The woman, Kay Benstead, was walking with her own dog, a cockapoodle, in Trent Park in Enfield with her 73-year-old friend, Anne Finnie, who had her German shepherd dog with her. Kay says that Annie thrust the German shepherd’s lead into her hand without permission and the dog pulled her over. Annie, who was going into a café when she handed the lead over is fighting the claim, and says her friend ‘had chance to say no’.
The case has been heard at the Central London County Court and we await the judgement from Judge Peter Wulwick.
Expert in injuries caused by dogs and other animals
Mark Fisher is a partner at Graysons Solicitors and is a specialist in accidents caused by animals. He says:
“Most dog related cases concern damage caused by dog bites, but other injuries are also sustained, and provided that it can be shown that the dog actually caused the injury, the claimant may be able to claim legal remedy for the actions of the dog.
For example, a Great Dane, or other large dog can easily break a person’s leg by running into them and if that person is injured from the collision and that collision was foreseeable, a claim for compensation may be successful.
However, actual contact is not necessarily key to winning a claim. In order to satisfy the requirements of the Animals Act, it needs to be shown that the damage (falling over and getting hurt for example) was of a kind the animal was likely to cause and that injury was likely to be severe. It has to be successfully argued that the damage was due to characteristics of the dog that are only found at particular times – in Ms Benstead’s case, when it was being walked by a stranger. Often injuries happen in a park when a dog is off its lead and is perhaps overexcited or frightened. Finally, it has to be shown that the owner knew of the likely risk.
This is a complex area of law and many people are put off claiming, feeling that they have too many hoops to jump through to prove their claim. However, I would recommend that if you have been injured by an animal, don’t be put off. Come and see me at Graysons. I have many years’ experience of successfully winning animal injury claims and can advise you on the merits of your case.”
You can find out about some of them on our website at
You can find out more about claiming compensation for injuries caused by animals on our website.