Oliver Chapman and Lorna Buckwell, specialist personal injury lawyers, based at Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Tunbridge Wells and Dartford (Thames Gateway) offices, have secured £17,000 for a dog walker who was injured when another person’s dog knocked her to the floor.
The accident occurred as the claimant walked her dog in East Sussex and chatted to another dog walker who owned a large Labrador dog. The Labrador was a rescue dog and had a tendency to get overexcited, boisterous and to play in a dangerous and haphazard manner. The owner was aware of the dog’s characteristics and yet had not taken measures to control it.
Suddenly and without warning, the Labrador charged towards the claimant and, at speed, jumped up to her chest and knocked her to the floor. She landed heavily on her left outstretched hand. She attended Accident & Emergency where it was confirmed that she had suffered a fracture to her left distal radius and ulnar and her hand was placed in plaster for six weeks.
The claimant, who was an antiques dealer and interior design consultant, was unable to open her shop or work for several weeks. After removal of the cast, the injury continued to affect her as she lacked the strength and dexterity to handle and lift heavy items of furniture.
The claimant instructed a sole practitioner to act for her and the defendant’s insurance company admitted liability. Unfortunately, the claimant’s representative died very suddenly shortly before the three year limitation date. The claimant approached us and asked if we were prepared to accept instructions. Despite the imminent limitation date, we did so and immediately issued protective court proceedings to prevent the claim from becoming statute barred.
We instructed an independent consultant orthopaedic surgeon to comment upon the injuries sustained and instructed a barrister to draft the particulars of claim. Whilst the claimant had ongoing symptoms, the medical evidence suggested that these were caused by pre-existing but previously asymptomatic osteoarthritis in her thumb that could not be deemed the result of the accident.
Detailed consideration was given to the claimant’s company accounts and witness statements were obtained from third parties to prove that she had suffered financial losses as a result of the accident.
A series of offers passed between the parties before the claim settled for £17,000.
Oliver Chapman and Lorna Buckwell specialise in Animals Act cases. If you would like to ask Oliver or Lorna a question about a potential case, or have a general query about any personal injury, please contact them on 01892 701234 or 01892 701148 respectively and in confidence.