the legal framework, eligibility requirements, types of damages, and the role of legal representation in pursuing a claim.

I. Understanding Dog Attack Claims

A dog attack claim is a legal action brought by an individual who has been injured by a dog, seeking compensation for the financial and emotional losses they have suffered as a result of the attack.


In Western Australia, dog attack claims typically arise from incidents such as:


  • Bites or scratches from a dog.

  • Injuries sustained while trying to escape or avoid a dog attack.

  • Injuries caused by a dog knocking over or otherwise causing physical harm to an individual.

II. The Legal Framework for Dog Attack Claims

In Perth, Western Australia, dog attack claims are governed by the Dog Act 1976 (WA) and the common law principles of negligence. The Dog Act 1976 (WA) sets out the strict liability provisions for dog owners, as well as the defences available to them. Under the Act, a dog owner is strictly liable for any injury or damage caused by their dog, regardless of whether the owner was negligent or at fault.

III. Eligibility Requirements for Dog Attack Claims

To be eligible to bring a dog attack claim in Western Australia, you must be able to demonstrate the following elements:


  • Injury: You must have suffered an injury as a result of a dog attack. This may include physical injuries, such as bites, scratches, or fractures, as well as psychological injuries, such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  • Dog ownership: You must be able to identify the owner of the dog responsible for the attack. In some cases, this may involve obtaining information from witnesses, local authorities, or veterinarians.

  • Causation: You must establish a direct link between the dog attack and your injuries. This may involve providing medical records, expert reports, or witness statements to support your claim.

IV. Types of Damages Available in Dog Attack Claims

In a dog attack claim, you may be entitled to various types of damages, including:
  • Medical expenses: Compensation for the cost of medical treatment required as a result of your injuries, such as hospital bills, medication, and ongoing rehabilitation or therapy.
  • Loss of income: Compensation for any loss of income you have experienced as a result of your injuries, including both past and future losses.
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress you have experienced as a result of the dog attack.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: Compensation for the impact of your injuries on your ability to participate in and enjoy your usual hobbies, social activities, and personal relationships.
  • Home modifications or assistive devices: Compensation for the cost of any home modifications or assistive devices, such as wheelchairs or prosthetics, required to accommodate your injuries.

V. The Role of Legal Representation in Dog Attack Claims

Due to the complexity of dog attack claims and the potential for significant financial and emotional consequences, it is crucial to engage the services of a highly experienced personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal process, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary.
Some of the key benefits of legal representation in dog attack claims include:
  • Expertise in personal injury law: A lawyer with experience in dog attack claims will have a deep understanding of the relevant legislation, case law, and legal procedures, enabling them to provide comprehensive advice and guidance throughout the process.
  • Case preparation and evidence gathering: A lawyer can help you gather the necessary evidence to support your claim, such as medical records, expert reports, and witness statements. They can also assist in preparing a compelling case to demonstrate the negligence of the dog owner and the extent of your damages.
  • Negotiation skills: An experienced lawyer can effectively negotiate with insurance companies and opposing counsel to reach a fair and reasonable settlement on your behalf. This can be particularly valuable in dog attack claims, as insurers may be reluctant to pay out large sums of money without a fight.
  • Litigation support: If your case proceeds to court, a lawyer can represent you in the litigation process, ensuring that your rights are protected and your claim is presented effectively.
  • Maximizing compensation: A lawyer can help you obtain the full range of damages to which you are entitled, ensuring that you receive adequate compensation to cover your financial losses and emotional suffering.

VI. Time Limits and Notice Requirements in Dog Attack Claims

In Western Australia, a person who has been injured in a dog attack incident is required to commence legal proceedings in the District Court of Western Australia within 3 years from the date of the incident to avoid the claim otherwise becoming statute barred.


There are, however, exceptions to this rule, such as in cases involving minors or individuals with a mental disability. If you are unsure as to what time limits might apply to you, you should seek legal advice.

In addition to the above, we would recommend that notification of the claim be provided to the dog’s owner as soon as possible after the incident, as you would likely experience difficulty locating him/her if he/she were to move house.

VII. Tips for Dog Attack Claims

  • Seek legal advice: Consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the dog attack to ensure that you comply with all legal requirements and maximize your chances of obtaining fair compensation.
  • Document your losses: Maintain detailed records of your financial losses, such as medical expenses and lost income, as well as any emotional suffering you have experienced as a result of the attack. This documentation will be essential in proving your damages.
  • Be patient: Dog attack claims can be complex and time-consuming. Be prepared for a lengthy legal process and maintain open communication with your legal representative to ensure that you remain informed and involved throughout the process.
  • Focus on healing: While pursuing a dog attack claim, it is important to prioritize your own emotional and physical healing. Seek support from family, friends, and professionals, such as doctors or therapists, to help you cope with your injuries.

VIII. In summary

Dog attack claims in Western Australia involve a complex legal process and significant emotional and financial consequences for the injured party. By understanding the legal framework, eligibility requirements, and types of damages involved in a dog attack claim, you can increase your chances of obtaining just compensation for your injuries.

Engaging the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer allows claimants to confidently navigate the legal and claims process whilst knowing that their rights and entitlements are protected.

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