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Dogs - False Claim Of Liability - Advice Please

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Peaspeculiars | 08:08 Thu 10th Apr 2014 | Law
43 Answers
I am fuming and wish to ask for some advice form the legal eagle's if I may.

A couple of months ago my partner took our labrador to the country park where the majority is for off lead dog walking. Our dog was playing with another couples dog (both off lead) for several minutes, playing really nicely and both running about.
Whilst talking to my partner the couple both had their backs to the dogs, our dog ran wide round the couple and their wolfhound cross kept going, ran into the man's legs and knocked him over.
My OH called an ambulance and waited 2 hrs for it to come, gave him first aid and ran the lady and her dog home as she didn't drive and left his telephone number so she could call and let him know that her husband was ok.
The man broke his ankle and after an operation is in plaster.

Please bear in mind now that our dog did NOT run into the husband.

Today the woman called over to me and asked if 'name' was my partner, I said yes and she came over to say 'As your dog knocked my husband over and broke his ankle we have had to delay moving to France and we need to make a claim against you to get some money back. Is your dog insured?'

I can't believe it! Our dog did not make contact with the husband. I only got our dog insured a few weeks ago, so at the time of the incident he was not insured and we would not be covered should they proceed with the claim. I am really scared that if they decide to sue us, it will be the couple's words against my OH's and this could ruin us financially!
We are a couple who will go out of our way to help others, so this is quite a shock.

After I explained that I had only insured the dog recently, so she said 'Obviously have a look at your documentation and ask your OH to call us to discuss. We don't want it to be to your detriment but we want some of the costs incurred back'

By mentioning the words 'detriment' and 'incurred' I realise that she has been reading some legal documentation recently, as this is not used generally to converse.
My OH has no intention of calling her and believes that someone has had 'a word in their ear' to try and recoup some money dis-honestly. But we are both scared.

In your legal opinion, should we:
1) Do nothing, wait for them to contact us and see where it goes
2) Call them and clearly point out that our dog was not at the cause of the accident, and that we have no insurance for that period of time.
3) Contact a sol and get some pre-advice should things go further and we are prepared.
4) Hide in a corner and cry.

I just can't believe people can be so dishonest and cause so much stress to an honest, helpful couple. It has put me off letting my dog off the lead at all now and I certainly will be avoiding the park in case I bump into her again.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, Thank you in advance.

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In that case Peas. I doubt he has a leg to stand on. ok, maybe the one leg.
09:15 Thu 10th Apr 2014
actually i wouldnt ignore, as they may see that as fear, rather than defiance

i would phone and make it crystal clear that they have absolutely no chance, that you are not to blame and they know it, and that they will have a huge fight on their hands over it. make it clear you know what they are doing and wont get away with it

do not mention your insurance as they will view that as not your money so no harm done by suing.

record the call - and ask them why they are lying etc, see if you can get they to slip up and give the game away - dont be too obvious, more upset and wanting to know what they would want to hurt you etc
the probably wont say anythign but worth a try
Boxtops; You CAN ring them, despite pp's comments in textspeak (I don't know what that's about!) -

BXT you have redeemed yourself by STOPPING working for an insurance company.

I dont know what that's about ( Bxt) - dear dear experience - that is about me ringing an insurance company who pay their employees to minimise their involvement in principle, with an issue and the skool leva at the other end immediately said: " oo na we dont enny of vat - def nart - eyah good bye "

simples - I really feel you could have worked that one out on your own without further particulars.

Insurance agents arent angels ( you may have been but you stopped, yeah ? ) and everyone must have had experience of the little blighters (not youof course)
Peter, I detect a tad of cynicism, no doubt, but each to their own :-)

I'm not talking about insurance agents, I'm talking about ringing the company direct. I too still have to ring and/or email insurance companies even thought I no longer work in a claims department, and I've never yet encountered the responses which you describe - far from it, I've had a lot of help. Certainly never anyone talking in text speak - I did know what you meant, but it's not my experience at all!

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